BenQ W1200 review

Best projector up to £1500, Awards 2012.BenQ rewrites the rules for budget projectors with the W1200 Tested at £1100

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Best projector up to £1500, Awards 2012. A brilliantly accomplished performer and a must-see projector


  • +

    Build quality and spec

  • +

    fine picture, with excellent contrasts and heroic levels of detail


  • -

    No vertical lens shift, so it’s not ideal for using on a coffee table

  • -

    motion processing can occasionally look unnatural

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

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 about
Criticisms 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.

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?

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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