BenQ W5000 projector review

4.5 out of 5
£1499

For

Fantastic image quality, bright enough for most rooms, plenty of connections

Against

No horizontal shift, lacking zoom, only HDMI 1.2

When the BenQ W5000 arrived all boxed up, you can’t help thinking it must be mighty precious to afford so much packaging. But this £1500 projector is also 9.6kg and 492 x 180 x 420mm so there isn’t much in the box apart from this monster. But it has an awful lot to pack in to produce the image quality that it delivers.

Straight out of the box, and the quality is markably increased over sub-£1000 models. It is also encouraging that this model is very user-friendly, so although it punches in the high-def 1080p HD arena, it isn’t going to take you several frustrating hours with a manual to figure out how to use it. There are options, though, for the more experienced projector user with both a basic and advanced picture menu.

You turn the projector on from top control panel, which has buttons for menu, power and the source controls, and there are also LEDs showing power, temperature and lamp status. The System Setup menu contains the items which you will probably configure once and then not touch again, including the projector position, language, splash screen, sleep timer, menu position and auto source search.

Once on, you can adjust all four feet to make sure your image is centred onto the screen or wall but with a projector this size (and quality), getting a ceiling mount may be the best option especially as the W5000 doesn’t have horizontal lens shift. The W5000 has a throw distance of 2-8m and can project from a 40-300-inch image so you may want to take a tape measure to your room just to check you have the space available.

Note the W5000 lacks the motorised zoom and focus that you see in even pricier models, including its big brother, the W20000, which, incidentally, is no longer being sold because it proved a little too expensive.

The W5000 has its exhaust vents in the front, so shelf mounting is an option, but it is worth adding that we did notice the room heating up as the fan kicked in - a fan that is surprisingly quiet for a projector of this size.

We connected the projector up to a Blu-ray player and opted for Cinema mode – there is a Bright and Brightest mode as well if you don’t have a black-out blind or heavy curtain but, to be honest, we never needed the latter even with the curtains open. On the normal setting, brightness is 1200 lumens.

Input wise – you get two HDMI inputs (HDMI 1.2.1 not HDMI 1.3), a Component video input, Composite and S-Video inputs, as well as five BNC jacks for a second Component video source, an RGB HV source, or a computer input (with the right adapter).

To get the image in the right place the up and down arrows on the top of the projector control the motorised, vertical lens shift. This allows up to +120% and -80% adjustments. The left and right arrows handle keystone correction.

On the all-important image quality, we found the colours were fantastic, the shadows detailed and the picture offered a depth that you simply don’t get in cheaper models, but equally can be lacking at this price. Images displayed no colour wheels, a little noise, and were generally very good.

Verdict

Finally the W5000 has a lamp life of 3000 hours at low power and 2000 hours at full power. It comes with a 3 year warranty.

The first year is an on-site service where BenQ provide a loan product while yours is in for repair, with the 2nd and 3rd year being a return to base cover.

The picture quality was amazing. Horizontal shift would have been a nice addition, but we forgave BenQ 5 minutes into the first movie.