BenQ W1210ST Review

Sections

Pros

  • Superbly low input lag
  • Good contrast and colour
  • Strong movie performance

Cons

  • Slight noise in dark movie scenes
  • Some black crush in the best all-round lamp setting
  • Minor DLP rainbowing

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £958.00
  • Single-chip DLP projector
  • Low input lag mode for gaming
  • Full HD resolution
  • 15,000:1 claimed contrast ratio
  • Short-throw lens (100-inch image from 1.5m)
  • W380.5 x H121.7 x D277mm

What is the BenQ W1210ST?

The W1210ST is a Full HD DLP projector with a short-throw lens and a mode with an ultra-low input lag that BenQ believes makes it ideal for gaming. And you know what? Having spent far more time gaming on the W1210ST than I could ever reasonably excuse as “work”, I think BenQ has a point.

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BenQ W1210ST – Design and Build

The W1210ST is large for a projector designed for casual use, as opposed to fixed home cinema room installation. It wears its bulk quite nicely, thanks to a distinctive and very BenQ combination of gloss white and matte silver. Its edges are all pleasantly rounded, avoiding any jarring angles.

The lens is recessed and comes with a detachable cover, making it less likely to suffer damage when you’re moving it between rooms or in and out of cupboards.

The remote control you get with the W1210ST is much better than the one shipped with the recently tested BenQ TH530. It’s larger, more comfortable to hold, and generally easier to use thanks to a more spacious button layout and clearer button labelling.

Best of all, its buttons are backlit in a bright red, making it far easier to quickly find the button you’re looking for if you’ve blacked out your room for a serious movie night.

BenQ W1210ST – Setup

Simple zoom and focus wheels, accessed through a window on the W1210ST’s top edge, make it easy to get your image to the size you want. There’s a decent amount of zoom for a short-throw projector – it can produce a large image even when sat pretty close to your screen, so it’s easier to place in a typical room layout or a smaller room than your average longer-throw model. For instance, you can get a 100-inch image from a throw distance of as little as 1.5m.

BenQ W1210ST

There’s no vertical image shifting on the W1210ST, meaning you’ll likely have to use a drop-down leg under the projector’s front edge to angle the projector up or down slightly to get its pictures in the right place. This will also mean you’ll need to use keystone correction to get the sides of the image straight – never an ideal solution, since you’re essentially distorting the pixel-for-pixel accuracy of the Full HD images. That said, the W1210ST’s keystone system works more cleanly than many.

The W1210ST is unusual for the projector world in that it features a “first install” procedure that holds your hand through the most basic aspects of setup. BenQ W1210ST

A series of picture presets are provided, but I reckon most people will get by with just two of these: Cinema and Game. The scenarios you’ll want those for are pretty self-explanatory. These are pretty sensibly calibrated out of the box, but there are a few other setup suggestions I’d make.

Firstly, turn off noise reduction for all sources. Secondly, even though it can cause a little detail to be lost in dark areas, select the Smart Eco lamp mode for the best all-round contrast result.

Thirdly, to counter the black “crush” effect the Smart Eco mode can cause, I nudged the brightness setting up from its default setting of 50 to 51. Finally, make sure you have the Fast Mode on when gaming, as this does a brilliant job of reducing input lag (the time the projector takes to render image data received at its inputs).