September 08, 2008 by Audioholics.com
If you think you’re having a hard time deciding which projector is the best, think about my job… I actually get to see, use, and calibrate most of them and yet I still have a hard time determining which is “best”. Let me tell you that I do NOT envy the job manufacturers of projectors have these days. The market is ripe with bargains and price points are all but written in stone, with very clear distinctions between $1000, $2500, and $5000 models - all of which are competing for consumers’ wallets. BenQ is clearly going after the custom installer market with its new W5000 DLP projector and that’s good - because it gives them some leeway that wouldn’t be granted for those pursuing consumers directly.
Features and Build Quality
BenQ has a history of making some very excellent projectors. They now appear to be in a mode whereby they are attempting to really bring some incredible value and quality to consumers with their W5000 and W20000 DLP systems. The two projectors are remarkably similar; however the W5000 lacks some of the optical engine refinements of its bigger sibling and therefore has a slightly lower contrast ratio. The two share the same chassis, menu system and general features, so it’s a good bet that many will find the W5000 to be the bargain of the lot.
The W5000 is a bit of an enigma, or a huge deal depending on your point of view, since it sells on the street for less than half its retail price point. In fact, the upper-scale W20000 has a street price that equals the retail price of the W5000. For a brand new product those are some steep discounts.
Physically, the W5000 is an impressive projector. While not exactly elegant, it is a true machine. From my first glance at its exterior I had to pop my eyes back in their sockets when I saw the enormously deceptive size of the lens hood. The W5000 exudes high build quality, from its looks, to the 21 pound weight and convenient side-entry lamp replacement.
If you have been reading our reviews you’ll find that the important differences which affect picture quality are getting harder to distinguish and lots of manufacturers are really getting it right. I guess that’s a good thing, since negatives of late seem to center on obtuse vs. helpful menu systems, excellent vs. average calibration results and the general feature sets. For the W5000 image quality looks to be above average but we found a few surprises worth noting.
Read the complete review at Audioholics.com
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