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Review: BenQ W2700 4K Ultra HD DLP projector with HDR

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The BenQ W2700 is the ambitious successor of the W1700, an Ultra HD HDR projector that wants to deliver impressive performance for a reasonable budget. On the menu are a wide and accurate color range, dynamic iris for better contrast, lots of light and optimized display of HDR, but also a built-in media player and speakers.

BenQ W2700 – specifications

  • What: Ultra HD DLP projector
  • Setup: 3,840 x 2,160 (1,920 x 1,080 with pixel shifting), light output 2,000 ANSI lumen, dynamic contrast 30,000: 1, projection ratio 1.13 – 1.47 (100 inch diagonal between 2.50 and 2.89 m), zoom 1.3x, sound level 30/28 dB (standard, eco-code)
  • Connections: 2x HDMI (2x v2.0b) , 2x USB, 1x optical digital out, 1x stereo minijack out, 1x 12V trigger, 1x rs-232
  • Lamp life: 4,000 / 10,000 / 15,000 hours
  • Extras: HDR10, HLG, 3D, Motion interpolation, 2x 5W speaker
  • Dimensions: 380 x 127 x 263 mm
  • Weight: 4.2 kg
  • Consumption: 350/280 / 0.5 watt
  • Recommended price: 1,599 euros

BenQ W2700 – design [19659013] This BenQ is aimed at a place in the living room and therefore got a compact and attractive design. He inherited the rounded design from his predecessor, as did his predominantly white finish.

New are the brushed metal bronze-colored front and perforated rear. They give him some extra personality. The ventilation grilles are on the side, which prevents light leaking in the direction of the screen.

Connections

All connections are at the rear. The projector has two HDMI connections, both of which are now ready for Ultra HDR HDR content, and offer full HDMI 2.0 bandwidth for the best quality.

A USB connection serves as a power supply for a Chromecast, but a Second connection is indeed intended to supply media. Those who want to connect audio to an external solution have an optical digital audio output and stereo mini jack output. Finally, there is a 12V trigger for the automation of an electric screen, and an RS-232 connection for those who want to use the projector in their smart home environment.

BenQ W2700 – Placement and ease of use

You find extensive flexibility in placement. never in this price category. But the optics chosen are perfectly suited for the intended use. The lens has a considerably shorter projection ratio than its predecessor so that you now create 100 inch images from 2.5 m or thanks to the 1.3x zoom lens from 2.89 m. A place on the coffee table is therefore possible. With a lens offset of 105%, the image narrowly appears above the lens.

The lens shift is limited to 10%, so a slight height adjustment is possible, but the projector must be in the center of the screen horizontally. If the lens shift is not sufficient, you can tilt the projector and correct the trapezoidal distortion with the (automatic) keystone correction. Avoid this if possible, keystone correction always leads to loss of detail. Zoom, focus and lens shift can be operated manually. This is very simple for zoom and focus, the lens shift operation is slightly stiffer.

Small improvements can make a difference. For example, BenQ has provided a small black cover plate on the underside of the lens to prevent reflection from the coffee table.

Projector noise has two sources: the fans and the shifting of the DLP chip. With the lamp in the eco position, the noise is not too bad. The fan is audible in the highest position, especially during quieter passages.

The projector also has a “Silence” mode that you must activate separately. The image is then limited to Full HD resolution, although you can deliver 4K content, which is then played in Full HD. The sound of the DLP chip is then considerably less, because it no longer has to shift. With 4K HDR content, the pixel shifting is automatically activated again. You can consider this image mode for Full HD footage if you want minimal background noise.

Menus

The menus are very well-arranged. The number of image enhancements is limited, so you don't have to make many choices. The necessary settings are provided for calibration. You can set the location where the menu appears on the screen. Useful when adjusting the settings.

Remote control

The relatively compact remote is completely white, with illuminated buttons. Many settings can also be adjusted directly with a key. This is ideal for things such as image mode, sound mode, lamp mode, dynamic iris, and cinema master. After all, you might want to change something while looking. The remote has a good layout, and the keys are large enough, but they are very hard to press.

BenQ W2700 – features

The projector uses a new 0.47 “DMD chip from Texas Instruments. Just like its predecessors, it is equipped with two million pixels (a quarter of Ultra HD). He combines that with pixel shifting, each pixel is shifted four times to achieve Ultra HD resolution. If you want to know how that works, look here here . He combines that with an RGBRGB color wheel and BenQ’s CinematicColor technology that promises excellent color reproduction. The projector also supports 3D, you have to buy optional 3D glasses.

The lamp lasts up to 4,000 hours in standard mode, 10,000 hours in eco and even up to 15,000 hours in SmartEco mode. The SmartEco mode adjusts the brightness of the lamp based on the displayed image.

The USB media player is surprisingly complete. He played all of our test videos (with the exception of Divx files). Even subtitles, Ultra HD or HDR files were no problem. The only drawback: it does not play Dolby Digital or DTS soundtracks. So provide your films with aac or mp3 audio. For music you can get started with mp3, wma, aac and FLAC.

The built-in 2x 5 Watt speakers deliver decent sound. Of course you should not expect any home cinema results, but those looking for a minimal setup can rely on these speakers. The projector is compact enough to take to friends or family, and then the good speakers are a great plus.

BenQ W2700 – Image quality

BenQ provides very few image processing options on this W2700. We notice that deinterlacing and recognizing film and video frame rates are still not 100% reliable. So deliver no less than 720p, 1080p or 4K images, avoid 1080i. In the latter case it is not excluded that you see serrated line edges. You can only activate noise reduction if you do not provide 4K material. It delivers moderate results for random noise, and there is no setting to remove compression noise.

