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Review: BenQ W1600UST

BenQ’s new W1600UST is an ultra short-throw home cinema projector, which offers full HD resolution at 1920-by-1080 pixels. The projector boasts of providing you with a 100-inch display area at 2.5 meters and packs in Waves Audio technology for audio. The projector also features 1.3x zoom and MHL connectivity.

The W1600UST projector is designed in a way to blend into your home’s modern décor without unsightly cables. Custom-matched to W1600UST, its 100-inch Ambient Light Reflection screen that offers excellent picture quality.

In terms of design, the BenQ W1600UST features a shell that is largely composed of a glossy white plastic with golden wrapping around the front, back and the top of the sides. Overall, the color scheme is unassuming, but it does look fairly slick and is worthy of some admiring before you put it to work.

At the top of the W1600UST, you’ll find the recessed short-throw projector lens which comes to life as soon as you switch it on. Just below the lens on the left are three LEDs that show the status of the lamp, temperature and power. Right next to it on the center is the IR receiver.

Turn the projector around and you will find a plethora of connectivity options. These include two Computer In (D-sub 15pin), which is shared with component. There’s a Composite Video In (RCA), two HDMI (shared with one MHL), two Audio In (Mini Jack), one Audio Out (Mini Jack), one Audio L/R, one USB (Type mini B) and one RS232 (DB-9pin). You also get two built-in speaker with an output rating of 10W.

As for dimensions, the W1600UST is a fairly hefty beast, which should be alright considering you’re unlikely to be hauling this guy around as often as something like a Pico projector. The projector weighs 6.2-kgs, and measures 385-by-152-by-429 mm.

In terms of brightness, the projector is packing a pretty powerful 3300 ANSI lumens bulb that is capable of putting out a contrast ratio of a whopping 13,000:1. The projection system itself is DLP, and the unit pushes out at a native resolution of 1920×1080, giving you a full HD picture. The projectors also boasts the SmartEco Technology, which saves energy along with delivering better brightness, quality pictures and optimised lamp life with reduced lamp usage.

While it may look like just another short-throw projector on the outside, the W1600UST packs some extremely impressive image quality. Simply put, colours were poppy, motion was clear and not muddied, and watching video felt great overall. Of course, if you’re a fan of poking around with the picture settings yourself, you can do that as well.

There are a number of other video presets included for things like gaming and getting a vivid picture, along with more granular settings, so you can tweak things to your liking. Of course, excellent picture quality is nothing without great sound, and I was pleasantly surprised by the W1600UST’s performance here.

There’s a pair of 10 watt speakers included with the W1600UST, and having not been impressed by projector audio in the past, I wasn’t expecting much. However, both music and dialogue sounded pretty great coming from this unit. The included speaker isn’t going to give you booming surround sound akin to going to the movies, and those who are planning to use this unit at home in a theater setup may want to opt for a more robust speaker system.

Simply put, the picture quality on the W1600UST is fantastic. The colors look great, the image pops, and HD content looks great. Add in a bright 3300 lumen bulb that looks great even in semi-bright environments, and using the W1600UST feels great. If you’re looking for a projector that will serve up a cinematic feel, look no further than BenQ’s latest.

Price: AED 8000

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