A newer version of this projector is available: BenQ MW526AE
Once upon a time, a manufacturer could create a Business Projector, and the Eureka moment would be seeing that text and charts where displayed reasonably clear. It didn’t need to do much else; just the text and the images. It’s a tough world we live in these days folks, because these days for producing reasonably clear images and text from a machine that doesn’t do much else, is the business equivalent of suicide. The only designing, people who produce those kind of results are doing right now is the front page of job applications (outside of the projection industry). No, these days text and images need to be crystal clear, even in very small font sizes. Not just reasonably good. Business people like to watch movies and play games in their spare time and Projectors have to cater for that too. In other words, people expect more. Does the BenQ DLP Video Projector – WXGA Display, 3300 Lumens,3D-Ready Projector fail or succeed in the brave new cut-throat world of Business Projection. Find out here.
- 13000-1 Contrast Ratio
- 1200×800 Resolution
- Clear Text and Images
- 3300 Lumens
- Nice Looking Design
- Very Portable
- None really. Maybe 3D capabilities could be added but other than that, it’s great for the price.
Size and Design:
The design looks pretty good with its shiny white finish, curved edges and small Vents. Business Projectors don’t usually look this great, because people buy them primarily for their functionality, so appearance is often an after-thought for manufacturers. But BenQ clearly wanted to make a picturesque model. At only 4.3 pounds the portability associated with business Projectors is also there. And they’ve kept the measurements down to manageable dimensions too. The MW526A measures 8.7 inches by 3.7 inches by 11.1 inches meaning it’ll fit into any suitcase or bag. They’ve also helpfully placed a control panel on the top, enabling you to pause, fast-forward, rewind and stop movies or presentations easily at any time. On Some models you have to reach around the side to do these things, which can be frustrating.
The BenQ MW526A really stands above the crowd when it comes to data-image processing. Business Projectors will be used in classrooms and offices so they need to produce clear pictures and readable text, at a good throw-distance. Here’ you get high performance with 60 inches of screen generated from positioning the Projector 7 feet away and 100 inches at 10 feet away. There’s great clarity in the text, with colored words being easily readable down to a 7.5 point font size. Even better than that, and helped by the massive 13000-1 Contrast Ratio, white and black words are readable down to 9 points. So you’ll never perform a presentation where people need to squint their eyes in order to see. I couldn’t be more happy with the text quality and throw distance.
Images perform equally well and don’t appear grainy despite the 1200×800 resolution. It’s not a movie Projector. You’re not going to be having a cinematic experience on a large screen while mere mortals have to settle for their TV Set. But, you are going to be able to watch movies at up 100 inches with good clarity and without distortions. You’ll also be able to play games by hooking your console up through the HDMI connection. Again, they won’t be of arcade quality with the BenQ only having a WXGA resolution, but they will be clear and enjoyable. So it’s good for games and movies, but it’s designed for business. Bar Charts, Pie Charts and Scatter Charts appear vivid, with a pronounced and often sensationally detailed look about them.
OK, now onto some bad news. If there was an award for over-selling BenQ would win it for their description of the MW526A as being 3D Ready. This truly is the mother of all over-sells. It’s 3D Ready in the sense that you could buy a transmitter and if you had a 3D Blu-Ray Player, you could receive 3D images. Problem is that’s true of any Projector, or TV. You still wouldn’t be watching 3D because the resolution here is only 1200×800. Given that 3D is 1080p in each eye, you could never watch 3D images on this device. We’ll put it down to the antics of an enthusiastic sales team.
While the 3D claim was highly dubious, BenQ have lived up to their 3300 Lumen billing of the MW526A. Images even outperform this rating, appearing brighter than most 3300 Lumen models. This is certainly the brightest model in the BenQ business range, with images responding well to ambient light, meaning you’ll be able to view on all but the sunniest of afternoons. This makes it a convenient option, because you won’t necessarily have to draw the office blinds before use. The Speakers are perhaps best for small rooms, being only 2 Watts, but the sound is good enough for PowerPoint presentations so you won’t even have to buy external speakers. In other words you have everything you need to give a presentation without doing anything else but flip the start button.
There are a range of connections too. You can hook up your Computer via the VGA port, there’s also HDMI, 2 USB sockets and S Video. I’d have liked to see an MHL port for faster connection to phones, but the USB sockets provide easy access for Tablets. Overall I found the response rate to be fantastic with data transferred at a really good pace, meaning you can use your Tablet or Computer for presentations without any lag time.
The 3D claim was over the top, but this shouldn’t take away from the fact that the MW526A is a great Projector worth owning. The brightness makes it convenient because you’re not spending five minutes drawing the blinds and letting light slip out of the room. Text is incredibly clear down to very small font sixes, and images in the form of charts are highly visible. The high Contrast Ratio means Blacks and Whites look detailed and magnificent. Although the Speakers aren’t raising any bars, they will be good in an office environment and so serve their purpose. Movies and Games are pretty good too, although nothing like 1080p given that the resolution here is 1200×800. But, you can view and enjoy them on a 100 inch screen from just 10 feet back meaning there are possibilities here that your TV never opened up. The design is pleasing, as are the connections, so I think many people will love this device, and it has be represent a huge success on the part of BenQ.