Bringing a 4K HDR picture to a new price bracket, the W1700 has a lot to offer
Sharp and crisp picture
Balanced colour range
Easy to use
Not as punchy as we would like
Motion could be smoother
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Reviewed on 14th May 2018
Last year, our favourite projector for under £2000 had a 1080p resolution and could only manage standard dynamic range.
This year, in a similar price range, there are a smattering of reasonably-priced projectors claiming both 4K resolutions and support for high dynamic range (HDR). How quickly things change.
One of first of the new guard to come through our testing room is BenQ’s W1700. While it’s not as spellbinding as we might hope, this projector still gives a strong performance.
The W1700 is around the size of a large handbag, so it should fit nicely on your living room table, and at just over 4kg, feels as though it has a good weight to it.
The lamp has a claimed 2200 lumens output and 4000 hours of life, while BenQ says that the W1700 has a 10,000:1 contrast ratio.
It also has the standard connections you would expect on a projector – two HDMI ports, a PC input, as well as its USB Type A port for powering streaming devices.
On the whole, the projector is relatively easy to use and quick to set up. Navigating through its menus is simple and the remote, which has a handy backlight button for use in the dark, responds well.
The W1700 isn’t particularly quick off the mark to start up and, like many projectors, there is some degree of noise from the fan, but these certainly aren’t deal breakers in our eyes.
The projector’s 4K resolution comes from a single 12mm DLP (Digital Light Processing) chip that, while not native 4K, can be used in conjunction with fast-switching mirrors which deliver multiple pixels per frame to the screen, that allow it to deliver a full 4K resolution.
It’s similar technology to that we’ve seen on other 4K projectors last year, including the award-winning Optoma UHD65, and is enough to get certification from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in the USA.