In this review we look at the BenQ W1210ST, a short throw Full HD projector with a price of 1,049 euros that targets gamers, but also has a lot to offer for film viewers.
Specifications BenQ W1210ST
- What: Full HD DLP Home Theater Projector
- Arrangement: Light output 2.200 ANSI lumen, contrast 15.000: 1, Manual 1.2x zoom lens, projection ratio 0.69 – 0.83 (100 inch diagonal between 1.53 and 1.84 m), sound level 27dB (ecomode)
- Connections: 2x HDMI (1xMHL), 1x VGA, 1x 12V trigger, 1x RS-232C, 1x USB (Wireless HD and power supply), 1x Stereo cinch in, 1x Stereo cinch out
- Lamp life: Standard: 3.500 hours, Eco: 6.000 hours
- Extras: USB (for power supply only), 3D (requires optional active 3D glasses), optional wireless Full HD 3D connection, 2x 10W speakers
- Dimensions: 381 x 122 x 277 mm
- Weight: 3.6 kg
- Consumption: 353 / 0.5 watt
The BenQ W1210ST comes in the exact same housing as the W2000 that we reviewed last year. Only the color is different, the champagne accent is swapped for a silver-colored version. Two red circles, one around the lens and one around the control pad give him a nice accent. The projector is quite compact, and has a large ventilation grille at the front. This causes a slight leak, but that did not bother on the screen.
Two HDMI connections, one of which is compatible with MHL for your smartphone, is now the standard on projectors. The analogue inputs have largely disappeared, only the VGA input remains. On the audio side there is a stereo minijack input and output. For automation, a 12V trigger and an RS-232c connector are provided. There is also one USB connection that only serves as a power source for the optional wireless Full HD module, or for a Chromecast, for example. The mini-USB connection is only for service purposes.
In short, and yet large image
The projector is equipped with a Short Throw lens, so you do not have to place the projector far from the screen to create a large image. For a 100 inch image, 1.53m is enough. That is not an Ultra Short Throw, where you can almost place the projector against the wall, but it remains much more convenient than the usual projection distances. The BenQ W1210ST can be placed on the coffee table or on the ceiling and thanks to the Short Throw lens you do not have to provide extra long HDMI cable, and there is rarely someone walking through the picture.
The lens of the W1210ST has a 1.2x zoom for small adjustments, and a lens offset of 102.5%. This means that the underside of the image is slightly higher than the lens. Setting up required no more than ten minutes of experimenting with placement. Due to the short projection ratio, a small shift in the projector sometimes results in a large deviation, but it is perfect to set up without any image distortion. The projector can correct vertical trapezoidal distortion. However, first try to tinker with the placement to avoid distortion, and keep in mind that there is no horizontal trapezoid correction. Horizontally, the projector should stand neatly in the middle of the screen.
With the bulb in eco mode, the fan noise is acceptable, but it is not completely silent. Putting the lamp in the highest position makes it slightly more noisy, but is actually usable.
Colorful, clear and contrast
The BenQ W1210ST is intended for gamers, who are looking for a projector with fast response time, but who also look for Full HD and decent light and color performance. The projector does not disappoint in that respect. We do not get the 2,200 lumens from the specifications in our test, but in the brightest image mode (Bright) you get almost 1,900 lumens. We put the projector in the Cinema image mode. With the lamp in the highest position we still get 1,400 lumens, and in eco mode it drops to about 920 lumens. The latter is just enough to fill a 100 inch image, even if you do not completely obscure the living room. Moreover, you get a good contrast of about 1.930: 1 at. That is fine, but if you obscure the room, you notice that the black value is not perfect. In the cinema image set, the BenQ also hides a little too much black detail. You can raise the brightness setting to 51 to improve it.
The color reproduction is good. She is not of the level of the BenQ W2000 but that was almost perfect. Select the Cinema image preset and switch the color temperature to ‘warm’. The gray scale looks very neutral, with only a slight green overtone. If you look at a lot of ambient light, consider the ‘Vivid’ image preset. It is still very well calibrated, despite its name. He creates something more vivid colors, so that they are better able to withstand the ambient light.
In terms of image processing, the W1210ST looks very much like the W2000. That means you can not expect top performances. The deinterlacing of 1080i video sources sometimes leaves a jagged edge on oblique lines, and the detection of less current video frame rates is not perfect. You can see some moire effects in fine detail. For most modern sources this does not have to be a problem, simply choose 1080p or 720p as the output resolution of the source. This way you avoid all these problems.
The noise reduction is decent, but delivers only moderate results with compression noise that you recognize by light blocking in the image. The images are further sharp. And despite the lack of any kind of frame interpolation, the projector still shows quite a bit of detail with fast moving images.
Now that less and less televisions can display 3D, it is good to know that this projector, if optional 3D glasses can handle 3D. An optional wireless Full HD module allows you to wirelessly connect your sources to the projector. This is very useful if you really want to avoid all worries with long cables, but thanks to the short projection ratio you do not need a very long cable anyway.
The built-in loudspeakers of 2x 10 watts do not deliver a thunderous sound, but they are good enough to put without any additional sound solution. The BenQ is also supplied with a carrying bag, which is a great accessory. Thanks to its short projection ratio, it is easy to set up in the living room of friends or family.
Conclusion BenQ W1210ST
The Game modes give you a clear, clear picture, and thanks to fast-mode, the delay (input-lag) is kept to a minimum. Together with the good light output, excellent contrast and good colors, the W1210ST ticks all the boxes for a good (even portable) game projector. But also in a fixed setup, where you choose a separate sound solution and watch movies regularly, the projector delivers a lot of beauty. With a price tag of 1,049 euros he is even highly recommended.