You can't expect perfect Ultra HD detail from a pixel shifter like this and the many other affordable UHD projectors. In vertical lines you can just see all the detail, but in horizontal lines some detail is lost. A 1 pixel checkerboard pattern is no longer visible. However, we can state that the image is very detailed, and certainly better than Full HD. Moreover, the pixel raster has almost disappeared. With the 'Pixel Enhancer 4K' your detail can be emphasized, but settings higher than 10 are not recommended, they only create false detail.

The BenQ W2700 has motion compensation, which was still missing on the predecessor. Moreover, it does its job with both Full HD and 4K content. While contours remain slightly vague, and fast pans remain a challenge, you do win some detail and the image becomes a little smoother. The BenQ achieves this without introducing excessive image errors.

We measure the maximum light output in the “Bright” mode, but with around 1,600 lumens it remains a bit below specification (2,000). However, that fashion is almost useless, the image is much too green. In the Cinema and Vivid TV modes you can still count on around 700-750 lumens. Whoever puts the lamp in eco-mode has to take 25% off. The Cinema mode provides enough light for a 120-inch blackout image and a nice 90-inch if you want some ambient light. In eco mode you still get 100 and 80 inches respectively.

The contrast has improved slightly, the projector's own contrast is now around 700: 1. Although that is still clearly not a purely home cinema site. Using the dynamic iris get the contrast to 1000: 1 to 2,000: 1 depending on the setting. With the iris in “low” you have the smallest improvement. Unfortunately, in the “high” position, you sometimes see the image getting brighter or darker. You can also hear the iris gently working. Alternatively you can put the lamp in “SmartEco”. The iris can then no longer be switched on, but the lamp essentially performs the same function. This brought the contrast to 3,000: 1. The lamp responds a bit slower than the iris.

One of the major problems of the previous generation 0.47 “DMD chips was a wide clear border around the screen. It has now virtually disappeared on the new generation of chips. On an 80 inch image, the edge is barely 2 cm wide, which absolutely does not interfere anymore.

Although every BenQ W2700 comes with a calibration certificate, the Cinema image mode was not as accurate as hoped. The color temperature is slightly cool (light blue overtones), and the gamma is a bit too low (2.07 instead of 2.2), which makes the mid-tones somewhat brighter. On the other hand, the color reproduction is excellent, and when you consider that the W2700 will probably do most of its work in a living room with a little bit of light, then that cooler color temperature and lower range are no problem at all. The images look very colorful, and there is sufficient black detail visible (on condition that you darken of course).

The D.Cinema setting uses an extra color filter but does not provide much added value in SDR. The filter also cuts off a lot of light. More about this in the “HDR” section.

HDR

The BenQ W2700 supports HDR10 and HLG, and BenQ has provided an “HDR Pro” algorithm that optimizes both color reproduction and image brightness for projector display. As soon as you supply HDR images, the projector automatically switches to HDR image mode. An additional color filter is retracted to make the color range larger. The W2700 thus achieves an impressive 88% of DCI-P3. Unfortunately, the extra filter costs a lot of light. Almost half the light even. That's a big fall, and it really forces you to watch HDR in the dark. Fortunately, you can choose to turn off “Wide color gamut” in the advanced menu. You then exchange more intense red and green for a lot more light.

The result is strikingly good. The images still have a striking impact, and rich, intense colors. Blade Runner 2048 looked excellent even in the fairly dark images. You can still adjust the “HDR brightness” in the advanced menu. This makes the image slightly brighter or darker. Let your taste be your guide here. Personally, we thought the neutral position was best, and we would recommend limiting you to +1 or -1 to avoid excessive effects.

The calibration of the HDR image mode is remarkably good, both in the gray scale and for color reproduction. And both in the normal color range and with the wider color range . If you opt for the wider color range, set HDR Brightness to +1 for a slightly more correct result.

Gaming

The W2700 has a lag of 82.5 ms and that seems to us too much for real gamers.

Review equipment

For the lag measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements, we rely on a Spectracal C6 HDR2000 Colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and the Spectracal Calman for Business software. We use an HDFury Vertex to analyze possible HDR problems.

BenQ W2700 – Conclusion

The BenQ W2700 is a nice evolution of the W1700, although there is still room for improvement. The light frame around the projection has largely disappeared, so that it no longer has a negative influence on the contrast. And thanks to the EcoSmart lamp or dynamic iris you can improve the contrast a bit. But especially the own contrast should be a little better to be a real hit. Because of the high input lag, gamers seem to stay better away from this model.

Still, this projector has a lot to offer. Ultra HD projection, it is also not with perfect detail, that is true with all pixel shifters. Excellent color reproduction and decent calibration (albeit a little less perfect than expected) ensure good images, which will quickly suck you into the story. The light output is sufficient for a screen of around 100 inches, even in ambient light. The contrast may have only slightly improved, but is now good enough for looking at darkening. The best improvement is in the HDR display. That got a very good tuning, so that the projector creates very compelling HDR images despite its limitations. The more than decent audio and media player are great extras, and the good price is the icing on the cake.

Cons

  • No perfect UHD detail
  • Not for gamers (too high input lag)
  • Improved, but still poor contrast

Advantages

  • Light output
  • Excellent color reproduction (SDR and HDR)
  • Handsome HDR images
  • Nice design
  • Usable sound solution and built-in media player
  • Homecinema Magazine
    Review 8.5 10 Eric Beeckmans product

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