What is the BenQ W1090?
There are quite a number of budget projectors from BenQ and other manufacturers available for under £1000, so what makes the W1090 stand out? Let’s see.
Design, Connections and Control
The remote control supplied with the BenQ is the same model supplied with all their budget projectors and is also white in colour. It has a red back light for use in the dark and all the important controls are within easy thumb reach whilst held in the hand. To the top are the power buttons and image control selections for 3D and PIP. Below these are the main menu direction key and OK button and directly below this are the Menu, Source and Back keys. Finally at the bottom of the remote are direct keys for keystone, colour temp and other picture controls. All-in-all the remote is perfectly suited to the W1090 and price point.
Whilst most TV manufacturers are doing away with 3D playback in their latest TVs, thankfully almost all projector makers are sticking with the format and why not! Large 100-inch plus screen sizes add to the enveloping nature of 3D viewing and can pull the viewer into the ultimate in immersive experiences in the home. The BenQ W1090 is 3D capable and uses optional active glasses.
The BenQ also has a short throw lens which means you can get a 100-inch screen from just 2.5 meters away from your screen or a white wall. But fan noise is an issue if you are going to place the projector close to your viewing position with 36dB in Normal lamp and 32dB in low lamp modes.
MORE: Should I get my projector professionally calibrated?
Colour accuracy (top right) was also very good and it is great to see that BenQ’s recent models have all managed to at least cover the Rec.709 colour gamut for HD content. Some previous DLP projectors have struggled to get as wide as Rec.709 out of the box, with green usually the issue due to the colour wheels used. However this has changed for the better and despite a few issues with hue and saturation mainly caused by the colour temperature being slightly blue/cyan biased out of the box, at the price point it is very impressive. When you consider that a professional calibration is around 50% of the price of this projector and is not cost effective, having out of the box presets capable of results similar to these does help get the best from the W1090.
After fixing the greyscale we just needed to lightly touch up the Colour Management System (CMS) to get the colour gamut (top right) looking spot on. Tracking saturation from 25% to 100% showed how accurate the W1090 was capable of being and this didn’t affect the colour luminance (not shown in the graphs). Overall for a £700 projector the controls and image accuracy could show up some more expensive models out in the market.
Where the BenQ does excel is with big screen sports and gaming. The input lag is just 33ms as measured by our Leo Bodner device, which makes it an ideal option for big screen gaming with your mates. Given the portability it also opens up the option of taking the projector around to your mate's house or storing it away in a cupboard after use. In this role the bright and colourful images that the W1090 is capable of add to the thrill of the big screen fun. Add in excellent motion handling and no banding within the image at all and you also have the perfect big screen football display. This is also where the accurate colours and excellent greyscale add to the image quality – just keep it out of the overly garish sports/football mode, use cinema or user instead. Sharpness is good and movement is fluid, which means that as long as you dim the lights and draw the curtains, you will be treated to an excellent sporting image with decent contrast.
If movies are your thing then there are better projectors out there for the cinephile, but if you want a great all-rounder, the BenQ offers decent images if you forgive the blacks and don’t go watching Arrival on it. Where it really excels is with 3D playback and with 100” wide images on offer you truly get that immersive 3D experience with the BenQ. Motion handling is superb which means little to no ghosting and no crosstalk at all. Plus in high lamp mode and wearing the latest (optional) glasses with lighter lenses, you are treated to very good brightness levels, which brings the 3D images to life as expected.
As an all-rounder for portable gaming, movies and big screen sports, you can forgive the weak blacks and enjoy the other excellent image attributes that the W1090 offers. Plus, if you normally suffer from rainbow effects with DLP machines, the new RGBRGB colour wheel in the BenQ does reduce instances of this effect; so get a demo if you can.
BenQ W1090 Video Review
- Good all rounder
- Good picture presets that are accurate out of the box
- Excellent 3D performance
- Good gaming lag at 33ms
- Very good motion for sports viewing
- Portable and has optional wireless HD capability
- Accurate colours and greyscale after calibration
- Weak black levels and shadow details
- Not a home cinema projector
- Loud fan noise
- Some rainbow effect still noticeable
BenQ W1090 DLP Projector Review
As such we are really struggling to think of any all-round rival at the price point, other than other models in the BenQ stable. If DLP rainbows are an issue for you or you want a different option you could look at the Epson EH-TW5350 3LCD model which also offers good 3D, decent gaming lag at 28ms and a dynamic iris.
Overall BenQ has produced yet another all-star in its budget DLP line-up of projectors and it comes recommended.
MORE: Projector Reviews
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black levels
2D Picture Quality
3D Picture Quality
Picture Quality Out-of-the-Box
Picture Quality Calibrated
Ease Of Use
Value For Money
Our Review Ethos
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