With the W4000i, BenQ offers a 4K home cinema projector with advanced 4LED technology. The manufacturer promises a light output of 3200 lumens, a service life of up to 30,000 hours, and a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1 to illuminate large screen widths with high-contrast images. The DCI-P3 and Rec. 709 color spaces should each be covered by 100%. To achieve excellent results in the factory setting, each W4000i is individually calibrated before delivery. In addition, it is ISF-certified (Professional TV calibration (also known as ‘ISF calibration’)) and has the appropriate image modes for ISF day and ISF night.
In addition to the static HDR technologies HDR10 and HLG for broadcast, the projector also supports HDR10+ with dynamic metadata. With the Android TV operating system, many smart functions and attractive apps are moving in. Netflix should also work for the first time.
For installation, the W4000i offers plenty of convenience with a 1.3x zoom lens and the ability to adjust the image vertically and horizontally to the screen via lens shift. BenQ puts the price at 2,999 euros.
Scope of delivery
The BenQ W4000i is delivered well-protected in a purist-looking box. In addition to the W4000i, this includes a lens cover, a power cable, a guarantee card, a quick start guide, and the calibration protocol. Two remote controls with batteries and the Android TV dongle QS02 complete the wide range of accessories.
The DGD5 3D glasses and the CMG3 universal ceiling mount from BenQ are optionally available for an extra charge.
Optics and design
With its rounded corners, the BenQ W4000i looks modern. Combined with the black finish, the projector can be integrated quite unobtrusively into dedicated home cinema rooms. In contrast to white models, it reflects less scattered light.
With a weight of 6.2 kg, it can be fixed to standard ceiling mounts and is not too heavy to occasionally take to lectures or friends.
The controls for focus and zoom are embedded on the top of the housing. A flap closes the recess if necessary. This is good for the optics and prevents accidental adjustment of sharpness and image size.
Two knobs for a horizontal and vertical lens shift are a rarity in DLP projectors in this price range and are worthy of praise. The image can be shifted 60% vertically and 15% horizontally.
If the remote control is not at hand or the batteries are empty, all settings can be made directly on the projector. A full keyboard is embedded on the right side to perform all relevant functions.
We like the rubberized feet because they protect sensitive surfaces from unsightly scratches. Especially with temporary use on the living room table or the go with friends, it is guaranteed that the surface remains undamaged.
Overall, the look and feel are very valuable. The workmanship is flawless, and the design is well thought out. The BenQ W4000i stands out pleasantly from cheaper models.
All connections are on the back of the projector. Two HDMI ports enable the connection of AV receivers and a games console. eARC is supported to route sound signals back to the AVR. This is particularly useful when content is received from the projector via the QS02 dongle. The sound is output via the HDMI audio return channel to use external 5.1 or Dolby Atmos speaker systems in the home cinema.
One of the two USB ports includes a media reader. This allows photos and films to be directly played via a USB stick or an external hard drive. The second USB-A is intended for updates and the power supply or charging of external sources such as 3D glasses. S/PDIF and audio-out enable audio signals to be transmitted to an AV receiver or an external soundbar, but only in 5.1 or 2.0. The network connection can be made via LAN. The 12V trigger is commonly used to connect a motorized screen. This way, it automatically retracts/extends as soon as the BenQ W4000i is switched on or off.
We find the device security for a Kensington cable lock very practical when the projector is used at trade fairs or presentations and is temporarily unattended.
Set-up is pleasantly simple with the BenQ W4000i because its offset can be installed at the bottom or overhead at the top of the screen.
The BenQ W4000i does not have an electrical image adjustment or autofocus. Image position, size, and sharpness can only be adjusted by hand. The individual controllers have a valuable feel. Nothing rubs, jerks, or scrapes; everything runs smoothly and smoothly. In addition, neither the image nor the focus “jump” but allow the desired point to be approached precisely. We precisely aligned the image on our test screen within a few minutes.
The automatic 2D keystone correction supports the installation. The tool automatically aligns the image geometrically correctly in an oblique projection. Manual interventions are also possible.
However, this feature reduces the resolution because the geometric adjustment is made by reducing the image size on the DLP chip. We, therefore, recommend setting up the projector as vertically as possible so that the keystone correction can be dispensed with. If this is not possible on the go, the feet can be twisted out to get films and photos further up.
