BenQ W710ST, New User Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-26-2013, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
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First, I'm not a professional. This will be a non-technical review. Second, I have a another 710 coming from Amazon. The first one, which I recently had the oppurtunity to play with for a few weeks, had an unacceptable speaker problem - it "buzzed" the projector body starting @ 1/3 volume. This review is based on my time with the first 710, which is now boxed up and ready to go back to Amazon. If there are any changes with the second 710, I'll report back. Otherwise, I'll not be likely to maintain this review unless there is something major to report. I'll try to respond to question/comments, if any, but I cant guarantee it. I'll do my best to keep this review as accurate and concise as possible...

Why did I buy the BenQ W710ST?

It offered what I wanted: short throw, quiet fan, contrast (rated 10000:1), HD (720p) for the purposes of home theater. A fairly good warranty (1 year on all including the lamp) along with competitive pricing caused me to give it a try.

Unboxing/First Impressions:
Peeling back the layers started with a sturdy carton, cardboard shock protection, a clear plastic bag and a black nylon projector case. The carry case is well made. Dense 1/2 inch padding is on all 6 sides. A large single side pouch displays an embroidered Benq logo and holds 7 extras (VGA & power cords, warranty card, Instructional DVD - which I havn't touched, remote control, batteries, case shoulder strap). As is usual, no HDMI or component cables.The carry case also has a carry handle on "top" and an odd 3rd handle on the "back" (dont have a clue the purpose of the 3rd strap). 4 rubber grommets are on the "bottom" but not a good idea. The projector could fall over when set on its feet.

Exposing the 710:
Unzipper the top and the projector is inside another foam-type bag. Undo the velcro security strap holding it inside. The projector color is white with a medium gray band surround. The projector feels sturdy (no loose parts sound) and appears well made (lines are precise). It also feels chunky and odd-shaped. It's not compact. A large lense cap @ 4" in diameter is attached by a 3" rubber tether. The lense cap is compression fit (It doesn't click or screw on) - somewhat awkward to remove and replace.

Using the 710:
I am displaying the 710 on a smooth, flat, slightly yellow wall @ 4' and propped up @ 6" off the floor. Viewing distance is about 9' - 10'. All possible connections are at the back. 2 HDMI connections is a plus. Cords fits securely. Audio is mono on all connections and not well marked (It appears as 2 channel but it is not). As I stated above the internal speaker was buzzing so I didn't bother to use this at all.

Hooked up 3 DVD players (standard def using component input, upscaling & bluray using both HDMI inputs). More about this later.

The 710 Pros (based on my limited experience and knowledge):
- Short throw. It works very well. Image was large, @ 7' wide and 3.5' high. Manual zoom offers enough variablity. Zoom (and focus) controls are sure and smooth. Light "leakage" (lighter area around the display image) is slightly visible but not to a point of distraction.
- Fan. Very quiet. Nearly silent in eco mode.
- Heat. Nothing significant detected. Not an issue.
- Color compensation feature. Seemed to work very well on my light yellow wall.
- Display (test pattern) is consistent. No out-of-focus points.
- Very acceptable brightness in eco mode. Had a shaded 60 watt lamp left of center @ 7' from the wall. Only a slight washing out of the display image. Nothing I couldn't adjust to.
- Color, brightness, contrast and detail all were good out of the box. And I was very impressed with the bluray image. Again, I am unable to get technical but I didn't feel any real need to work around factory presets. I was most impressed with the honest color and, of course, the greatness of the size of the image at such a short throw.
- A few nice features built into the remote include backlit buttons with an easy-reach backlight control and an easy-reach test pattern button. Another feature I liked was the ability to change the location of the on-screen menu. It doesn't have to be locked on to the center of the display image. It can be moved to various sections of the display

The 710 Cons:
- Built-in sound (for reasons previously stated).
- No horizontal keystone adjustment.
- Projector appears not to be able to handle certain blues and grays under some situations. I noticed, especially from bluray, noise (a look of swarming bacteria easily seen but not entirely annoying). However, this problem was not consistent and changed from movie to movie or scene to scene. (Now you see it and - presto - now you dont.) I realize I may be seeing the limitations of a projector on a budget.

What should be improved:
The remote/ on-screen menu. An odd thing about the remote is it does not have continuous function; meaning you have to keep pressing the button to do something rather than simply holding the button down, like for adjusting keystone or volume. Speaking of volume, the projector should have multi-channel, pass-through sound controlable from the projectors remote. It would also be a heckofa convenient thing to have a motorized focus and zoom controlable from the remote, as well. As for the on-screen menu, it too had a few strange quirks. For example, when hitting return, you are brought back to the beginning of the section, not to the beginning of the item your were on. So you find youself doing a two-step every time you want to make an adjustment. And it was mentioned by another 710 owner here on AVS that a number of functions on the menu are inaccessable. This is true. And the number of these inaccessable functions seem to increase or decrease entirely on their own without a clear or obvious reason why. Using factory presets (cinema, gaming, etc) will blank out certain adjustments. But there are other non-usable functions. More experienced users may be able to explain. Simply put, the remote/os menu is not very intuitive or use friendly.

About the DVD players:
As I mentioned I had three, each a step up from the other. With the 710 I was able to readily test one against the other, all playing the same movie. Bluray was, hands down, the best. And the 710 showed its HD capabilities beautifully (the blue/gray problem notwithstanding). The image was vibrant, detailed and colorful. It was a joy to behold. Regarding the upscaling player, I was not that impressed. It was only somewhat better than the SD player. In fact, in one way, I actually liked the old DVD player more than the upscaler since it provided a "softer", more "forgiving" image.

