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Imaging Devices

BenQ W703D - A Compact HD Projector At A Low Price

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9/2/2013 9:16:09 AM

If you want a big screen, but don't have a lot of money, then the BenQ W703D DLP projector seems like a good choice on paper. It's one of the cheapest 1,280x720 pixel projectors we've seen at $662.5. It's a compact model so it should fit easily on a shelf or coffee table. A wide range of connections is provided, meaning you shouldn't have any trouble hooking it up to most computers, TVs and other home entertainment devices. There are two HDMI ports as well as VGA, component, S-video and composite sockets too. Separate speakers are required to get the best sound quality, as its built-in sound is very tinny.

BenQ W703D

BenQ W703D

Disappointingly, optical zoom is restricted, limiting how much you can adjust the size of the projected image. As with all projectors, the image can look askew if you can't place the projector squarely in front of your screen but, unlike other projectors, there‘s no lens shift feature for correcting this. Instead you have to resort to using digital correction, which can reduce image quality. It's good to see a wall-color mode, so you can project directly onto a wall and compensate for its color.

There are several other preset modes, including Bright, Living Room, Gaming, Cinema and 3D. We found that Living Room produced the most vibrant colors, but the rest made colors appear quite drab and washed out. No matter which mode we used, darker scenes in movies and TV programs were mediocre, often appearing quite grey across all areas of the screen. We noticed a considerable amount of light bleeding out of the left side of the screen as well. Default contrast levels were also very poor regardless of which mode we picked.

BenQ W7023D

BenQ W7023D

Three User modes (one of which is for 3D only) can be selected to customize settings. In practice, though, most users will only be able to change the contrast, brightness and color temperature as the rest of its options – including sharpness and tint – are locked down when using HDMI. This leaves very little scope for getting the best picture arid, while we did manage to find a decent level of image quality using these basic settings, we had to sacrifice color vibrancy in order to improve the contrast. The remote control is backlit for use in the dark and it gives you instant access to each of your three User modes.

With all DLP-based projectors, scenes with a lot of action inevitably suffer from a slight rainbow effect, but it was particularly bad here. Some viewers may get used to this over time, but the effect is certainly worse compared to other DLP projectors we’ve seen. We also noticed the image becoming quite jerky during fast camera pans, and the image almost ground to a halt while adjusting settings in the menu.

The BenQ W703D is certainly very cheap, but its overall image quality is below average, even for a budget projector.

The BenQ W703D is certainly very cheap, but its overall image quality is below average, even for a budget projector.

A brightness of 2,200 lumens means that you don't have to turn off all the lights to see the screen. Running costs are also reasonable. The lamp is rated to last 4,500 hours, which works out at 3p per hour.

The BenQ W703D is certainly very cheap, but its overall image quality is below average, even for a budget projector. We recommend the slightly more expensive Epson EH-TW480 instead.

Specifications

·         Projector: DLP

·         Native resolution: 1,280x720

·         Max compressed resolution: 1,600x1,200

·         Aspect ratio: 16:9

·         Optical zoom: 1.1x

·         Projection distance: 1.1m to 10.2m

·         Special view modes: bright, living room, gaming, cinema, user, 3D

·         Input: VGA, Sound 3.5mm, Composite, S-video, HDMI

·         Output: Audio, Video

·         Support: PAL, SECAM, NTSC

·         Noise: 31dB(A)

·         Size: 113x330x247mm

·         Weight: 3.3kg

·         Internal speakers: 2W stereo

·         Extras: carry bag, remote, power cable, VGA cable

·         Remote special features: aspect ratio, color mode, 3D mode, input select

·         Power consumption standby: 1W

·         Power consumption on: 250W

·         Pricing: $662

 

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