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BenQ W1070 review

John Archer

By

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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BenQ W1070
  • BenQ W1070
  • BenQ W1070
  • BenQ W1070
  • BenQ W1070
  • BenQ W1070
  • BenQ W1070
  • BenQ W1070

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Amazingly cheap
  • Good 2D and 3D picture quality
  • Vertical image shift

Cons

  • No backlight on remote
  • Pictures look a touch noisy
  • Very limited optical zoom

Key Features

  • Single-chip DLP projector
  • Full HD native resolution
  • 3D Ready
  • ISF certified
  • 10,000:1 claimed contrast ratio
  • Manufacturer: BenQ
  • Review Price: £699.00

Not so long ago we tested the BenQ W1060 projector, and found it OK but nothing special - a bit dated, to be honest. So we weren't entirely surprised when, soon after that review appeared, BenQ approached us to see if we fancied having a look at the new successor to the W1060. That new projector was the £699 W1070, and it's duly perched atop our projection stand as we speak.

Aesthetically BenQ's newcomer is hit and miss. Its footprint is impressively small, making it well suited to the relatively casual 'pop it in a cupboard when it's not being used' market most likely to be after so affordable a projector. Its combination of a glossy white top with matt silvery sides works nicely too, though the extensive amount of grilling around the sides might not be to everyone's tastes.

BenQ W1070 - Leaking light

We're also a bit alarmed by the amount of light spilling out of these grilles, especially the one to the side of the lens. This suggests that the W1070 certainly isn't delivering all of its claimed 2000 ANSI Lumens of potential brightness out through the lens.

BenQ W1070

Talking of the lens, it's a pretty uninspiring looking thing. It's very small, and doesn't look like it's using particularly high quality glass. It comes as little surprise to find that this tiny lens supports only a very paltry amount of optical zoom. This made it quite difficult to get the BenQ W1070 positioned in a helpful place in our long test room, especially as the projector has clearly been designed with relatively small rooms in mind.

BenQ W1070 - Poor zoom/focus controls

It's not just the limited amount of optical zoom that irritates either; we also didn't think much of the zoom and focus rings the projector provides. They're contained within quite a deep recess and are stiff to turn, making fine adjustments difficult to achieve.

There is one good bit of set up news, though: vertical image shifting. Admittedly this is limited in scope and only achieved via an almost painfully cheap-looking and faffy little screw hidden under a flimsy slide-back cover on the BenQ W1070's top. But being able to optically shift the image up or down at all is a boon on a £700 projector, hugely reducing the likelihood that you'll have to resort to the digital distortion nastiness of the provided keystone adjustment to get the image's edges straight.

BenQ W1070 - Digital zoom

The W1070 carries more digital distortion nonsense in the form of a digital zoom to bolster the puny optical zoom on offer. But using this greatly increases the picture's softness and noise levels, and so obviously isn't recommended.

BenQ W1070

The remote control you get with the W1070, meanwhile, scores a major faux pas by not being backlit. This makes it painfully tricky to use in the sort of darkened room you're most likely to be using the projector in - especially as the remote is unusually small and, as a result, rather crowded.

BenQ W1070 - ISF certification

The onscreen menus are a touch small too, but they're reasonably clear nonetheless, and shouldn't present anyone with any brain ache. There are a couple of unexpected surprises in there too considering how affordable the W1070 is, in particular an 'ISF' section that an engineer from the Imaging Science Foundation could use to professionally calibrate the projector to your specific room requirements. This proves that the projector has enough set up tools to earn the ISF's official backing.

Among these tools are a series of gamma presets (including the most video-friendly 2.2), a Black Level adjustment, red/green/blue offset and gain adjustments for fine tuning the colour temperature, DLP's Brilliant Colour option which boosts the image's saturation levels, and a full colour management system where you can adjust the hue, gain and saturation of the red, green, blue, cyan, yellow and magenta colour elements.

Nachmanowicz Felipe

December 16, 2012, 10:11 am

The setup limitations seem annoying but since I wouldn't be looking to move it around too much, I guess its not a big problem for me. But, I must say I was kinda worried about the light leakage.

I would love to see a comparison between the w1070 and other 3D 1080p PJ's around the same value, such as the Epson 3010 and the Optoma HD33.

steve

December 17, 2012, 10:01 pm

Hi could you please include in your projector reviews the cost of a replacement bulb as these can sometimes cost crazy money. Thanks

Dem Tutor-Wiz Yucedal

December 19, 2012, 2:31 am

Agreed. I would definitely like a comparison between this and the HD33. It's around £300 less and seems on par with HD33 going by what the reviews say.

geezerpl

January 4, 2013, 10:22 am

A DC2 HD33 is not a direct competitor to a DC3 W1070. You should rather compare it to the new ACER H6510BD ...

acetrip

January 14, 2013, 2:47 am

I would definitely like a comparison between this and the HD20

Anony_Mouse58

March 5, 2013, 3:04 am

I'm a real newbie here, but I am thinking of buying this unit. My trouble is, the review speaks to several settings you actually have to manipulate on the unit, and I am going to mount it on the ceiling. Is this a problem, and how often do I have to actually make these adjustments? It seems it's a great value for the money, and it has 3-d. Speaking of 3-D, can anyone tell me what glasses to get, and where? Thanks very much in advance for your input folks!

Anony_Mouse58

March 5, 2013, 3:11 am

One more thing.... :) When mounting this in the ceiling, I am going to run 2 HDMI cables, a VGA Cable a USB cable and a set of composites. Is there anything else, or something for future flexibility? Thanks again!

Solublepeter

March 14, 2013, 1:01 am

Got one yesterday, very impressed so far for the cash. Compared to my old LCD projector its 4* as bright, 6* the resolution and digital rather than analog, and it shows. I think my main limitation is the source material I've tried it with so far- some movies on Sky are maybe not so hot (e.g. Die Hard 4 on Channel 4 HD) and you can see artefacts in Netflix movies, but an episode of Bones on Sky 1 just now looked amazing. I'll have to try it with some Blu-Ray stuff tomorrow.

dan

October 10, 2013, 3:18 pm

The review needs to be updated, i just got mine today and the remote is now backlit, i have the july 2013 model!

Daxi

October 20, 2013, 7:27 pm

can you make review of benq w1300 , i want to know the input lag.

Dennis Kristensen

November 15, 2013, 1:03 pm

This projecter is dead on awesome! As mentioned in other comments: The remote is backlit now (fall 2013 model). The picture is crystal clear (with the distance I have from my wall it's around 100 inches big) and the noise is a non-issue.
Love every single bit of it and haven't regretted at all!

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