When you're watching scenes with a strong mixture of bright and dark material the BenQ W1060 projector's brightness can hide the black level weaknesses to some extent. But whenever a picture is predominantly dark it's impossible to ignore the distinct grey pall that hangs over everything that should look black.
This lack of black level - although not as bad as on some other mega-cheap projectors we’ve seen - causes a couple of other issues too. Namely some slightly odd-looking colour tones at times, and a fairly severe shortage of shadow detail, which can leave dark scenes looking flat and hollow.
Also troublesome with the lights down is that old DLP problem of the rainbow effect. Bright parts of the picture - especially if they're surrounded by darkness - can be blighted by fleeting but distinct stripes of red, green and blue over them. The same sort of RGB striping can also be seen if you flit your eyes around the image.
A smaller issue - possibly though not definitely related to the rainbow effect - is that small, bright details of the picture tend to flicker, drawing undue attention to themselves. We also felt that HD pictures maybe didn’t look quite as sharp as we'd ideally like them too. Though at the same time we prefer the gently soft finish of the BenQ W1060's HD pictures to the over-forensic look some rival projectors prefer.
The W1060's black level and rainbow effect issues are ultimately difficult for us to see past, given that they commit the cardinal sin of regularly distracting us from the film we're watching. But to fair to the BenQ W1060, there are some surprising positives to report too.
Colours during bright scenes, for instance, as noted with viewing in ambient light, look pleasingly natural when they're not having to combat the greyness noted with dark scenes. Even skin tones during bright scenes look credible and subtle - not something we'd generally see on a budget projector.
Motion is better handled than we would have expected too, with precious little judder beyond what feels natural to a film or TV show. There’s also pretty much no sign at all of the fizzing noise caused by the colour wheels of lesser DLP projectors.
The BenQ W1060 also works decently well as a gaming display, especially if your gaming tends to take place in a fairly 'social' environment where achieving total darkness is difficult. And finally we were pleasantly surprised by how quietly the BenQ W1060 runs, especially when you take into account how bright it is.
In the end we're torn about the BenQ W1060. As a serious movie machine it doesn't quite pass muster thanks to the distracting impact of its rainbow effect and some wishy washy black levels. But in other areas its pictures have quite a bit more quality and a greater cinematic sensibility than might have been expected at the sub-£700 price point. It’s certainly surprisingly watchable if there's ambient light in your room.
Probably the best way to sum up our feelings about the BenQ W1060 is to say that while home cinema enthusiasts should probably try and save £300 more to step up to significantly less compromised home cinema machines, if you're after a fun/casual living room projector that's better than most similarly priced rivals, the BenQ W1060 is worth a look.