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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
Output: Audio, Video
Support: PAL, SECAM, NTSC
Internal speakers: 2W stereo
Extras: carry bag, remote, power cable, VGA
Remote special features: aspect ratio, color
mode, 3D mode, input select
Power consumption standby: 1W
Power consumption on: 250W