The lens has a zoom factor 1.3 with a ratio of 1.15-1.50. From a distance of 2.30-3.00 m, the BenQ W4000i can fully illuminate a 2 m wide 16:9 screen. This makes the projector one of the models that produce large images from a short distance. On the other hand, it is less suitable for long living rooms because the picture is too large. From a distance of 8 m, the picture does not become smaller than 5.33 m. However, the light output is insufficient to illuminate such a large screen adequately.
The distance table below shows the installation options in detail for a projection in 16:9 format:
A sliding flap has been implemented for optical reasons and to prevent accidental image size or sharpness adjustment.
Like projectors with high-pressure lamps and laser light sources, the BenQ W4000i also needs around 30 minutes to reach its optimal operating point. Until then, colors, sharpness, and image position can still change slightly. However, the LED light source can create a color-coherent image after just a few seconds without an unsightly green color cast. Image position and sharpness are also correct in our test sample immediately after switching on.
If the projector is switched off at the end, the cooling phase is about 10 seconds, after which the projector is on standby. Minute delays are alien to him, as is often the case with projectors with high-pressure lamps.
The manufacturer puts the power consumption at 380 W. Fortunately; our measurements show that the maximum consumption of 173 W in high light mode is significantly lower. The standby requirement is also exemplary at 0.1 W.
Projectors with high-pressure lamps and laser light sources with comparable maximum brightness regularly have a power consumption of >500 W. This means that the BenQ W4000i with LED light source is significantly more economical in energy consumption.
|Lamp power: “High”||173 w||0.1W|
* Power consumption in watts/hour
Operating noise, cooling, and maintenance
According to the manufacturer, the operating noise is 30 dB(A) in high light mode and 28 dB(A) in eco mode. Our measurement confirms this value from a distance of 1 m in front of the projector.
Cooling is provided by several fans, which remove the waste heat from the side of the case. The fans have a pleasantly sonorous sound so that they are audible in high light mode but are not disturbing for us. Even quiet dialogues from the speakers allow the operating noise to recede into the background.
In eco mode, the BenQ W4000i is barely audible in the room. The situation is different with the SmartEco mode. This is dynamic brightness control. This regulates not only the LED light source but also the fan control. Depending on the content and thus the light output, the fans sometimes run faster, sometimes slower to cool the light source. This constant change is more noticeable than a constant level.
BenQ puts the lifespan of the LED light source at 20,000 hours in normal (high) light mode and 30,000 hours in eco mode. These are significantly higher values than are usually achieved by high-pressure lamps, which should be changed after around 2000 hours because their light output has already been massively reduced by then. Not so with LEDs. Due to the long service life, expensive lamp replacement is no longer necessary.
To put the statement in figures: If the BenQ W4000i is used to watch a two-hour film daily, the lifespan in high light mode is over 27 years. This does not mean that the device is defective, but it has only lost 50% of its light output and can, of course, continue to be used – but then it is only half as bright.
Maintenance by the user is unnecessary because the BenQ W4000i has no components requiring special care. No air filters must be changed or cleaned regularly because they are not required with DLP technology. At best, the lens should be dusted occasionally to maintain image quality.
BenQ included two hand-held transmitters with the projector. The larger remote control enables complete device control. This includes the settings in the on-screen menu and the use of smart functions, including voice control. The smaller remote control is only for smart functions (see below). It has four direct selection buttons for YouTube, Prime Video, Netflix, and Disney+.
BenQ has modified the labeling of the on-screen menu. All tools are now clearly named and self-explanatory. Navigating through the OSD is quick and without delays. A basic menu is active ex works, in which rudimentary settings are possible. These relate to selecting picture mode, sound mode, light source mode, 2D keystone correction, quick mode, HDR brightness, information, and menu type.
All menus were superimposed on the image signals played to make the parameters legible. We changed the menu type “Standard” to “Advanced” to be able to make more in-depth settings.
The ISF menu can be found under “System” and can only be opened with a code. Unfortunately, we don’t have this, so we can’t access it. We don’t mind this fact because the BenQ W4000i is already well-calibrated out of the box (see measurements below) and has all the necessary adjustment options to trim the colors to taste.
