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BenQ W1400 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1000
inc VAT

Impressive picture quality, but 3D is hit-and-miss and DLP effects are unavoidable


1,920×1,080 resolution, 2,200 ANSI lumens, 120x339x285mm, 3.9kg

BenQ has split its high-end projector range into two separate models: the W1500, and the W1400 reviewed here. The only major difference between is that the W1500 supports wireless video, so if you’re happy to use a cable the W1400 is a significantly cheaper alternative. Like the W1500, the W1400 is a fairly compact home cinema projector that supports 1080p Full HD resolutions and 3D. Focus and zoom controls are located on top of the W1400, and there are vents on the front and sides to expel hot air from the lamp.

BenQ W1400

At the back, twin HDMI inputs let you connect multiple devices directly to the projector, or pass through a 3D signal if your A/V amplifier isn’t compatible with 3D sources. There’s also component, composite, S-Video and PC VGA video inputs, phono and 3.5mm audio inputs, along with a 3.5mm audio output should you not want to use the integrated speakers. Considering the two 10w drivers are merely average at best, producing weak, tinny audio with no real bass, we’d definitely suggest using a set of dedicated speakers. Finally, you can use the W1400’s 12v trigger and RS-232 port with an automation system to activate an electric screen or draw blinds, should you have such a system.

BenQ W1400

Unsurprisingly at this price, the W1400’s lens system is completely manual. You have a slider to adjust the level of zoom up to a maximum 1.6x and a wheel to control focus. We’ve seen projectors with loose focus wheels that struggle to keep everything pin-sharp, but that wasn’t the case here. You’ll also find lens shift controls beneath a small flap. This system moves the entire lens assembly, which is much more useful than the digital keystone feature seen on many sub-£1,000 projectors.

The buttons on top can be used to turn the W1400 on and off, change the active input, control the volume and navigate menus, but once the projector is in place the backlit remote control is much more convenient. However you navigate it, the rather sparse menus only give you a small amount of image quality controls. You get the standard brightness, contrast, sharpness and colour sliders, along with three picture presets: Dynamic, Standard and Cinema.

BenQ W1400

By default, the W1400 starts in Standard mode. This produces impressively bright images but at the same time the projector struggles to produce deep blacks, leaving darker scenes looking a little grey and washed out. At least colours were vibrant, giving football matches and games plenty of punch. The Cinema mode works best in the dark, boosting shadows and toning down colour vibrancy for a more film-like appearance. We used it as a starting point for our calibration, saving the results in one of the three user preset modes.

Advanced features include Brilliant Colour, which boosts colour vibrancy even further and attempts to make whites look white, rather than slightly yellow. We turned it on for most content, but it occasionally made certain shots look a bit unrealistic. Noise reduction and detail enhancement do a great job of sharpening videos without introducing unwanted pixel artefacts, as long as the onscreen content is moving fairly slowly.

The most important extra feature is frame interpolation, which smoothes moving images to remove judder. It works best on its lowest setting, and the W1400 coped well with fast-paced Blu-ray films without creating noise or artefacts. They begin to creep in when you turn the setting up to either Medium or High, so it should be left on Low for best results.

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Price £1,000
Rating ****


Projector technology DLP
Lamp brightness 2,200 ANSI lumens
Lamp life 4,000
Lamp life in economy mode 5,000
Contrast ratio 10,000:1


Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Max compressed resolution 1,600×1,200
Aspect ratio 16:9
Other aspect ratios 16:10, 4:3, 5:4
Max diagonal at 7ft 84in
Throw ratio 1.07:1 to 1.71:1
Optical zoom 1.6x
Projection distance 1.6m to 6.7m
Mirror image yes
Invert image yes
Lens shift horizontal N/A
Lens shift vertical 130%
HD Ready yes
Special view modes Standard, dynamic, cinama, user 1, user 2, user 3, ISF


VGA input yes
DVI input No
Sound inputs 3.5mm, phono
Composite input yes
S-video input yes
HDMI input yes
PAL support yes
SECAM support yes
NTSC support yes
Audio output 3.5mm
Video output none
Others inputs/outputs second HDMI input, RS232, trigger out


Noise (in normal use) 33dB(A)
Size 120x339x285mm
Weight 3.9kg
Internal speakers yes (2x 10W)
Extras remote, carry case, cables (power)
Remote special features input select, colour mode, 3D mode, backlight, aspect ratio, freeze, contrast, brightness, sharpness, picture in picture
Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption on 386W


Lamp cost (inc VAT) £280
Lamp supplier
Lamp cost per hour of use £0.08
Lamp cost per hour of use (economy) £0.06

Buying Information

Price £1,000

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