Design and Connections
It's business as usual in the looks department, with the W750 sporting the same basic design as many of BenQ's other projectors. It uses a two-tone chassis with compact size and a reasonable level of build quality. In terms of dimensions, it measures 325 x 141 x 242mm and it weighs 2.6kgs. There is a large exhaust vent on the front left, with an intake grille on the right hand side of the chassis and a built-in speaker. As is often the case with budget projectors there is also quite a lot of light spill through the exhaust vents and the W750 is fairly noisy, especially in Normal mode. There is an access panel at the top for changing the lamp and a detachable lens cap to keep out the dust.
The rather small and cheap lens is offset to the right and there are manual zoom and focus rotary controls which can be accessed from the top of the chassis. The W750 has a limited amount of optical zoom and has clearly been designed for use in smaller rooms, which makes sense. There is a foot at the front that can be used to angle the projector upwards and one at the right rear that can be used to angle it down slightly or level the chassis. At the top rear of the chassis there is a basic control panel, just in case you lose the remote control, which given its size is quite likely.
All the connections are at the rear and it's a fairly standard selection for a modern projector - there are two HDMI inputs, a VGA connector, a component video input, a composite video input and unusually these days a S-Video input. Since there is a built-in speaker you also get 3.5mm audio in and out jacks, along with a L/R stereo input. Finally there is a mini-USB port and an RS232 connector for system control, along with a three-pin power connector. We found that the W750 could be a little slow at HDMI handshaking but it didn't have any problems locating all the attached devices.
The W750 comes with BenQ's rinky-dink remote that is not only too small to easily use but suffers from an unintuitive button layout. For example, the Menu button is at the top left hand corner above the navigation buttons, whilst the button for blanking the screen is at the bottom left hand corner. So not only was the menu button hard to locate when setting the W750 up but we often found ourselves blanking the screen by accident. There is also no backlight, making the remote even harder to use in the dark. Definitely time for a rethink BenQ.
BenQ's 3D glasses have had a redesign, presumably to accommodate the addition of 'triple flash', and they're all the better for it. Gone are the enormous and rather heavy 'welder's goggles', replaced by a far more elegant and lightweight design. The new glasses fit comfortably over prescription spectacles and the lenses offer a reasonably wide field of view. They are rechargeable via USB and there's a small button on the left hand side to turn them on. We had no trouble syncing them to the infrared signal from the W750 and the connection was robust with no loss of signal. The glasses will automatically turn themselves off when they don't receive an IR synch signal from the projector.
Menus and Setup
The Display menu screen allows you to select the appropriate aspect ratio (Real is the best choice for high definition content), keystone adjustments (avoid), the screen position (only available with a PC signal), overscan (again avoid using), PC & component YPbPr tuning, digital zoom, film mode (leave on), 3D comb filter and the 3D submenu. In the latter you can select the 3D mode, Auto is best, and 3D sync invert.
The Picture menu screen contains all the important controls relating to picture quality, including the preset mode (Cinema, Dynamic, Standard, User1/2/3, 3D), brightness, contrast, colour, tint, sharpness, colour temperature and lamp power.
From the Picture menu screen, you can also access the Advanced submenu where you'll find the clarity control (which is a noise reduction feature), the colour temperature fine tuning (a two-point white balance control), you can select the gamma curve, turn the BrilliantColor feature on or off and access the colour management system (CMS).
As you can see from the RGB Balance chart above left, the greyscale was actually very good, with only minor DeltaE errors. There was slightly too much blue but overall this was an impressive out-of-the-box performance from a projector at this price point. Aside from a slight bump at 10 IRE, the gamma curve was tracking quite closely to our 2.2 target and the inclusion of a two-point white balance control should allow us to correct the greyscale. In terms of the colour gamut, this was again an impressive performance with all the colours close to their targets for Rec.709 and any errors were at the visible threshold. Since the W750 has a colour management system so we should be able to fine tune the performance further.
As it turned out, calibrating the greyscale was quite easy, all we needed to do was just up the green gain control a few notches and drop the blue slightly, after which the results were basically perfect. As you can see in the RGB Balance chart above, all three primary colours are measuring in equal amounts at our target of 100. As a result the errors are all below one, there was no discolouration in the greyscale and white was hitting the industry standard of D65. The gamma curve was also measuring at our target of 2.2, apart from a slight bump at 10 IRE and a slight dip at 90 IRE. Overall this is an excellent greyscale and gamma performance from a projector at this price point.