For calibration, the BenQ W4000i has 6-axis color management for red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, yellow, and white point. In addition, the gamma can be adjusted rudimentarily. Fixed presets such as 2.2 and 2.4 are available for this.
We initially didn’t find the “Recommended Color Temperature” preset particularly meaningful. On closer examination, we find that the grayscale gradient cannot only be adjusted at two points, as is usual with conventional gain/offset adjustments. Rather, RGB and thus also the gamma can be adjusted at eleven positions by raising or lowering RGB equally. It’s an eleven-point color equalizer.
However, the classic gain/offset controls must not be dispensed with. The BenQ W4000i also implemented this. Since the individual menus interact, we calibrated them with the color equalizer.
The aspect ratio can be adjusted under “Display.” Normally the factory setting “Auto” is sufficient to protect all content in the correct format. Now an aspect ratio of 2.4:1 is listed there. This feature is for home theater owners who use an anamorphic lens in front of the projector to experience 16:9 content (such as a football broadcast or the Tom & Jerry movie) with a constant height on a cinemascope format screen. Unfortunately, the way BenQ implemented the feature is unusable – because no other mode distorts films with letterbox bars in the vertical direction. Since such a mode does not exist, using an anamorphic lens in combination with the W4000i makes no sense.
The “i” at the end of the product name of the BenQ W4000i is the abbreviation for “intelligence” and stands for smart functions. For this purpose, the manufacturer has included an Android TV stick with a projector plugged into the back and supplied with power. A Phillips screwdriver is required for assembly, which is not part of the accessories but should be in every well-stocked toolbox.
Immediately after switching on for the first time, the projector is connected to its network. Passwords with more than 20 digits are recognized.
To use voice control, we connect the projector to our Google account. All smart functions can be used immediately. These include Chromecast, Google Cast, AirPlay, and Bluetooth. Even live transmissions from the smartphone to the projector are possible.
There are plenty of streaming services available. The BenQ W4000i is one of the few projectors that support practically all services we know from Android TV TV sets. These include Netflix, Disney+, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, DAZN, WOW, Apple TV+, RTL+, public broadcasters, and their media libraries.
The navigation through the typical tile menu of Android TV and the voice control work flawlessly and reliably.
BenQ advertises the W4000i with 4K UHD and a native resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. Strictly speaking, I’m afraid that’s not right. A 0.65-inch DMD with Full HD resolution is installed. The projector accepts image signals up to UHD, processes them, and projects them sequentially via XPR technology. Overall, this looks much better than Full HD but does not quite come close to real UHD resolution because the pixels are only displayed one above the other/one after the other.
If you want a true-to-the-original 4K UHD resolution, you must spend at least 5,000 euros for a projector with LCOS technology. All light projectors priced below this currently work with electrical shift technology.
The BenQ W4000i scales practically all image signals up to 2160p to its native resolution. Exceptions are 3D content projected with 1920 x 1080 pixels because XPR shift is deactivated for this.
One-chip DLP projectors have the advantage that they can display details in the best possible way because, in contrast to conventional LCD and LCOS models, three chips do not have to be matched to each other. For this reason, the BenQ W4000i has no convergence errors.
Our test sample doesn’t show any weaknesses in terms of sharpness. All lines are reproduced right to the edge without reaching the perfection of the original file. The result can still be rated very good because the BenQ W4000i hardly omits any relevant details.
The minimal coloring on the bottom left and bottom right is due to the lens, which causes slight chromatic aberrations in the peripheral areas. We can detect this well with our test image. In practice, these colorings in pixel size do not play a role because they are not visible from normal seated distances. You have to go right up to the screen to see it.
In terms of sharpness, we cannot see any differences between the center and the edges. This is a remarkably good result compared to other projectors.
Since BenQ individually calibrated the projector before delivery, we first checked the “Cinema” picture mode. As advertised, the HDTV color space Rec. 709 is covered 100%. The primary and secondary colors practically make point landings. By calibrating, the improvement only has academic value. The differences are not visible in the film because they are too small for that.
The UHD color space DCI-P3 is also covered with 100%. With UHD, this very good value is achieved with the help of a WCG filter (“Wide Color Gamut”) that BenQ has implemented in the projector. If the filter is moved out of the light path, the DCI-P3 color space is reduced to 85%. But the picture is considerably brighter. Despite the better color representation with the WCG filter, we prefer the higher light output with HDR content. The colors are brighter, which is particularly beneficial for films on larger screens.
