At first glance, the BenQ W1060 projector seems to have arrived at a very unfortunate moment. For this feature-lite DLP model follows hot on the heels of the hugely impressive Panasonic PT-AT6000E projector, and is shortly to be followed in turn by the hugely promising Sony VPL-HW50ES, JVC’s DLA-X35, and the highly tipped Epson TW6100 and Epson EH-TW9100.
However, the reality is that the BenQ W1060 can’t sensibly be measured against those other models, for one simple reason: it only costs £700 - a fraction of the cost of the mid-range maestros we mentioned.
The BenQ W1060 price immediately puts much less of a burden of expectation on the DLP projector, in fact, from past experience with other similarly priced models, we’d suggest that anything better than outright averageness will be good enough to impress us.
The two most immediately interesting things about the BenQ W1060 beside its price are the company's claim that it’s definitely created for home cinema use (rather than being a data model masquerading as a movie machine), and its design.
The BenQ W1060 really does look far cuter than most projectors, with steeply angled-out sides, a high-gloss white top, a slick metallic silver font panel, and curves and angles galore. Yet somehow BenQ has made all these elements work harmoniously, delivering a finished look that’s right at home in a typical living room.
The BenQ W1060 spec sheet makes for some interesting reading too. For starters, it’s a full HD model rather than just enjoying the 720p native resolution DLP system we might have expected. It’s also very bright for its price point, claiming 2,000 ANSI Lumens of light output.
On a budget projector this sort of brightness can often actually be a red flag, pointing towards some serious contrast problems. Yet while the 5,000:1 claimed contrast ratio for the BenQ W1060 is hardly earth-shattering, it’s also just about high enough to raise hopes of some at least respectably contrast-rich movie action.
Another interesting number on the BenQ W1060’s spec sheet is an unusually high claimed lamp life of 6,000 hours. This is achieved by using ‘special’ cooling technology that helps prevent the lamp from overheating. Use the projector’s Eco Mode all the time, moreover, and you should get even more lamp life out of the BenQ W1060 - as much as 9.6 years, in fact (based on four hours of use a day for 52 weeks a year).
This is significant because it reduces your total cost of ownership, as you won’t have to replace the lamp as often. You also won’t need to replace or clean the BenQ W1060’s filters, for the simple reason that it doesn’t use any.
The cooling technology found on the BenQ W1060 additionally helps it cool down faster when you switch it off than most high brightness DLP projectors - handy if you want to unplug it quickly to whisk it away in its surprisingly well-designed and included carry case.
The W1060’s use of DLP technology should also mean that its colours hardly decay at all over the projector’s lifetime, avoiding the yellow or green tints that can creep in with LCD projectors over time.