BenQ W1210ST projector reviewManufacturer:
UK price: £999
I've always loved the idea of a projector. There's an idealised version of my living room where I have a projector setup instead of my television, beaming high-quality images onto a lovely spacious wall so I can watch movies at cinema quality, and enjoy games rendered in crisp HD, 100 inches across.
After all, I review games for a living and some of these games are on the Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One that sit under my TV. Isn't it right that I should go through my workday in relative comfort?
Sadly, despite this being a long-held dream of mine, reality always comes along to bring me down to earth with a bump. I live in a London flat alongside my partner with rooms that don't suit the throw-range of many projectors. For gaming, input lag is a killer, with titles that require frame-perfect controls often nearly impossible to play on projectors, leaving me in several cases exploding with rage at my PlayStation copy of Parappa the Rapper.
Enter then, the 1080p-capable BenQ W1210ST, a projector that is aiming at the "gamer" market, and promises to take care of all of my problems. How does it fare? Let's start from the top.
The W1210ST is a good-looking projector, if not a little large for casual use. You won't notice if you strap this to your ceiling or hide it away, but the W1210ST is bulky (W380.5 x H121.7 x D277mm). It's light enough to be reasonably portable, and it comes with an attractive carry bag.
Get past the size and you immediately notice the all-glossy-white surfaces along with smooth curves that are picked out with matte silver and red detailing. It's not all flash: the lens on the projector is recessed and has a detachable cover. It means you're less likely to knock or hit it if you have to move it between rooms.
The remote control that ships with the projector is comfortable in the hand, large, and has a spacious button layout. I didn't use the remote much because I had the projector set up on my coffee table, right next to where I was sat, but I was impressed with the build quality on the remote control and really, the whole projector.
I'm a technical idiot, but the W1210ST had a first-time setup guide that made things easy, held my hand, and told me everything was going to be okay. Once I was done with that, the image quality was fairly decent.
If you want to make some adjustments yourself, there are simple focus and zoom adjustment wheels on the top edge of the projector, and they're easy to use too. A big turn of the wheel creates a fairly small movement on the screen, meaning it's easy to make minute adjustments, and I found I was easily able to get a decent 100-inch image onto my wall from 1.5m, but I ended up projecting a smaller image much closer, which you can see in the taken photos.
I did notice the lack of a vertical image shifter, meaning I had to use a drop-down leg located under the front edge to angle my projector upwards, at one stage propping it up with a book to get it to project over the top of my television. This likely wouldn't be an issue if this was my full-time solution and I didn't have a TV, but if I'd bought this projector at full price I'd be annoyed I then had to balance it on a few books to get the image in the right place.