Looking for 720p projector for below $400? The BenQ MW526AE is one of the very few on offer at this price range. Sure there some Chinese manufactures that claim to have such features too but they can be spurious. BenQ has never been a “cheap” brand, so for them to offer 3300 lumens with high resolution definitely garners a lot of interest. Here is a review of the BenQ MW526AE projector:
- Extensive menu options with teaching templates, brightness adjustment, vertical keystone correction etc.
- Dual HDMI inputs (can connect to PC + another HDMI device)
- Very nice brightness and picture quality (rare at this price)
- Does not need a screen, projects perfectly on a wall
- Can project 100+” images
- More reliable than other sub $400 projectors
- Weak in-built speakers
Overall Impression BenQ MW526AE :
Size and Design:
BenQ MW526AE projector is an upgrade or newer version of the BenQ MW526A projector. We did review of the older projector back in the day and remember being quite happy with it.
The design on this projector is simple as it comes. It has manual focus and zoom and holes on the bottom for ceiling mount. There are plenty of connectivity options, includes almost everything you could want, audio in/out, video in/out, HDMI, USB, VGA ports. It weighs about 5 pounds and is pretty easy to carry. The in-built fan noise is also minimal.
When we talk about performance, we need to keep in mind the price of the projector as well. You can’t expect a 1080p HD projector at this price, you’d have pay close to a thousand dollars for one of those. But is the WXGA resolution really such a big deal? In my opinion, it is not. For movies, presentations and gaming, the 720p resolution works pretty well. Combine that with 15000:1 contrast ratio and the high brightness of this projector; you have a winner on your hands.
The in-built speakers are pretty weak, so you may need to carry a portable speaker around if you need a traveling projector. For most home set-ups though, to get the movie theater experience, most people buy a speaker anyways. The weak speakers are really the only negative one can think about for this projector.
The lamp life is close to 5,000 hours, which is standard for DLP projectors. The genuine BenQ replacement bulb for this projector comes for about $200, which admittedly is a bit steep. Cheaper unbranded options should be available soon as the projector gets older.
Finally we need to talk about how good the projector is at projecting. Even a cursory look at amazon reviews for this projector will let you know that the images are perfect. Most people are surprised by how good, bright and crisp clear the images are. Comparing it with images from other brands also confirms that the BenQ MW526AE provides great value for money.
Do I recommend this projector? The answer is a resounding yes!
Do most people who own this projector recommend it? Again, a resounding yes!
It is hard to find such a cost-effective projector with over-overwhelmingly positive reviews. For most generic purposes, this is a perfect projector. I also think that the BenQ MW526AE makes for a great first projector due it’s cheap price and easy set-up. Can’t fault it in anyways, highly recommend.