Conclusion:
All in all, regardless of the speaker problem (since it's not vital), my first use and impression of the W710ST is a positive one. The manufacturer produced a quality product. It does well what it is intended to do. It does however, have its quirks. With a few improvements the 710 could be a first-class "low-end" (under $1k) projector. If it holds up over time, this is not a purchase I would ever regret. I'm looking forward to delivery of the second 710 and will report again if there are any significant findings. Based on what I know so far, would I recommend the BenQ W710ST?

Yes.


I have to add a word about Amazon: I am really liking this company. They claim they are "customer-centric" and I'm believing it. The original purchase process was no hassle. When I put in a claim for a new replacement projector, it was painless. There were no hoops to jump through. I received an apology and a new 710 was sent out the very next day. No charge. No questions. I like it.

Update 2/6/13. I have the replacement 710. It arrived promptly and in perfect condition. No speaker buzz. Very satisfied with the way Amazon handled this.
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-04-2013, 01:53 PM
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Nice review. I have had mine for about 3 months now and really enjoy it. I have an issue with a beam close the screen wall so the w710 was a good solution for the price.

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post #3 of 9 Old 02-06-2013, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I'm into movies so I'm really enjoying mine, too. Even my wife is impressed. The great thing is you really don't need high-priced equipment to enjoy home theater. By the way, in case you're interested, I updated the review (a few additions, some rewrite and a short update). Any suggestions for improvement? Did I forget anything? How is your experience using the 710?
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-11-2013, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avfrenzy View Post

Thanks. I'm into movies so I'm really enjoying mine, too. Even my wife is impressed. The great thing is you really don't need high-priced equipment to enjoy home theater. By the way, in case you're interested, I updated the review (a few additions, some rewrite and a short update). Any suggestions for improvement? Did I forget anything? How is your experience using the 710?

If you remember, I had posted in the earlier thread too - http://www.avsforum.com/t/1448677/its-done-went-with-the-benq-w710st/

Anyways, I'm close to completing 3 months with it too, though barely spent around 30 hours on the lamp (office keeps me busy frown.gif ). I agree with all the points you made and though I have yet to try it with a Blu-ray player (all viewing done through my PC), I am very happy with my purchase.

I was quite surprised with the build quality myself; especially the part where it does not seem to heat up that much! No loose parts and no funny sounds. smile.gif
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-02-2013, 09:51 PM
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SOrry to bump a month old thread, I just got the benq w710st , but im kinda bummed out that after 4 hours on the lamp life it started to flicker on the screen.
my little girl was watching a movie and she came and got me and asked me why it was doing that. it gives like a quick brighter flash of light. first time lasted about 45 seconds and stopped. the next day on another movie it started again but did not stop. I turned off the blu ray player hoping it was the player but the projector was still doing it.

finally i switched from eco mode to normal mode and it stopped. then i turned it back on eco and set the projector on the test pattern mode. about 5 minutes later it flickered about 5 seconds and stopped. anyone know what this is? im currently working on my screen and when I get the projector set back up I just know its going to do that again. I hope the bulb isnt going bad after 4 hours of use, I dont want to tell my wife after talking her into letting me spend $600 to buy it. frown.gif please help!
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-04-2013, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Jesse,

Sorry, I'm unable to help. It's not a problem I'm familiar with. I am also a new (710) projector user. And, after a total of about 35 hours, things are not going that well for me either. My first 710 had a speaker problem (buzzing sound). Now, my 2nd 710 has developed "dust blobs" (noticed at about 22 hours).

You should have some options, though. Where did you buy it? Send it back for a replacement or a refund. Or you can send it back to the manufacturer for repair (As I write I'm trying to come to a conclusion on this myself).

It's a real bummer Jess. Evidently, it seems, the ONLY thing consistent about projectors is thier INconsistency. Or maybe we were just unlucky. You'll have to decide whether the "issues" are worth the effort. Good luck.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-04-2013, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh, and here's the kicker: I gave this projector a thumbs-up as you've probably noticed in my review. And my projector purchase wasn't wife-preapproved. Although she thinks it's kinda neat, I have to keep problems on the down-low, lest I get the menacing "serves-ya-right" look.
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-01-2013, 04:52 AM
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So have you tried it with NVIDIA 3d Vision. Im trying to decide on a multi projector gaming setup. Thanks

TV: SONY 65" 4K X900 - AVR: DENON AVR x4000 - AMP: ROTEL RMB 1585 5Ch 200w - OPPO 103D BD PLAYER
CENTRE: KEF Q600c - FRONT L/R: KEF Q900
SURROUND L/R: KEF Q300 - SURROUND BACK L/R: KEF Q900
SUB: SVS PC13-ULTRA
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-07-2013, 10:54 AM
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I received my 710ST yesterday. Overall I am happy with it. For the most part the picture is excellent. Fantastic with bluray. The only issue is the image noise in certain scenes as others mentioned above. My previous projector was the Optoma HD66 and it also had some noise. I think that's more than reasonable considering the price. I think the Benq has a better image. Even though both are rated at 2500 lumens, the 710 is brighter. I can't figure out why some of the menu options are grayed out. It is a very quiet projector. Backlit remote is a bonus. Also comes in a high quality carrying case/bag. I went from a 100" screen with the HD66 to a 51" plasma and now an 80" screen with the 710. 4.5 feet from the screen. Seating position is 9.5 feet back. All in all I definitely would recommend it. Great combination of picture quality and short throw versatility/portability.
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