• BenQ W1200
Our Verdict 
Best projector up to £1500, Awards 2012. A brilliantly accomplished performer and a must-see projector
For 
Build quality and spec
fine picture, with excellent contrasts and heroic levels of detail
Against 
No vertical lens shift, so it’s not ideal for using on a coffee table
motion processing can occasionally look unnatural
Reviewed on

We’ve become used to the ever-increasing quality and value offered by today’s display devices but, even so, there’s still room for the occasional surprise package. And that’s certainly what BenQ has managed to deliver with the W1200.

Simply put, this compact projector is almost insanely cheap. It’s so impressive, it can stand comparison with the best £2000 designs on the market – and possibly even products costing more than that. And you can buy it for significantly less than the £1200 price we tested it at...

Based on DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology, the BenQ combines a useful degree of plug-in-and-go simplicity with all the adjustability an enthusiast could want, including provision for a professional picture calibration by an ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) technician.

Very little to complain aboutCriticisms are few: there’s no vertical lens shift adjustment so, unlike Epson’s rival designs, a table-top installation might be a little more convoluted than with some rivals.

You might also find that the Frame Interpolation processing – which attempts to smooth motion, much as similar modes would do on the latest smart TVs – can be a hit and miss affair, with movement on the ‘smoothed’ film frequently looking too much like video for our tastes. However - as with TV processing - you can turn this feature off if you prefer.

More after the break

Otherwise, you’ve got it all here: bright, punchy whites, spectacular colours, respectable black depth and very little apparent picture noise, plus no discernible deterioration from the so-called ‘rainbow effect’, which can plague cheap DLP projectors.

It’s even fairly quiet. What more do you want – cake?

Follow whathifi on Twitter

Join whathifi on Facebook