The BenQ W1800i video projector has a Texas Instruments 0.47 inch DMD (DLP470TE) DLP chip displaying a native Ultra HD definition of 3840 x 2160 pixels. As a reminder, this generation uses wobulation (extremely fast display of several Full HD images offset from each other) at 240 Hz to broadcast four Full HD images side by side, and thus produce an Ultra HD 60 Hz image of 8.3 million actual pixels.
The chip is coupled to an ultra high pressure (UHP) lamp delivering 2000 lumens. The manufacturer announces a lifespan of 4,000 hours with maximum brightness (normal) and 15,000 hours in Lamp Save mode. This is still less than the models using LEDs as a light source with a duration of more than 20,000 hours. This projector also has a 5 W speaker just enough to watch short videos.
This model is supplied with a BenQ QS01 HDMI stick (clone of the Inspiron D3000 Ultra HD HDMI Stick) which fits perfectly into the back of the projector. We find Android TV 10 powered by an Amlogic S905Y2 Cortex-A53 quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage space. It also has wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.2 LE.
Displaying an Ultra HD definition, the BenQ W1800i is logically quite expensive since it sells for around €1300, but it is sometimes found for less than €1100. Still, it remains one of the most accessible Ultra HD Android TV models on the market. For comparison, the XGIMI Horizon Pro is marketed at around 1700 € and the laser models are even more expensive. The Vava 4K UST Laser Projector, with its more powerful laser and an ultra-short focal length, is thus sold for some €2,700, while the Samsung The Premiere LSP9T and the Sony VPL-VW290ES reference are both displayed at more than €4,000, the latter also being devoid of an intelligent system.
2D image quality
The BenQ W1800i is equipped with a 1.3x optical zoom to project a basic image between 2 m and 2.60 m for a recoil of 3 m. To carry out our measurements, we place ourselves at 3 m and adjust the optical zoom to the minimum in order to obtain an image of 2 m base. This model also offers adjustment of the lens shift vertical by ±3% which slightly corrects the placement of the image without distortion. The Full HD display is sharp, even in the corners, slightly less sharp in Ultra HD due to the wobulation process. As is the case with all Ultra HD projector models equipped with a DLP chip, light artifacts around objects remain visible.
Delta E = 1.8
In Filmmaker mode, the BenQ W1800i is perfectly calibrated and thus displays colors faithful to those sent by the source. We measured the average delta E at 1.8, well below the value of 3, a floor below which the eye can no longer tell the difference between the ideal colors and the colors displayed. Some shades display a drift higher than 3, but overall the result is excellent.
The gamma curve is stable over the entire spectrum and the average of 2.2 is fixed on the reference value (2.2). The levels of gray are thus perfectly reproduced in the image.
The temperature curve is perfectly stable over the entire spectrum and the average temperature measured at 6760 K is very close to the reference value (6500 K). The finish is just perfect!
The contrast ratio of 720:1 (on our 1% white chart) remains quite low in absolute terms and does not allow us to enjoy perfect blacks. This value drops to 220:1 on our target containing 35% white. The maximum brightness is quite good with 124 cd/m², which allows displaying an almost dynamic HDR rendering, but video projectors still clearly have a handicap on this point since they are unable to locally manage the brightness of the image. By comparison, our Sony VW290ES benchmark peaks at 167 cd/m² with a native contrast of 2820:1, but all Ultra HD models suffer from a contrast deficit, all the more so compared to DLP Full HD models. You have to look at DLP Ultra HD models using a laser, such as the VAVA 4K UST Laser or the Samsung The Premiere LSP9T, to find a contrast greater than 1200:1.
The BenQ W1800i uses a six-segment color wheel to minimize the rainbow effect. This phenomenon is visible on all projectors using a single DLP chip, and it is more or less detectable, if at all depending on the people and the images. It results in small rainbows around bright objects on a dark background.
The W1800i has a display delay (input lag) of 33 ms in standard mode, but it can drop to 17 ms when “fast mode” is activated. This results in a delay of approximately one frame compared to the source at 60 Hz. There is no delay between the action performed with the controller and its repercussion on the screen.
Light. max. : 117 cd/m²
Delta E = 7.6
The HDR rendering is correct without being transcendent. With its low contrast, the BenQ W1800i has a little trouble handling low light well at the start of the curve. The maximum brightness of 117 cd / m² remains in the good average for a video projector, but cannot compete with that of televisions (750 cd / m² for Oled TVs and even more than 1500 cd / m² for the best LCDs) . In the end, we end up with a fairly reduced image dynamics which does not allow HDR content to express itself fully. This remains acceptable, but the HDR level is very far from what can be had with more contrasting and brighter projectors, such as the VAVA 4K UST Laser or the Sony VW290ES mentioned above.
Functions and ergonomics
The BenQ W1800i looks like a very classic video projector… It’s almost a little disappointing in 2022. Except for the bronze-colored front, this model looks like a video projector with its white plastic. office. In this photo, we can see the infrared receiver at the front to facilitate controls via the remote control, as well as the adjustable feet to correct the plate and the trapezoid of the image.
On the top of the projector are the settings access buttons, an infrared receiver and status LEDs. On the top, two dials are used for 1.3x zoom adjustment and image focus.
Like most projectors, the BenQ W1800i can be fixed to the ceiling via specific screw holes placed under the chassis.
The connection is rather light since it consists of two HDMI 2.0b inputs, a 3.5 mm mini-jack audio output, a USB port allowing a 15 W (1.5 A) power supply and an RS-232 port for facilitate integration into a home automation system.
Once the screw is removed, the cover gives way to a third HDMI 2.0b input and a microUSB connector perfectly placed to install the BenQ QS01 HDMI key. It is also possible to insert an Amazon Fire TV Stick HDMI key, for example, but then you have to use two remote controls.
The single remote control allows you to control both the projector and the Android TV system. Some buttons provide access to projector functions such as keystone adjustment or source selection, while others are dedicated to Android TV (home button, Amazon Prime Video, Google Assistant). This remote control also incorporates an essential microphone for effective research.
Delivered with Android 9, the QS01 HDMI key has been updated to Android 10, whose interface has been revised to highlight content and more simply applications. Everything is quite fluid and the reading of Ultra HD content is problem-free. The key is certified by Google and it is therefore possible to access all the apps from the Google Play Store, except for… Netflix which is surprisingly absent from the store on this model. The other applications are present and display content in Ultra HD HDR, such as Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Disney+ or MyCanal. The weak point remains the ignition time since it takes more than a minute for the whole thing to be operational: the time for the Android TV system to launch completely and, above all, for the UHP lamp to heat up.
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