Rather startlingly for its money, the W600 boasts a couple of key DLP performance enhancement features: BrilliantColour and Unishape Lamp lighting. The former, designed by Texas Instruments, boosts mid-tone colours to produce a more vibrant, brighter colour palette, while the Unishape system adapts the light output to ‘mesh’ with the 6-speed colour wheel, thus reducing dithering noise and enhancing colour saturations and gradations.
As if all this wasn’t enough, the W600 even includes a reasonably lengthy selection of picture adjustments, complete with a handy set of presets, user memory preset slots, and even the same colour management system found on the W1000. This latter tool is sophisticated enough to let you adjust the huge, gain and saturation of the red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow colour elements.
All in all I actually spent a good few minutes tinkering with the W600’s settings – not something I’d normally expect to even have the option to do with such a cheap projector.
In some ways, the results of my tinkering were really good. Particularly amazing – and I don’t lose that word lightly – for a £499 projector is the picture’s sheer dynamism. By which I mean that the W600 actually manages to combine some impressively deep black levels with pretty extreme levels of brightness.
Regarding the black levels, there’s way, way less greyness to contend with than you’d get with any LCD projector at anything like this price point. Even Optoma’s similarly priced GT7000 DLP projector is left looking pretty cloudy by comparison. In short, the W600’s black levels are the best I’ve seen to date on an ultra-budget projector.
The brightness, meanwhile, is extreme enough to leave pictures genuinely watchable in a degree of ambient light – a potentially very attractive feature to your typical casual projector user, for whom total room darkness is seldom easy to achieve. This W600’s brightness also ensures that colours are delivered with serious punch, even using the relatively (sensibly!) subdued Cinema picture mode. The colour vibrancy is lifted another gear, too, if you bring BrilliantColour into play.
Not surprisingly given its reduced native resolution, the W600’s HD pictures don’t look quite as sharp or polished (thanks to occasional evidence of pixel structure) on my 100in screen as those of the Full HD W1000. But they still look emphatically HD, which is actually quite an achievement on such a cheap and cheerful HD Ready machine.
More good news finds the W600 handling motion surprisingly capably, with acceptable judder levels, and practically none of the dithering noise frequently associated with affordable DLP technology.