What’s better than watching Rogue One on your big screen tv? Watching Rogue One on a screen the size of a wall!
Lately, I’ve been playing around with the £899 snappily titled BenQ W1210ST 1080p Video Gaming CineHome projector and [SPOILER ALERT] it’s a bit of a corker.
It’s a beefy unit, but if you are thinking of toting it around, fear not, it comes with its own rather natty little carry bag. Setting it up is an absolute doddle, the hardest part if finding a big enough wall to watch your movie on. Plug it in, move the unit to achieve the right size screen and position and you’re pretty much done. From there it’s just a bit of fine tuning on the screen shape, which is easy thanks to the up and down buttons on the top of the unit. The zoom and focus controls are also easily accessed from the top of the unit and it even has a shutter which slides over them to protect them in transit.
On the back, the BenQ features two HDMI ports, USB, and Mini USB ports so you shouldn’t have any trouble connecting your sources. Sadly the only option for audio out is a single mini jack, but that’s as much as you get from most projectors.
The W1210ST features a short throw lens which projects a massive image from a short distance – ideal for your average house. It means that you no longer have to have a living room as long as a bowling alley to get a decent sized picture. I managed to get a 2m wide image from a distance of only 1.7m!
The picture quality is excellent with vibrant, realistic colour reproduction and a beautifully sharp image. Ok, it’s never going to be as crystal clear as your OLED screen, but it’s more than good enough. I found there was little or no motion blur, which is the bane of many a projector. This would be particularly important to gamers, which is what this particular unit is aimed towards.
The BenQ comes with a very comprehensive backlit remote control. This is a welcome departure from the trend of stylish minimalist remotes and means that if you are mounting the unit to the ceiling, you still have full control.
The viewing experience is excellent thanks to the very quiet cooling fans and unlike other projectors I have used, the short throw lens means that the projector is most likely to be in front you rather than projecting over your shoulder. I personally preferred this setup, particularly because it means the sound isn’t coming from behind the viewer either.
Speaking of sound, this is what surprised me the most. Normally, onboard speakers are pretty duff. Not so in this case. The volume from the 20w speakers is impressive, but what really made me do a double take was the separation of the sound. It gave such a sense of space, you’d swear there was some sort of sound bar. It really was incredible. The only thing it was lacking was some bass. While the built-in speakers are easily the best I’ve heard and would be more than enough in a pinch, you really would need a peripheral sound system.
It’s usually around this point in the review that I point out the niggles and negatives of the product, but with this projector, there really isn’t much to say. The lens cover doesn’t fit very well (it’s not curved to match the front of the unit). The front foot could do with a bit more adjustment. It takes nearly 2 mins to turn off fully……that’s about it really.
I was very impressed with this projector. It’s quick and easy to set up, the picture is excellent and the sound is great for what it is. At £899 it’s certainly not cheap, but if you are for that cinema feel at home, definitely add this to your shortlist.
Check out Gareth’s unboxing here:
You can pick up the BenQ W1210ST from Amazon here.