BenQ W1210ST short-throw gaming projector

Written by Jake Tucker

March 27, 2017 | 13:15

Tags: #projector

Companies: #benq

BenQ W1210ST projector review
Picture Quality

I've used the W1210ST for nearly the entire week I've had access to it, as the quality is much better than my 1080p TV. I turned off noise reduction out of the box, and it looks fairly sharp with both game and video playback.

Here's the big thing though: it's capable of throwing an 100 inch image on the wall at 1.5 metres, which is great if you don't have a lot of space.

For games, I used the Game and Game Bright presets, which were great for playing games, changing the saturation and contrast. I noticed a little bit of lost detail in the darker aspects of Horizon: Zero Dawn, but playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild I didn't see many problems with the colours at all, with them feeling perhaps more vibrant in Zelda's bright world then on the television. Moving too quickly could occasionally cause noise around the edges of the image, but only when I was looking for it. It's not something that wound me up at all when I was using it to play games.

It's not a 4K projector, which will put some off as the console revolution thunders into 4K resolution, but it was good enough where I was concerned. Watching Blu-rays on the PS4, I saw that colours popped a bit more than they did on my TV, but it handled the colours well, even during faster scenes. I watched John Wick and Point Break on the projector, giving me a solid mix of contrasts and a mix of light and dark scenes.

I did notice noise in the darker backdrops which was occasionally distracting and there was a slight loss of detail. There weren't many issues with the brighter scenes though, and fiddling with presets meant I could handle bright whites and vivid scenes without any detail loss no matter how much ambient light was in the room.

BenQ W1210ST projector review

Making the most of it


The W1210ST has plenty of different image presets, with Normal, Smart Eco and Eco Lamp settings. I found myself using the Normal setting a lot, as I have quite a lot of ambient light in the room, although there's also both a Game and Game Bright mode, with Game good for playing games in a darkened room and Game Bright tackling ambient light quite well.

Playing games on it? You'll want to activate Fast Mode. I tested this, and the Fast Mode option has an input of around 10ms. This is lightning-fast in projector terms, and while I don't typically review projectors, it's the fastest speed I've found out of any review online. Parappa the Rapper victory could be mine, at last.

The W1210ST has two HDMI and one VGA port, which did mean I had to switch cables a little, but if you don't have a stack of HDMI-connecting devices you'll be okay. If you fancy bringing the price up a little further, you can also pick up a wireless HDMI kit for £325, but I didn't get to test one of these, and it is a lot of money.

The design of the projector lends itself to solid audio playback. There are a pair of chamber speakers housed in resonant sound chambers inside the projector, which means it sounds better in practice then the technology might suggest. It's decent, better than many projectors, but I found it was drowned out by the fans sometimes and raising the volume tended to distort the sound, messing with voices and music. I'd recommend the use of the system's audio inputs instead.

A slight observation on lamp life, although it's hard to say this early, is that I used the projector for 100-150 hours over the course of the week I had it set up and it didn't seem to lose any brightness. It's difficult to say how this will play out over the several thousand hours you might expect to use it, but I felt like it was important to mention.

BenQ W1210ST projector review
Conclusion

I don't usually review projectors, but if you don't know, I'm bit-tech's resident game monkey. As a games fan with a bunch of consoles and the desire to use them, I can tell you that I enjoyed my time with the W1210ST. It's expensive but has more than enough features and quality to justify the price over a cheaper projector.

It seems more geared towards gamers than moviegoers, which is why I got the nudge to review it, but it's a solid projection bundle, and if you've got the space for it and you're looking to buy, BenQ's W1210ST is a safe bet.

BenQ W1210ST projector review

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