Manufacturers sure do wax lyrically about the superlatives of their products. Some are almost poetic in their heavenly descriptions about what they can do for you. But, the reality of the 0-600 Dollar price-range where 80% of projectors are sold, is that the Projector gods give, and also take away. The pressure is on to keep the price down so nothing is ever perfect. A successful purchase then is about knowing what you want your projector to have, and what you’re prepared to sacrifice in order to get that. There are some great deals out there for people who can weigh up weaknesses compared to strengths. But, understanding projectors doesn’t come easy. Here’s where I come in. Yes, I, projector expert extraordinaire and your personal guide to finding the right one for you. I’ve got the BenQ MW632ST 3,200 ANSI Lumen Colorific MHL DLP Projector with me right now. And, while it has some problems, there are some great features too that might be just right for some people.
- Quick Set-Up
- Great Sound
- 3200 Lumens
- Excellent Connectivity
- 120 Inch Screen from 5 Feet
- 1200×800 Native Resolution
Size and Design
Nothing huge to report on the design or the size. We’re not talking about a super-portable here but you will be able to carry this thing around with you without any problems. The measurements are 9.15 inches by 11.3 inches by 4.5 inches. 4.5 inches of depth is quite thick but I tend to like that because thin models tend to break easily when dropped. It’s not going to fit into your pocket but it will slip into a bag or suitcase and it will slot between the Television and the DVD player when you’re done using it. The weight is 5.7 pounds making it rather light so it won’t be a burden to hold. The color is nice but aesthetically the most important thing is the large vents going around the front and side. This matters for sound, so check out my performance description below to find out what those large Vents mean for you.
The set-up is a mixture of good and bad. The manufacturer went to great lengths to point out how the Keystone Correction allows you to obtain a flat image when the projector is placed off-center. However, they left out Keystones tendency to import distortions so be careful during the set-up. That said, the whole set-up can be done in under 10 minutes which is fast. And, the picture configuration was already set up well at the factory so no changes need to be made there. You’ll be throwing up images immediately.
You get 3200 Lumens of brightness here and they perform incredibly well. So on an ordinary afternoon if you’re doing a presentation at work then you won’t have to close the curtains or draw the blinds. Lumen performance like this also means the whole thing has added portability. Some rooms have more light in them than others so whether you’re watching a movie at a friend’s house or kicking backyard watching football; you should get a great picture without needing complete darkness.
The other great inclusion is the Short-Throw Lens. And, by short I mean super short in this case. You can get a 120-inch screen from just 5 feet back. That’s massive. I know some folks who own a 300-inch projector screen and have never got more than 80 inches of screen size due to having small rooms or little space. With this, you always get a big picture. Great for offices too. Important meetings with lots of people in the room, resulting in cramped environments. But you can just plonk the BenQ MW632ST down close and still get cinema-like size images.
If you’ve read some of my other reviews you’ve no doubt heard me complaining about the sound quality on projectors. Manufacturers tend to focus on the picture and then sling in 2 Watt speakers that aren’t up to the job. But here they’ve gone with 10 Watt speakers and do you remember those Vents I mentioned in the Size/Design part? Big Vents like these allow the sound to filter out easily so it isn’t muffled. The speakers really amp up the quality of movies and presentations. and while they can distort at maximum volume, there’s no other difficulty to report.
I also mentioned a little bit of giving and taking in the projector business. For those great Lumens, excellent Short-Throw, and for that amazing sound, you give up some picture quality. There’s only a 1200×800 native resolution here. It’s not going to leap out at you like a movie on the cinema would. You’re not going to be emotionally moved by all that clarity and depth. But it’s still pretty good. I saw no problems with charts or text and movies were easily watchable. It’s not HD, so if you’re looking for that then see my other reviews. You do get a 13000-1 Contrast Ratio though, which means darks and lights are excellent. This really helps with text clarity especially when you’re using thicker fonts. This makes it one of the better presentation Projectors but at 1200×800 it’s not among the greats for movies.
You’ve got to love manufacturers. Although even by their standards the 3D Ready claim was a whopper of an over-sell. They gleefully wrote in their description that all you need are 3D Glasses. Well, last time I checked 3D was 1080p in each eye and the native resolution here is only 1200×800 so you could buy 10 pairs of 3D Glasses and still never see 3D here. This is a pretty good Projector so I honestly don’t know why BenQ had to make the whole ‘3D’ claim.
The two MHL connections are fine inclusions. MHL is faster than USB for connecting up mobile devices like Phones and Tablets. So you could do a presentation on one of these then hook it up to your Projector without losing any speed. Great for PowerPoint presentations where visual images and text flash up on the screen. You’ll be able to share any content from mobile devices on this projector. MHL is very useful for downloaded movies because you won’t get all the buffering you might get with USB. They’ve also given you 2 VGA for analog devices. You get a USB source too, and they’ve put this in so you can hook up your TV sticks like Amazon Fire and Roku to watch digital TV. I was very happy with the connectivity.
So it all comes down to what you want a Projector for. If you have small rooms or little space then the Short-Throw here will be invaluable. It’s what you’re looking for. There just aren’t many Projectors available that give you 120 inches from 5 feet back. You’ll get a giant screen size here. If you love great sound then again, this is right for you. And, if you live in a place with large windows that let in light whether you close the curtains or not then this is for you. Fast-paced work environments would also love this because you don’t have to draw the blinds for use. But,. if you were after a cinematic picture then you’ll be disappointed. Movies aren’t going to look like they do at the cinema. So now you know about all the strengths and weaknesses, is this your dream model? Does it match your lifestyle and needs? Or do you need to shop around a little more? Thank you for reading.