WXGA (1,280-by-800) native resolution. Bright 4,000-lumen rating. Light enough to carry with you. Near-excellent image quality for data images. Hidden compartment for wireless streaming module.
With data images, some colors are a little dark. Shows rainbow artifacts with full-motion video. Weak audio.
- BOTTOM LINE
Bright enough for a midsize room and light enough to carry easily, the BenQ MW705 projector will be of particular interest to anyone who wants to take advantage of its hidden compartment for a wireless streaming module.
Rated at 4,000 lumens and weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces, the BenQ MW705 is bright enough for a midsize room and light enough to tote easily. Like a growing number of projectors, it also features a hidden compartment for a wireless streaming module, if you want to add one. The combination of light weight and the hidden compartment, which gives you a convenient place to connect the module permanently, helps make the projector particularly attractive for anyone who wants the convenience of quick, cable-free setup with mobile devices, including laptops.
As always with DLP projectors, brightness comparisons are a little complicated. Both Epson models are built around three-chip LCD engines, which ensures matching levels of color and white brightness. In contrast, both the MW705 and the Ricoh WX5460—like most single-chip DLP data projectors—have a lower color than white brightness. The difference in the two levels means the MW705 won’t be as bright for full-color images as you would expect from the white brightness. (For more on the topic, see Color Brightness: What It Is, Why It Matters.)
Keeping that qualification in mind, and strictly as a point of reference, according to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) recommendations, the 4,000-lumen rating for the MW705 should make it bright enough in theater-dark lighting for a 241- to 326-inch image (measured diagonally) at its native 16:10 aspect ratio and assuming a 1.0-gain screen. With moderate ambient light, the appropriate size drops to 160 inches. For smaller screen sizes, you can lower the brightness level by using one of the projector’s lower-brightness predefined modes, its Eco mode, or both.
Rainbow Artifacts and 3D
One of the key disadvantages of single-chip DLP projectors is that, unlike three-chip LCD projectors, they can show rainbow artifacts (red-green-blue flashes). That’s at least somewhat balanced by the advantage that most offer 3D support, which is rare for LCD data projectors.
In my tests, the MW705 showed rainbow artifacts infrequently enough with static data images that it’s unlikely anyone will find them bothersome. The only time I saw any was with one image that’s designed to bring them out. With full-motion video, however, they showed often enough that anyone who sees them easily may find them annoying. That makes the projector suitable for showing video clips limited to a minute or two at most.
If you need 3D, the MW705 supports all HDMI 1.4a 3D formats, using DLP-Link glasses only. However, this won’t matter in most cases, since few people need 3D for data projector applications.
Hidden Compartment and Setup
The hidden compartment for the wireless module is on the MW705’s upper side on the back left. The cover, which is held on by a screw, lifts off to reveal an HDMI port. Unlike similar compartments on some other projectors, there’s no USB Type A port in the compartment for providing power. However, the HDMI port is MHL enabled, which means it will work with any device that can get power over MHL, including the BenQ QCast Wireless Streaming module.
Hidden compartments for wireless streaming modules are showing up on more and more models. However, the MW705 adds a notable convenience that we haven’t seen on other projectors: One of the image source buttons on the remote is labeled QCast, which means you can switch to your wireless module by pressing a single button on the remote. According to BenQ,the QCast button will switch to any streaming module you choose to connect to the hidden HDMI port, QCast or not.
The compartment can be particularly helpful for portable use. If you set up your projector and mobile device to connect directly using the module, setting up on the road will be quick and easy, with the module already plugged in and no need to connect a cable. Alternatively, if you set the projector up in one room permanently, it provides a convenient place to store the module. Needing a screwdriver to remove the cover also offers some modest protection against someone walking off with it.
Setup is otherwise standard, with a manual focus and manual 1.1x zoom. Image inputs on the back include a second HDMI port, one VGA port for a computer or component video, and both composite and S-video ports. There’s also a USB Type A port, but it’s strictly for providing power. The HDMI port on the back does not support MHL.
Image and Audio Quality
The MW705’s quality for data images is near excellent overall. On our DisplayMate tests, some colors were dark in terms of a hue-saturation-brightness model with every preset mode, that that’s expected for projectors with a lower color than white brightness. Color balance was excellent, with suitably neutral grays at all levels from white to black in every preset mode.
More important for most data images is that the MW705 does a good job holding detail. With text, for example, white text on black were highly readable at 9 points in my tests and black text on white were crisp and readable at 6.8 points.