The grayscale gradient is already very good in the factory settings. The deviations of the Delta-E values are 1.0% on average, a maximum of 1.6%. After calibration, we would also like to see such good color reproduction in other projectors. Adjustments to the factory-calibrated picture mode are unnecessary. With the help of the color equalizer, we improved the minimal deviations further so that the average deviation in Delta E is 0.5% and a maximum of 0.8%.
The gamma describes the increase in brightness from black to white. Ideally, this runs around 2.2. The BenQ W4000i already displays the gamma properly in the factory setting. The slight deviations are not relevant in practice. The result is that all the detail present is reproduced on the canvas in both dark and light content.
Brightness, black level, and contrast
BenQ has implemented a 4LED light source in the W4000i. What is special about it is that there is another diode in addition to the three LEDs that produce the primary colors red, green, and blue. This also outputs blue, which is converted to green using a filter. This addition increases the luminous efficacy considerably.
As expected, we measure the highest light output in the “Bright” picture mode. Here, our test sample slightly exceeds its advertised maximum brightness of 3200 lumens with 3260 lumens. However, it produces this light output with a color temperature too cool, so we can only recommend this mode for presentations in rooms with controlled ambient light.
The result of the factory setting “Cinema” is much better. With 1700 lumens, the maximum brightness is much darker in comparison, but we are pleased with the extremely precise color representation. During the calibration, we increased the maximum brightness to 1770 lumens. Image widths of up to 4.30 m are ultimately illuminated with 16-foot lamberts.
For films in HDR, we recommend a screen width of up to 3.10 m. More is impossible with 1805 lumens, which the projector achieves with HDR signals. Background: We need a luminance of 32-foot-lamberts for HDR to adequately display highlights over the surface white of 100 cd/m² (16-foot-lamberts). The 1805 lumens are achieved in HDR10 mode without a wide color gamut filter. If the WCG filter is pushed into the light path, the light output is reduced by around 33%. The resulting 1265 lumens are sufficient for screen widths of up to 2.50 m if 32-foot lamberts are applied at the top.
The contrast values we determined are far behind the advertised manufacturer’s information of 2,000,000:1. We couldn’t determine a value in any mode that even came close to the factory specification. The LEDs would have to switch off completely when playing a black image, which is impractical.
We determine the static on/off contrast in the “Cinema” picture mode with 1030:1 for SDR. This can be increased dynamically up to 2195:1. The static contrast range for UHD is in the same range at 1045:1. Dynamically, the value of 2200:1 does not differ significantly from SDR. All in all, these are typical values for a DLP projector.
The checkerboard contrast (ANSI) 320:1 is good for a projector in this price segment.
With 0.80 lumens (dynamic) to 1.71 lumens (native), the black needs improvement and can rather be described as dark gray.
|Cinema (D65 calibrated)||1770|
|Cinema (in a factory setting)||1700|
|HDR10 (without filters)||1805|
|HDR10 (with filter)||1265|
We examine the brightness distribution and color homogeneity with a 100% white image measured at nine points. From this we first calculate the brightness deviations from the center. The perception threshold for differences in brightness is around 10%.
|– 6%||+ 2%||+ 6%|
|– 6%||0%||+ 3%|
|– 6%||– 5%||0%|
The unweighted average brightness is an excellent 96%. There aren’t any deviations worth mentioning; they are all below the perception threshold. There are also no discernible fluctuations in the color temperature.
All 256 gray levels of a jpg test image are displayed. The value range of 16 (black) to 235 (white), which is relevant for HDTV films, is completely reproduced by our test sample. There is, therefore, no black content, and nothing spills out into white.
The color temperature hits the spot with 6500 K after calibration. In the factory setting, this value deviates from the target by around 130 K. That is 2%, within the typical range of measurement repeatability and tolerance.
While the skin tones of the ladies look natural, a few shades of green are lost in the color scale. On the other hand, moiré effects in the fine lines do not occur. Thanks to the excellent sharpness, there are neither seams nor aliasing effects.
