BenQ W1800 Projector Review
My gosh the colours! First impressions are a big deal, and when it comes to the W1800, it makes a great one the minute you draw down the blinds and project your favourite movie. The colours are accurate from the get go but there’s a lot more to it than just that. So let’s dive in and see if it’s the projector for you. When it comes to specifications, the W1800 seems mediocre compared to other 4K projectors in the market. Especially given its limited brightness of 2000 ANSI lumens and a short lamp life of 4000 hours when run in normal mode. Yes, you can get upto 15,000 hours on the lamp save mode and about 8000 hours under the Eco Smart mode which seems to be a more balanced choice when it comes to picture quality vs lamp life, but it’s still less. W1800 is a 4K HDR projector with support for optimised HDR10/HLG and promises to cover the full Rec. 709 colour standard. It has a rather short throw of approx 1.3:1 with full zoom setting providing you a picture of about 100 inches at a distance of 2.5m. It doesn’t support native 4K resolution and uses a DLP chip created by Texas Instrument instead, with rapid pixel shifting at 240Hz to provide a near perfect simulation of over 8 million pixels on the screen to the user’s eye, a 4K viewing experience.
One of the best things about this projector is the Filmmaker Mode which preserves motion cadence, cinematic colour, dynamic range, and brightness that directors/creators intended. Under this mode, any image distorting post processing is disabled to deliver the most perfect picture on the screen. This topped with out-of-the box factory calibrated colour accuracy makes up for an enriching experience right from the first power on. It’s worth a mention that the acoustic noise is about 34/28 dB, which is pretty quiet and does not affect the viewing experience negatively. The design follows the standard BenQ way ― which is a compact rectangular shaped unit, matte white plastics and a bronze-colour faceplate surrounding the lens. The remote has a back-light which comes in real handy when operating in the dark. The zoom wheels are well placed and accessible. The basic controls are placed on the top side and allow you to control the projector if you don’t have the remote handy.
The system has an internal speaker of 5W which can only be used for casual viewing but I’d recommend connecting an external sound system for a better experience. W1800 has two HDMI 2.0b sockets, supporting HDCP 2.2, a serial connector, an audio output and a USB port.
Setup is fairly easy and BenQ’s 2D keystoning controls are easy to work with to make up for positioning or angle of projection. The menus on the other hand are not easy to work with and leave much to be desired. Picture quality is where W1800 does leave a mark, the image projected is smooth, natural and colours are well defined. The one place where it lacks is the brightness. The unit performs well in dark rooms or cinema rooms but not in ones with even moderate ambient light. The pictures appear washed out in such cases and hamper the viewing experience. The place where W1800 really shines are colours, they look fantastic and do justice to the claim of covering 100% of Rec. 709 colour standard. W1800 does have a few downsides but does make up as a great cinema projector which is not too heavy on the wallet. It manages to produce great quality natural cinematic images right out-of-the-box. If you are looking for a projector for your cinema room or room with less or no light, to watch 4K HDR videos and movies, you should definitely go for W1800. If you are looking for a daylight friendly or gaming projector, you should look elsewhere.