It’s getting more and more difficult for consumers to tell the difference between projectors. Especially when they see two they really like, and they’re made by the same company. Buyer’s who aren’t from technical background, tend to rely heavily on the information given to them, by the manufacturer on the back of the box but headlines fail to tell the true story. I’ve chosen two projectors for you, and while they’re both very popular, and seem to have many of the same features, actually there are critical differences, which I’ll explain in a jargon-free way, so that you can make a decision.
|M5 Mini||Nebula Capsule Smart Mini||iDG-787W Mini||Mini Portable LED Projector by LoongSon||DLP Pico|
|Brightness||900 lumens||100 Ansi Lumens||1500 lumens||600 Lumens||100 Ansi Lumens|
|Maximum Resolution||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080|
|Battery Life||70 Min (Eco Mode)||4 hours||No chargeable battery||No chargeable battery||No chargeable battery|
|Connection Ports||HDMI, usb_video, microSD, AV, VGA||Wireless, HDMI, USB, Bluetooth||USB, SD, AV, HDMI, VGA||USB, HDMI, wireless||USB, Micro SD, HDMI|
|Amazon Price||Check Here||Check Here||Check Here||Check Here||Check Here|
Portability and Design: BenQ HT1085ST vs W1070
The HT1085ST measures 4.09 inches in height, by 12.20 inches of width, and has a depth of 9.60 inches, making it just a fraction of an inch smaller than the W1070. So not much difference there, and this trend continues when we look at weight, since they both weigh approximately 6 pounds. These projectors rank low enough in size and weight to be considered highly portable, and as you’ll see in the performance section they offer more advanced features, than the light and smaller projectors which we call super-portables. Another factor that determines how portable a device is, is how reliable it is to throw up a good image quickly after you’ve put it down. Nobody likes transporting their projector, and then having to wait for use, and these, along with most BenQ’s, are pretty well set-up and ready to go immediately.
Performance: BenQ HT1085ST vs W1070
The W1070 offers a standard set-up, and comes with great color pre-sets. There’s also the ability to vertically shift the images so you don’t have to use Keystone, and risk importing distortions like rainbow artifacts. It’s very quick, although annoyingly, the optical zoom and the zoom in general is very limited. Still, it produces a good picture quickly so I have no complaints. The HT1085ST is however superior, in that it offers the same vertical and horizontal keystone shifts, but also has excellent optical zoom at 1.2x so you don’t have to move the projector, to alter the image size. You’ll find the set-up here is much easier to operate than with the W1070. Here’s a full W1070 review we wrote last year.
The HT1085ST is a single-chip projector, and like most single-chip projectors, it tends to show rainbow artifiacts. These are spots of color which come up on-screen, while you’re trying to watch a movie or give a presentation. The good news is they don’t show up much, and they actually appear less than on most projectors of this type, but the bad news is when they do show up, they’re very noticeable. The W1070 meanwhile, is the ‘Mr Reliable’ of portable projectors, with hardly any rainbow artifacts, and a very low general distortion level, so you’ll get a clear picture all of the time
Speaking of picture, these two projectors are both 1080p, so they’re full HD. Confusing buyers further is that they both have a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, which means that if you look at their boxes in a store, you’re going to think they’re exactly the same in terms of image clarity. This is not the case, and I’m going to give you some inside information the stores won’t tell you. The W1070 claims to give you a 100 inch picture, with the projector placed just 2.5 meters back, whereas to get a 90 inch image you have to place the HT1085ST 4.41 meters back. The W1070 seems to outperform the HT1085ST right? Well, not exactly, because the W1070 leaks light, so it’s 2200 lumens will not stand up to ambient light, so you won’t get a 100 inch picture at all, unless the room is completely dark. The HT1085ST, will however respond well to ambient light, so you’ll actually get your 90 inch image, without viewing in darkness; in fact you’ll get 120-130 inches of screen size in total, whereas the W1070, with it’s poor lumen performance, will always struggle with larger screen sizes.
At 60-100 inches in low light, like movie night in the backgarden, or office presentations with the blinds drawn, the W1070 supplies you with a great and very reliable picture. It’s 1080p, with 1 billion colors produced by the 6 segment color wheel, and a 10,000:1 contrast ratio. Very few distortions, good blacks and whites, and it’s clear on text and images alike. The HT1085ST, has a little more clarity, and less struggle in dark scene’s, so it’s 10,000:1 contrast ratio performs better than the W1070’s does, but you get some judder, on movies shot at 24 frames per second, so buyers must ask if they’re prepared to put up with this, for the overall better picture. 3D images are absolutely identical of both projectors; there’s some cross-talk, but not that much, and as they’re both 1080p, you’re getting full 3D clarity, although it should be noted that the HT1085ST, tends to inexplicably revert to 720p without warning, so if you notice a decline in image quality in 3D, go to your set-up and move the resolution back to 1080p.
Regarding sound, both have BenQ’s 10 Watt speakers, that they put in most of their projectors these days, so both have that extra bit of portability, which allows buyers to transport them to a place that doesn’t have a stereo system.
The W1070 is so reliable. It has good image consistency in both HD and 3D modes, suffers from no distortions, has a quick set-up, reasonable brightness, and excellent speakers. The HT1085ST meanwhile, is a little more unpredictable, with a better picture than the w1070, but you’re not always going to get its best. Sometimes you’ll get rainbow artifacts, and sometimes you’ll get judder, but when it’s good, it’s very very good. The question is: Do you want to take a risk for a superior picture?