The BenQ 4000i presents skin colors very naturally. The yellow rapeseed field, the blue sky with the white clouds, and even the black and white backgrounds shine true to the original.
Photographers and film fans benefit from the excellent color display of the BenQ W4000i. Images in sRGB and Rec. 709 are reproduced on the screen true to the original.
Feature films are shown at 24, 50, and 60 Hz. The XPR shift causes minimal jerking during horizontal pans and vertical tickers because the content is projected one after the other (sequentially). The user can counteract this circumstance by switching the interframe calculation to “Low.” The low level maintains the typical film look and produces no visible errors in our footage. If the FI is set to “High,” typical artifacts such as grittiness around fine structures such as hair increase visibly. In addition, a soap opera effect is already present on “Medium”.
The interframe calculation is a little hidden in the OSD. It can be found in the “CinemaMaster” menu – under the meaningless “Motion Enhancer 4K ”.
Feature films in HDR from the 4K UHD Blu-ray are projected from 0.0 to 1000 cd/m² as part of the tone mapping, just like streaming providers. Signals in the source material fade into white and can no longer be seen. The BenQ W4000i automatically recognizes films in HDR10+ and activates its image preset in which further adjustments are possible. Our test subject convincingly demonstrates the great advantage of HDR10 +. Unlike static tone mapping, the value range is not adjusted once but individually for each frame.
In the 2021 remake of West Side Story, all the details are revealed at night. The lettering “Frankfurters” can be read on the right side, and even the windows above are excellently peeled out. The lights reflecting on the road will not burn out. In addition, the red “Gimbels” neon lettering is bright and luminous. The smocks glow impressively when Maria and her colleagues clean the department store. Even if the letterbox bars appear dark gray, the image has no gray haze.
The five-watt mono speaker is nothing more than a makeshift solution for on-the-go. For example, anyone who projects a football game on a mobile device can understand the presenter well. The levels are sufficient for a 20 m² room. Different sound modes spice up the sound a bit. The sound never surpasses the level of very cheap soundbars. Anyone who runs a home cinema at home usually has at least one 5.1 speaker system installed. This is preferable to the speaker in the BenQ W4000i.
|Scope of delivery:||5/5|
|Ports and Connectivity:||5/5|
|Optics, mechanics, and processing:||5/5|
|Power consumption and follow-up costs (lamp replacement):||5/5|
|Operation/ OSD :||5/5|
|Image quality (overall):||5/5|
|Brightness / black level and contrast:||4/5|
|Scaling and interpolation:||5/5|
|Suitability for presentations:||3/5|
|Suitability for entertainment:||5/5|
|Suitability for home cinema:||5/5|
|Price (incl. VAT in euros):||Approx. €4,355.24|
The BenQ W4000i is a home cinema projector with 4K XPR Shift technology and a long-lasting LED light source. It is only available with a black finish to create as little scattered light as possible in the room. With a weight of 6.2 kg, it can be mounted on commercially available ceiling mounts. Plus, it’s light enough to take with you to friends. With an input lag of 8.7 ms (1080p @ 240 Hz), the device is fast enough for leisure gamers.
Setup and installation are quick and easy. The 1.3x zoom lens and the horizontal and vertical lens shift offer enough flexibility for the final alignment of the image on the screen.
Two remote controls are included for control, with the larger remote control being sufficient for navigating quickly through the newly designed OSD and using the smart functions.
The Android TV operating system provides plenty of entertainment options with numerous apps, Chromecast, Bluetooth, AirPlay, and Google Cast.
Before delivery, the BenQ W4000i is individually calibrated. Its precise color representation and high light output impress. In addition, the power consumption is pleasantly low.
In addition to the static technologies HDR10 and HLG for broadcast, High Dynamic Range also offers the dynamic format HDR10+. Combined with the local contrast enhancer and excellent sharpness, the BenQ W4000i catches up with significantly more expensive projectors.
- Durable LED light source with high light output
- Factory-calibrated with excellent color representation
- Smart functions that leave nothing to be desired – with numerous apps, Bluetooth, Chromecast and AirPlay
- media player
- Low input lag
- Good usability
- Very good sharpness and illumination
- Quiet, energy-efficient, and maintenance free
- 100% color space coverage of DCI-P3 and Rec. 709
- Black level to improve
- WCG filter reduces light output by 33%