The inclusion of a colour management system allowed us to improve the colour accuracy and we were able to get the luminance measurements spot on for all the colours, which is a good start as that is the element of colour to which our eyes are most sensitive. We also managed to get all the hue errors below the tolerance level of three and the same for the colour measurements of cyan and yellow. There was still a slight under-saturation in green and red and an over-saturation in blue that we were unable to fully correct, which in turn affected magenta. However the overall errors were all at or below the threshold at which our eyes can distinguish them and this is an excellent colour performance from a budget projector.
We use the saturation sweeps to look for issues that might not present themselves at 100% but could be apparent at less saturated levels such as 25, 50 or 75%. Overall the W750 performed very well, with blue, cyan, magenta and yellow all tracking close to their targets. Unsurprisingly given that it was under-saturated at 100%, green was also under-saturated at 75 and 50%, as was red. However, there were no hideous errors lurking at the lower saturation points and again this is a great performance from a projector in this price bracket.
Brightness, Black Levels and Dynamic Range
2D - Picture Performance
The colour and greyscale accuracy go a long way towards delivering a great image and whilst the blacks were disappointing, the inherent brightness of the W750 means it can deliver a punchy picture, making it ideal for use in a regular living room. As is always the case with DLP projectors, the motion handling was excellent, with smooth pans and no smearing or loss of detail. The video processing was also very good, which is excellent news because the BenQ will be scaling all the content you send it, either up for standard definition or down for high-def. Both standard and high definition images appeared clean and free from any obvious scaling artefacts and whilst not pin-sharp they certainly looked far better than a sub-£600 projector had any right to be delivering. We watched the recent remake of the Evil Dead and the W750 did a great job of rendering all the unpleasant gore, not to mention the copious amounts of blood. For a change of pace we tried Steven Soderberg's new thriller Side Effects and the W750 did a great job of delivering the deliberately cool colour palette and carefully staged camera moves.
3D - Picture Performance
We have recently been using Oz the Great and Powerful and Jack the Giant Slayer for 3D testing and both looked fantastic on the W750. The tornado sequence in Oz was especially impressive, with the lack of crosstalk and the brightness of the image making the use of negative parallax highly effective. We enjoyed the 3D on the W750 so much that we popped our copy of Life of Pi into the player because this film is easily one of the most creative when it comes to exploiting the added dimensionality. The results were very impressive and at times we felt like there was a tiger in front of us or found ourselves ducking to avoid flying fish. Given the general decline in popularity of 3D it's hard to recommended a projector just on that basis but there's no doubt if you're looking for a good 3D projector at a ridiculously low price, W750 should definitely be on your list.
- Excellent default greyscale and colour
- Reference calibrated greyscale and colour
- Motion handling is good in both 2D and 3D
- 3D performance is superb
- Excellent video processing
- Very competitive price
- Black levels are mediocre
- Dynamic range is limited by black levels
- Colour wheel can result in 'rainbows'
- Some light spill and fan noise
- Remote control needs a redesign
BenQ W750 HD Ready 3D DLP Projector Review
The BenQ W750 may well be a budget projector but it manages to deliver a far from budget performance. The chassis might be small and light, betraying BenQ's data grade heritage, but it's well built and the size makes installation easier. There is some fan noise and light spill but, on the upside, the W750 is very bright making it ideal for the average living room. The rear connections are fairly standard, with two HDMI inputs, and only the rinky-dink remote lets the side down. The glasses have had a redesign to accommodate the introduction of 'triple flash' and are now, smaller, lighter and more comfortable to wear. The setup is very straightforward thanks to some simple manual lens controls and a clear and concise menu system.
The out-of-the-box greyscale and colour gamut were extremely accurate, which is encouraging in a projector at this price point. BenQ has even included some decent calibration controls, meaning the W750 can be tweaked to a near reference level of colour accuracy. The projector uses a 720p chip but with a sensibly sized screen and an average viewing distance, the images have plenty of detail. The video processing is also excellent, which means that despite having to scale all content, the W750 doesn't introduce noticeable artefacts. The motion handling was excellent, as we would expect from a DLP projector, and whilst the blacks were poor, the brightness and good intra-frame performance did compensate to a degree.
We found that with 2D content, the W750 could produce a picture that really punched above its weight, with accurate colours, decent shadow detail and well rendered images. Of course, the W750 is a single chip DLP projector and thus uses a colour wheel, so those that are susceptible to 'rainbows' should demo first. With 3D content the W750 really came into its own, delivering a fantastic performance that was hard to fault. The absence of distracting scaling artefacts, crosstalk and flicker, along with the brightness and accuracy of the image, resulted in a highly enjoyable and genuinely immersive 3D experience. If you're looking for a cheap projector the BenQ W750 should definitely be on your list and if you're looking for a second projector for 3D, it should be near the top.
3D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value For Money
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