The thing about a company like BenQ is that they don’t produce cheap devices. You will be hard-pressed to find a new-ish BenQ projector for below $300. So I was surprised to see the newly launched BenQ MS524A being sold at just below $300 and also with such high end specifications. BenQ is not a company that lies about product specifications (many do) so I was curious to take a closer look. Here’s my review of the BenQ MS524A:
- Bright@3300 lumens
- Low Price
- Nice lamp life@10000 hours (eco-mode)
- Supports rear projection (needs a special rear projection screen)
- Automatically choose best picture quality by pressing the “AUTO” key on the remote. (Keystone correction)
- Great for backyard movie night
- SVGA resolution: 800×600 (native)
- Meh speakers @ 2W
- Does not come with carry bag
Size and Design:
I’ve always had a thing for BenQ projectors, especially when it comes to design. The MS524A is no different. The bright white color will be suitable for most spaces, it doesn’t particularly blend in and it doesn’t particularly stand out. The specifications are 8.7 x 3.7 x 11.1 inches, weighing at about 4.2pounds, which is light weight and you can carry it around.
You expect nifty, intuitive features from your devices, this is actually what sets them apart. You will find many of these on the MS524A. For example, the sound output stays on even when the screen is turned off, allowing you to listen to audio without wasting lamp life. The projector also has the ability to project onto a blackboard or whiteboard (using wall color feature), and also includes several teaching templates. The templates include: Letter Formation lines, Worksheet, and coordinate chart. It also supports 3D projection.
The lamp life is upto 10,000 hours depending on how you use it. The lamp is estimated as:
Total (equivalent) lamp hour = 2.22 x (hours used in Normal mode) + 1.67 x (hours used in Economic mode) + 1.54 x (hours used in SmartEco mode) + 1.00 x (hours used in LampSave mode).
A normal user can expect 4000-6000 hours of lamp life, which is pretty much the standard these days. We’ve already said that the brightness is great @ 3300lumens, the resolution is a bit below par but the contrast ratio of 13000:1 kinda makes up for the image quality. The gist of it being that you can expect bright images with decent quality (not HD though).
Connectivity wise there are no complaints, it has a HDMI port so you can connect everything from your laptop to DVD player. It also supports streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV or Google Chromecast etc.
I would strongly suggest people looking to buy the cheap $150 Chinese projectors to save a little money and go for the BenQ instead. You can upgrade later on and you’ll be happy with the clarity, contrast, brightness and features. As some other reviewers on Amazon have mentioned, the MS524A is particularly well suited for outdoor movie nights due to its high brightness and sturdy build. I guess the conclusion of this review is: a superior projector at this price point, superb value for money.