BenQ W1800 4K DLP home cinema projector review Page 2

It does no harm to the projector's unusually impressive colour chops that it gets excellent value out of those 2,000 Lumens. Pictures really do look bright – especially if you shift from the Eco lamp output mode the projector defaults to (with even HDR movies) for the more adaptive SmartEco setting. HDR content is given a surprisingly credible look, with significantly higher levels of both baseline and peak brightness than you get with SDR images, and the PJ's brightness means colours enjoy a wider, richer feel than you'll experience with 'duller' projectors – perfect for the most heavily saturated parts of Death on the Nile's palette.

There's excellent sharpness and clarity too. Pictures have that 4K feel, which helps the projector delineate even the subtlest of colour tone shifts. The sharpness is such, in fact, that it can make Death on the Nile's extensive use of green screen a little too obvious for comfort. That's hardly the W1800's fault, though...

Sharpness is maintained impressively during camera pans, due to effective natural motion handling. Nor is the high-frequency detail plagued by any of the pixel 'fizzing' sometimes witnessed with affordable DLP models.


Both HDMIs support 4K HDR playback

Black levels are unsurprisingly the W1800's biggest weakness. However, while my go-to extreme dark scenes, such as Georgie's cellar at the start of It (4K Blu-ray), do succumb to obvious greyness and lose shadow detail in the process, the issue doesn't affect dark scenes generally as much as I was probably expecting. In fact, I wouldn't say there's a single scene in Death on the Nile where black levels were problematic enough to majorly distract me from the film.

Dark parts of mostly bright images also look convincing, revealing a more natural contrast than many similarly priced rivals can achieve.

Certain contrast-heavy shots can show signs of DLP's rainbow effect, where stripes of pure red, green and blue flit over bright image highlights. There's also a slight 'outer frame' of light around the image that can be slightly distracting. If you're careful you should be able to zoom this frame off your screen (assuming you're not just projecting onto a wall).

BenQ's Little Belter
The W1800's built-in mono audio system is very much 'last resort' stuff – not loud enough or expressive enough to be a convincing companion to such big and enjoyable pictures.

The W1800 is hardly unusual amongst standard-throw projector for not having much sonic prowess to its name, though, and it's also inevitable that a 4K HDR projector costing just £1,099 will have its compromises. And what matters is that, in this BenQ's case, the compromises are minor. There's more than enough imaging skill here – particularly that naturalistic colour handling – to make the W1800 the most satisfying and enjoyable budget home cinema projector we've seen in many a moon n

HCC Verdict

BenQ W1800

Price: £1,099

We say: The W1800 delivers some of the most refined, balanced, sharp and engagingly cinematic 4K HDR images we've seen for the happy side of £1,500.

Overall: 4.5/5


3D: Yes. Active shutter 4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160 via TI DLP 'double flashing' technology HDR: Yes. HDR10; HLG CONNECTIONS: 2 x HDMI inputs; 1 x USB; 3.5mm audio output; RS-232 port BRIGHTNESS (CLAIMED): 2,000 Lumens CONTRAST (claimed): 10,000:1 ZOOM: 1.3x DIMENSIONS: 312(w) x 110(h) x 246(d)mm WEIGHT: 3.1kg

FEATURES: Single-chip DLP projector; built-in mono 5W sound system; BenQ CinematicColor technology; Filmmaker Mode support; fast response mode for low input lag (16ms claimed with 4K/60, 8ms with 1080/120); 2D keystone correction; ISF calibration support; 15,000-hour claimed maximum lamp life; multiple lamp output settings, including adaptive SmartEco; Zero Light Overflow technology; 1.127-1.46:1 throw ratio; optional Android TV dongle