I have a friend - let’s call him Steve. Steve has an awesome villa. Steve spent close to AED 80,000 to turn one of his bedrooms into a private home cinema. When I look at the BenQ W11000, I think of Steve.
Build Quality & Design
The W11000 is the largest projector I’ve reviewed so far, and weighs almost as much as a three year old child (close to 15kg, if you’re interested). It is an absolute beast, and no matter where you set it up, you’re going to get plenty of oooohs and aaaahs. At 47x 22.5 x 56cm, it takes up plenty of space, but this isn’t something that you’re just going to whip out at a moment’s notice and place onto your coffee table. For that there’s things like the BenQ W1210ST, while the W11000 requires a bit more attention. If you’re going to be investing in something this professional, you’re obviously going to either mount it properly on the ceiling.
The BenQ W11000 has a number of available tweaks to help you get the best image size and position. There are two rings located on the front of the projector around the lens – one helps you get the image in focus while the other can be used to zoom the image in and out. Unfortunately, these features are not motorized so you can't control them via the remote control.
There are also two knobs located at the top of the W11000 which you can use to shift the position up, down, left, or right. This is good for situations where you’ve noticed the image shift is a bit off after you’ve mounted the projector and just need to make a tiny adjustment instead of remounting the whole thing. There’s sadly no keystone correction, so you’re going to have to make sure that your setup is absolutely perfect. Thankfully there’s a handy ‘Grid’ option on the controller to help you align your image properly onto your projected surface. The supplied remote lets you control pretty much any aspect of the W11000, and handily glows bright red when you press a button, in case you need to use it in the dark.
In addition to being a monster 4K projector, the W11000 is the world’s first THX certified DLP 4K UHD projector. While that might be a mouthful to pronounce, it simply means that the color and image quality that you’ll get from the W11000 is like no other projector on the market. The W11000 is more than capable of showcasing content in Full HD, but if you’ve got access to 4K content, you’re really going to love using this projector. You also get Rec. 709 color accuracy with a 50,000:1 dynamic contrast. All of this combined helps to produce an absolutely stunning image.
You’ve got two HDMI ports (HDCP 2.2 and 1.4a) and one VGA port to play around with, which isn’t too bad. I personally would have axed the VGA port and added another HDMI port instead. VGA doesn't really support 4k resolution anyway, but in BenQ's defense I think it was included as I think there are still scenarios where people use laptops with a VGA connection (such as if this was set up in a hotel ballroom), so I think this was included just as a precaution. You could potentially connect a Blu-ray player or high-def gaming console to one HDMI port, while the other could be used for a PC or even a streaming device such as an Android TV box. I do really wish that the W11000 was a smart projector with app support, as I think this would really be a great selling point. We see TVs sporting popular apps all the time, so I think it’s high time that projectors followed suit. I would have loved to have Netflix or YouTube running natively on the W11000 without having to turn on an additional device such as a PC or games console.
This point aside, the W11000 will correctly detect whatever you’re connecting up to it. I hooked up an Android TV box that we had around the office, and the W11000 began to project in native 4K resolution without any issues. Apps such as Netflix and YouTube offered up 4K content by default, and it looked superb. There are no audio ports at all on the W11000 - not even an optical out, which may or may not be a bad thing depending on how your setup works.
To fully appreciate the W11000, I had to go big – way bigger than I could project comfortably in my apartment. So I popped over to a friend’s house and we set up the W11000 outside in her garage. We managed to fit in a comfortable 156” projected image, and even though we were projecting on a garage door, the image was incredibly bright and crisp. We played through a few music videos such as Coldplay’s ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’, which featured plenty of lush jungle greenery that looked great at Full HD. Bumping up the resolution to 4K showed a noticeable drop in quality, as HD content blown up to 4K isn’t going to be as pretty.
So in order to fully appreciate the W11000, I switched to Netflix which is my go-to space for 4K content. Firing up Chef’s Table was a visual masterpiece, as every dish that was presented on screen was truly a sight to behold. Colors were deep and rich, and the bright fires of busy kitchens gleamed in the reflection of shiny stainless steel counters. Every water droplet, every fine grain of rice that was plated – all of it was simply breathtaking to watch. We switched over to The Get Down, where the grainy visual effects and dark settings were replicated pixel by pixel. Similarly, a 4K video of a desert landscape featured deep oranges and reds that made us feel like we were staring out into an actual desert. Whatever you’re throwing at the W11000 it’ll handle with ease, but it was built to showcase 4K content, and it does this with an incredible finesse.
You can of course also use the W11000 for gaming if you choose to, however I don’t think it's best suited for that. Playing Overwatch at 4K on PC yielded some decent frame rates, but there was a slight lag which would be unacceptable for a game such as Overwatch. More casual games such as Ratchet and Clank on the PS4 faired a bit better, as did Watch Dogs 2.
It’s not impossible to use the W11000 for video games, but I feel that it shines the best when just used for cinema content. Surprisingly, the W11000 is super quiet, thanks to larger fans in the body that spin at a slower speed to keep things cool. Even when sitting right next to the projector, it wasn’t any louder than a gentle hum, so once ceiling-mounted you’ll probably never hear the W11000 while it’s in use.
If you’re like my friend Steve and you want to build your own personal cinema at home (who wouldn’t?), then the BenQ W11000 is an easy recommendation. At AED 20,000 it’s certainly a lot of money to be paying, but the picture quality on this thing is absolutely insane, and in truth is worth it if you’re never going to bother going to the cinema again. Yes, there are of course cheaper projectors on the market that you can use for a home-cinema experience, but none of them even come close to the image quality and clarity that you’ll get on the W11000. If you can afford it, the BenQ W11000 is probably one of the best projectors for your own personal home cinema.