The more we watched the BenQ W1070 strut its budget stuff, the more it occurs to us that a pretty key part of what makes its pictures so much fun for movies is their brightness. Its 2000 Lumens claimed output is a potent image tool when harnessed to a projection system that’s clearly tailored towards video rather than PC use, helping colours look punchy, bright scenes look extremely vivid, but also dark scenes look unusually rich in detail and depth.
The W1070’s claimed 10,000:1 contrast ratio is double that of the W1060, and the picture it produces bears these numbers out.
Yet more good news concerns the W1070’s sharpness. It’s a full HD model (impressive in itself for £699), and delivers every pixel of that resolution onto the screen, bringing forth all the detail we love to find when watching high quality Blu-rays.
There are a trio of other problems to report too, though. First, even with the Brilliant Colour system turned off images remain a touch noisier than we’d like (but don’t feel tempted to use the provided NR, as this softens pictures and can make them look processed).
BenQ W1070 – Running noise
Second, when using the Smart Eco setting you can occasionally be distracted by a slight adjustment in the noise coming out of the projector if a) you’re watching a quiet moment and b) you’re sat fairly near the projector. Though to be clear about this, the W1070 is by no means a noisy projector generally considering how small and cheap it is.
Finally, black levels even at their post calibration best are only fair to middling compared with the best sub-£1200 projectors – though it’s surprisingly easy to see past this on account of the impressive shadow detail representation and the way the projector still delivers bright parts of dark scenes with plenty of punch. Plus, of course, the W1070 doesn’t cost £1200, it costs under £700.
BenQ W1070 – Rainbow Effect
If you’re extremely sensitive to the rainbow effect phenomenon associated with single-chip DLP projectors, you might just see signs of the tell-tale RGB striping over very bright objects if they appear against very dark backgrounds. But in reality the extent and obviousness of the rainbowing is remarkably limited for the W1070’s money, thanks to its 6x RGBRGB colour wheel.
You wouldn’t get any rainbowing at all if you bought an LCD projector instead, of course. But then neither would you get the same sort of contrast unless you spent considerably more.
LCD also likely wouldn’t give as good a 3D performance as the W1070’s DLP engine delivers, at least when it comes to crosstalk. For while cheap LCD projectors really struggle to refresh fast enough to avoid the double ghosting phenomenon, the BenQ W1070 hardly suffers with it at all, helping its 3D images look sharp and detailed, especially as motion is well handled too.
The W1070’s improved contrast also aids its 3D images versus the rather disappointing efforts of the W1060 by allowing dark backdrops to look deeper and more detailed. And wrapping up a solid 3D effort is the decent levels of brightness and colour saturation retained even when you’ve got a pair of (optional extra) 3D glasses on.
Once we’d managed to work round its setup limitations and figured out how to avoid a couple of initial picture niggles, we were left with pictures from the BenQ W1070 that comfortably surpassed our expectations, making it just the latest entry on a freakishly long list of 2012 projector bargains. People on the hunt for an exceptionally cheap but still movie-loving projector have never had it so good.
Score in detail
2D Image Quality 8
3D Image Quality 8