With TVs becoming smarter, bigger and most importantly, affordable, where do projectors go? By the looks of how projector-makers are continuing to launch premium products, the answer for now seems to be — nowhere. One of the reasons for this is that as TV panel sizes increase beyond 55 inches, the prices don’t stay too affordable. So that gives enough reason for the purists to spend on a projector that literally brings home the theatre experience.
Earlier this year, BenQ, which is quite synonymous with projection solutions, launched two 4K projectors — the W2700 and the W5700. These projectors also support HDR-PRO and are individually factory calibrated. We got a chance to use the W2700, the cheaper of the two.
On unboxing it, the first thing we noticed was that the plug was made for a US plug point, so keep an adapter handy. The W2700 isn’t too bulky and looks quite staid, but in a way that will enable it to take up space non-intrusively in your hall or living room. The unit is white with a black dial on the top for throw size and focus adjustment. The back of the unit has all the ports and power input jack. The bottom comes with an adjustable screw in the middle so you can aim the throw at your screen (up-down adjustment).
The unit came with just the power cable along with a remote control. BenQ could have accessorised this product better, maybe by throwing in a HDMI cable along with a plug adapter.
Once you’ve figured out your input method (we used HDMI from a laptop and set-top box), everything is pretty much simple. Power it on and after the lamp has warmed and lit up, the W2700 will auto-detect the source and display it on your screen. The screen size can go up nicely depending on how far you place the unit so you’re not in want of a big picture.
One advantage of the W2700 is that it can throw a fairly large picture even when it is set quite close to the screen — for example, less than two metres — this is handy when the room is small or when there are space constraints.
The display is specified at a pixel resolution of 3840x2160 with 8.3 million distinct pixels for each frame. If you get 4K content, the projector will show you what it is capable of. Colours are reproduced so well, they looked like they have been artificially enhanced to near perfection. Even regular shots look like they are close-ups, such is the detail. We even projected on a cream-coloured wall and the picture was almost as good as that on a screen, which again, is good news logistically. Even with no 4K content, connecting to a HD source will not disappoint. Stray light can somewhat mar the experience, so we recommend ensuring that the room is pitch dark.
The W2700 has two 5W speakers that are more than adequate for a regular-sized room. Sound reproduction is full and doesn’t sound hollow. However, the fan can get quite noisy and we noticed the top of the projector getting quite toasty during use. The remote control is very handy and helps you adjust picture, control HDR, and has keystone correction, in addition to the usual features.
The W2700 is a machine that is for serious cinema watchers willing to invest in it to get the most out of their movie libraries or Netflix and other service providers. At about ₹2.5 lakh, it does command a certain investment, but if you have the dough and are in the market for a projector that doesn’t compromise much, the W2700 could be up your alley.
Pros: Excellent picture, easy to set up and use, 4K enabled
Cons: Fan noise can get loud, top heats up quick, no accessories in the box