BenQ W1800i test: an Ultra HD Android TV projector finally well calibrated

The BenQ W1800i video projector has a Texas Instruments 0.47 inch DMD (DLP470TE) DLP chip that features a built-in Ultra HD definition of 3840 x 2160 pixels. As a reminder, this generation uses wobulation (extremely fast display of multiple Full HD images staggered) at 240 Hz to output four Full HD images side by side, producing an Ultra HD 60 Hz image at 8.3 million actual pixels.

The chip is coupled to an ultra-high pressure (UHP) lamp that delivers 2000 lumens. The manufacturer announces a life of 4,000 hours with maximum brightness (normal) and 15,000 hours in lamp saving mode. It is still smaller than the models that use 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 comes with a BenQ QS01 HDMI stick (clone of the Inspiron D3000 Ultra HD HDMI Stick), which fits perfectly on the back of the projector. We find Android TV 10 powered by an Amlogic S905Y2 Cortex-A53 quad-core processor, 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage space. It also has wifi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac and Bluetooth 4.2 LE.

With an Ultra HD definition, the BenQ W1800i is logically quite expensive as it sells for around € 1300, but is sometimes available for less than € 1100. Still, it is still one of the most available Ultra HD Android TV models on the market. In comparison, the XGIMI Horizon Pro is marketed for around € 1,700, and the laser models are even more expensive. The Vava 4K UST Laser Projector, with its more powerful laser and ultra-short focal length, thus sells for around € 2,700, while the Samsung The Premiere LSP9T and Sony VPL-VW290ES reference both appear for more than € 4,000, the latter also being devoid of an intelligent system.

BenQ W1800i with its BenQ QS01 HDMI key and the dedicated remote control.

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

2D image quality

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 perform our measurements we position ourselves at 3 m and adjust the optical zoom to a minimum to get a picture of 2 m base. This model also offers adjustment of lens change vertically by ± 3%, which slightly corrects the position of the image without distortion. The Full HD screen is sharp, even in the corners, a little less sharp in Ultra HD due to the wobulation process. As with all Ultra HD projector models equipped with a DLP chip, light artifacts around objects remain visible.

SDR Colorimetry - Movie Maker Mode.

SDR Colorimetry – Movie Maker Mode.

Colorimetry

Editor's rating: 5 out of 5

Delta E = 1.8

In Filmmaker mode, the BenQ W1800i is perfectly calibrated, showing colors that are 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 shown. Some shades show a drift higher than 3, but overall the result is excellent.

The gamma curve.

Gamma

Editor's rating: 5 out of 5

2.2

The gamma curve is stable across the spectrum and the average of 2.2 is set at the reference value (2.2). The gray levels are thus perfectly reproduced in the image.

The temperature curve.

The temperature curve.

Temperature

Editor's rating: 5 out of 5

6760K

The temperature curve is perfectly stable over the whole spectrum and the average temperature measured at 6760 K is very close to the reference value (6500 K). The finish is just perfect!

Contrast.

Contrast

Editor's rating: 3 out of 5

720: 1

The contrast ratio of 720: 1 (on our 1% white chart) remains quite low in absolute numbers and does not allow us to enjoy perfect black colors. This value drops to 220: 1 on our target, which contains 35% white. The maximum brightness is quite good at 124 cd / m², which makes it possible to display an almost dynamic HDR reproduction, but video projectors still clearly have a handicap at this point as they are not able to locally control the brightness of the image. In comparison, our Sony VW290ES tops the benchmark at 167 cd / m² with a natural contrast of 2820: 1, but all Ultra HD models suffer from a contrast deficit, all the more so compared to Full HD DLP models. You need to look at DLP Ultra HD models using a laser, such as VAVA 4K UST Laser or 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 traceable if it depends at all 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) at 33 ms in standard mode, but it may drop to 17 ms when “fast mode” is activated. This results in a delay of approximately one image compared to the source at 60 Hz. There is no delay between the action performed with the controller and its after-effects on the screen.

EOTF curve in HDR10, 10% window

EOTF curve in HDR10, 10% window

HDR luminance curve, 10% window.

HDR luminance curve, 10% window.

EOTF

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

Light. max. : 117 cd / m²

Editor's rating: 3 out of 5

HDR colorimetry.

HDR colorimetry

Editor's rating: 3 out of 5

Delta E = 7.6

HDR reproduction is correct without being transcendent. With its low contrast, the BenQ W1800i has a bit of 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 can not compete with the television (750 cd / m² for Oled TV and even more than 1500 cd / m² for the best LCDs). In the end, we end up with a rather reduced image dynamics, which does not allow HDR content to be fully expressed. This is still acceptable, but the HDR level is very far from what one can get with more contrasting and brighter projectors, such as the VAVA 4K UST Laser or the Sony VW290ES mentioned above.

BenQ W1800i in action.

BenQ W1800i in action.

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

Features and ergonomics

BenQ W1800i projectors.

BenQ W1800i projectors.

The BenQ W1800i looks like a very classic video projector … It’s almost a bit disappointing in 2022. Aside from the bronze colored front, this model looks like a video projector with its white plastic office. In this picture we can see the infrared receiver in front to facilitate operation via the remote control, as well as the adjustable feet to correct the plate and the trapezoid of the picture.

The buttons for accessing the settings and the zoom and focus adjustment ring.

The buttons for accessing the settings and the zoom and focus adjustment ring.

Two separate wheels.

Two separate wheels.

At the top of the projector are the access buttons for settings, an infrared receiver and status LEDs. At the top, two rotary knobs are used for 1.3x zoom adjustment and image focus.

Screw thread for ceiling mounting.

Screw thread for ceiling mounting.

Like most projectors, the BenQ W1800i can be attached to the ceiling via specific screw threads located under the chassis.

The connection.

The connection is quite easy as it consists of two HDMI 2.0b inputs, a 3.5 mm mini-jack audio output, a USB port that allows a 15 W (1.5 A) power supply and an RS-232- port to facilitate integration into a home automation system.

The hatch allows you to install an HDMI key.

The hatch allows you to install an HDMI key.

BenQ QS01 HDMI connector in place.

BenQ QS01 HDMI connector in place.

Once the screw is removed, the cover provides space for a third HDMI 2.0b input and a microUSB connector that is perfectly positioned to install the BenQ QS01 HDMI key. It is also possible to insert, for example, an Amazon Fire TV Stick HDMI key, but then you will need two remote controls.

The remote control with microphone.

The remote control with microphone.

The individual remote control allows you to control both the projector and the Android TV system. Some buttons provide access to projector features such as keystone adjustment or source selection, while others are dedicated to Android TV (home button, Amazon Prime Video, Google Assistant). This remote also contains an important microphone for efficient research.

Android TV 10.0 interface

Android TV 10.0 interface

Comes with Android 9, the QS01 HDMI key has been updated to Android 10, whose interface has been revised to highlight content and simpler applications. Everything is pretty fluid, and reading Ultra HD content is hassle-free. The key is certified by Google, and it is therefore possible to access all apps from the Google Play Store, except for… Netflix, which is surprisingly absent in 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 turn-on time as it takes more than a minute for the whole thing to be operational: the time for the Android TV system to start up completely and above all for the UHP lamp to warm up.

Leave a Comment