It's been a very long time since a new BenQ home cinema projector crossed our path. August 2008, to be precise - and even that model was a cheapo LCD job rather than one of its traditionally impressive DLP home theatre specials.
The last DLP model, in fact, was the W5000, way back in May 2008. But today, at long last, the sequel to that excellent model, the cunningly titled W6000, is finally sat on our projector stand.
And it looks like it means business, thanks to an unusually large body for a sub-£3,000 machine - especially as its inherent chunkiness is rather emphasised by a rather cumbersome high-sided design that falls comfortably short of Sony's recently tested VPL-HW15 projector in the sculpting stakes.
That's not to say the W6000 is actually ugly, though. Its finish is deep and glossy enough to make it look at least a bit posh, and the slightly different colour and finish of the rounded, raised section around the centrally mounted lens is a cute touch.
Having just mentioned the lens, I might as well add here that the W6000 supports the addition of a Panamorph lens if you want to display a true 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
The only serious concern I'd have about the design is that there's quite a large vent in the front left corner of the projector (as you look at it), from which there's slightly more light leakage than I'd ideally like to see. It's not bad enough to seriously disturb your viewing, but it does at least suggest that maybe the W6000's chassis isn't quite as clever about dissipating heat and noise as some of its rivals. More on this later.
The W6000's connections are exactly as we'd expect. Which is to say they include two HDMIs, a D-Sub PC port, a component video input, an RS-232 for external control, and a 12V trigger output for automatically firing up a motorised screen. Further multimedia hopes for the W6000 were momentarily raised by the discovery of a USB input, too, but on closer examination this port - a Type mini B affair - is used for servicing purposes only.
Getting the W6000 up and running really couldn't be easier. You can optically shift the image horizontally or vertically via an incredibly simple little joystick arrangement on the projector's front edge, and the zoom and focus rings around the lens are both easy to operate with precision. The 1.5:1 level of zoom is pretty good too.