Review Price £828.00
BenQ W1100 - Picture Quality and Running Noise
The W1100’s colours feel a touch flat compared with the W1200 and InFocus SP8600 (which uses an RGBCMY colour wheel versus the RGBRGB one of the W1100) too, and finally the W1100 seemed less comfortable with camera pans than the other two models, suffering with more overt judder and loss of clarity. In this respect we found ourselves missing the Frame Interpolation processing of the W1200 more than we’d expected to.
Even had we not seen the InFocus SP8600 we would have found the issues just described sufficiently troubling to make us strongly suggest that you save up for the markedly superior W1200 instead, at least if you’re first and foremost a film fan. But if around £800 is your maximum budget, the InFocus seems to us to be clearly the better option.
This isn’t to say, though, that the W1100 isn’t without its charms. Its HD pictures are detailed and sharp, its colours still look very natural for such a cheap model despite their reduced saturations, and actually, notwithstanding the inevitable screen/projector spatial dislocation, the 20W audio system is really very usable in emergencies.
The W1100’s remote control is much more friendly, large and just plain usable than the credit card-like thing shipped with the InFocus, too, and its pictures to our eyes contain fractionally less rainbow noise. Though in reality neither projector suffers at all badly from this once irksome DLP failing.
Perhaps most important of all, though, is the way the W1100’s increased focus on brightness over contrast helps its pictures retain more punch in relatively bright rooms. Both the W1200 and InFocus SP8600, by comparison, seem calibrated for use ideally in very dark rooms.
The last thing we should say about the W1100 is that strangely, while its fan noise with the lamp output set to normal is just as high as that of the W1200, in eco mode its fans didn’t keep adjusting their output noise nearly as regularly and distractingly as we noticed with the W1200. There’s still a slightly whiny timbre to the fan noise in eco mode, but overall it’s certainly preferable to the shifting noise levels we noted on our (possibly slightly faulty?) W1200.
If the W1100 had arrived before we’d spent so much quality time with its W1200 brother and the InFocus SP8600, we might well have loved it. Certainly its ability to deliver punchy pictures even in rooms with a degree of ambient light in them deserves to win it many fans among relatively casual users. For people able to get the most from a projector by blacking out their rooms, however, both the InFocus and step-up W1200 models are superior options.
Scores In Detail
- Image Quality