Review: BenQ W1700

Home cinema projectors are upping their ante with the latest coming out of BenQ’s stables. The new W1700 home cinema projector packs in the goodness of 4K and HDR into a neat little package that does not burn a hole in your pocket.

The W1700 is quite small for a 4K projector – it measures 353-by-135-by-272mm (WHD) in size and weighs around 4.2-kg. The size itself makes it slightly bigger than a typical HD projector available on the market. However, it is unusually coffee-table friendly by 4K projector standards.

The W1700 uses DLP Display Technology and offers a light output of 2200 ANSI Lumens. It also offers a UHD resolution of 3840-by-2160 pixels and comes with a contrast ratio of 10000:1. The overall design is quite sleek for a UHD projector and the build quality is brilliant.

On the front and the sides of the projector you will find the cooling fans built-in, along with the focus and zoom lever that allows for a 1.2x zoom. On the back, we have various inputs: HDMI-1, HDMI-2, D-sub (both 9-pin and 15-pin), USB Type A and mini B, and mini-jack audio in and out.

The projector comes with a power cord, lens cover, remote control (with an excellent backlight function) and battery, CD user manual and quick start guide. While the projector supports 3D playback, BenQ does not include the 3D glasses within the package. You will need to pick those up separately. In addition, the 3D playback is limited to 1920-by-1080 / HD quality.

Setting up the W1700 is the best part – it is just a stroll in the park. The W1700 can generate a display size of 100-inches at 3.25 meters. We liked the fact that you did not need to manually use the keystone correction function to straighten out the images, because the W1700 automatically does it for you.

I am subscribed to the 4K package of Netflix – so getting content to playback isn’t an issue. Having watched Netflix’s 4K content on my 4K LG smart TV, I was expecting a “wow factor” from the W1700. And impressed I really was! Playing 4K content through the W1700 with HDR enabled, on a 100-inch screen, I found that the content looked simply incredible.

Connecting an Xbox One to the projector for an extended gaming session turned out to be one of the best experiences I have had recently. All the images were crisp, while the colours were rich and vibrant. The term ‘brilliant’ really doesn’t do it justice.

The BenQ W1700 offers very good colour performance from a projector which is only supposed to render 96.5 percent of the Rec.709 (HD) colour gamut. The W1700 is also remarkably bright. You will want to lower the default brightness setting of 50 percent to produce an excellent HDR picture.

I was also impressed by the W1700’s black level performance. I found the blacks to be deeper and natural. For a wallet-friendly price of AED 5999, the BenQ W1700 brings awesome 4K HRD performance right into your living room.

Price: AED 5999

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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