The BenQ TK700 house leisure projector has rather a lot in widespread with the BenQ TK700STi, however not as a lot as you would possibly assume from their related names. The “ST” is BenQ’s shorthand for brief throw, whereas the “i” signifies good TV options, however the distinction is not simply that the TK700 has a special lens and comes with out BenQ’s Android TV dongle. It is also restricted to a single recreation mode relatively than a number of predefined settings, whereas including a barely larger most brightness and a decrease price: $1,499 record and extensively out there for much less. Among the many options it shares with the TK700STi are 4K (3,840-by-2,160-pixel) decision, HDR assist, and exceedingly brief enter lag occasions. Nonetheless, some image high quality points, together with rainbow artifacts and shade accuracy issues, hold the TK700 from being a really useful entry-level 4K gaming projector.
Constructed for 4K Gaming
As with all present 4K gaming projectors, the TK700 is constructed round a 1,920-by-1,080-pixel DLP chip that makes use of TI’s fast-switch pixel shifting to place 3,840 by 2,160 pixels on the display screen. Like most, it additionally makes use of a lamp, relatively than a solid-state gentle supply, and its eight-segment shade wheel—red-green-blue-white-red-green-blue-white—consists of white panels. The benefit of the white panels is that they enhance brightness, so the picture will stand as much as larger ranges of ambient gentle. The drawback is that they’ll additionally harm shade accuracy, which is a matter that crops up for the TK700, however simply barely. (Extra on shade accuracy later.)
The design emphasis on gaming reveals up within the TK700’s rankings for enter lag. For any recreation the place response occasions matter, a shorter lag equals faster efficient response time, and the TK700’s rankings, in addition to its outcomes on our exams, are among the many shortest lags out there for projectors at this writing. (We’ll come again to the outcomes slightly later when discussing Sport mode.)
At 6.8 kilos and 4.3 by 12.2 by 9.6 inches (HWD) the TK700 is small and lightweight sufficient to be straightforward to deal with throughout setup in addition to serve within the conventional function for gaming projectors which are transportable sufficient to carry with you. Setup is customary, with a handbook focus, handbook 1.3x zoom, and two HDMI 2.0b ports on the again panel. There’s additionally a USB Sort-A port for energy solely, which helps you to energy an HDMI streaming dongle simply. (Notice that the Supply Menu confirmed 3 HDMI ports in my exams, however BenQ confirmed that there is not any hidden third port.)
For audio, the onboard 5-watt chamber speaker delivered sufficiently prime quality to be usable at excessive sufficient quantity to fill a small to medium measurement room. For higher high quality, you’ll be able to join an exterior audio system utilizing the three.5mm audio out port or the one HDMI port that provides audio return.
Missing One Image Mode to Rule Them All
The TK700 menus supply 5 predefined image modes for SDR enter, plus a user-defined mode. The brightest mode, Shiny, confirmed an apparent inexperienced bias in my exams, as is the case with many projectors, making it finest prevented until you completely want the highest brightness. Not one of the different modes certified as having top-tier shade accuracy for the worth, nevertheless, and a few hues had been extra correct in a single mode whereas different hues had been extra correct in one other. For my viewing exams, I picked Sport mode, which got here in an in depth second to Cinema mode for total shade accuracy, whereas providing noticeably higher shadow element and distinction.
For viewing 1080p SDR films and video, Sport mode delivered properly saturated shade and acceptable shade accuracy. When viewing in a darkish room, it delivered good distinction and a way of three-dimensionality in each darkish scenes and extra brightly lit scenes, together with nearly all the element I do know to search for within the shadows. It additionally maintained the dramatic visible affect that the darkish scenes had been designed to ship.
For HDR, the TK700 helps each HDR10 and HLG. When utilizing the HDR10 discs in our 4K viewing exams, it supplied two shade mode decisions: HDR10 and HDR Sport. For my exams, I selected HDR10 for its clearly higher distinction. Colours had been acceptably correct, and shadow element held properly. I did not discover any apparent enchancment in image high quality in contrast with viewing the identical scenes of their SDR variations, however the picture high quality was a minimum of pretty much as good with HDR, which is not true for all projectors. As with most fashions which have HDR assist, the TK700 presents a setting—labeled HDR Brightness on this case— which you may want to regulate to your room brightness, and presumably from one video supply to the following, to seek out the most effective setting.
For full HD 3D, the TK700 helps DLP-Hyperlink glasses and presents a single 3D mode. I did not discover any crosstalk in my exams and noticed solely a touch of 3D-related movement artifacts in scenes that are likely to trigger them. Nonetheless, utilizing two totally different DLP-Hyperlink glasses—together with one from BenQ—I ran right into a repeatable downside that I’ve by no means seen earlier than. At particular factors in certainly one of our check clips, the colours first modified all of a sudden after which the glasses misplaced sync with the left-right alternation of frames. BenQ says it has not been capable of replicate the difficulty, and that if it had been to point out up, it will be coated below the projector’s guarantee.
No matter your most popular mode for films and video, Sport mode is the plain selection for gaming, each for the higher shadow element—the quicker you’ll be able to see what’s occurring within the shadows, the quicker you’ll be able to react to it—and for its state-of-the-art brief lag occasions for projectors. My Bodnar meter timed the enter lag for 4K 60Hz enter at 17.0 milliseconds (ms). For 1080p, the lag was 16.9ms at 60Hz, 8.5ms at 120Hz, and 4.3ms at 240Hz.
Sadly, rainbow artifacts, which any single-chip projector can present, are a possible concern for the TK700. I noticed them much more ceaselessly all through my SDR and HDR testing with the TK700 than is typical, and so they had been additionally unusually apparent. In the event you see these red-green-blue flashes simply and discover them bothersome, make sure to purchase the projector from a supplier that enables straightforward returns with no restocking payment, so you’ll be able to try it out for your self.
The three,200 ANSI lumen ranking for the TK700 is sufficient to fill a 260-inch diagonal, 1.0 achieve 16:9 display screen in a darkish room, based on Society of Movement Image and Tv Engineers (SMPTE) suggestions. Utilizing the decrease brightness Sport mode, the picture was simply sufficient for a 90-inch 1.0-gain display screen in a darkish room, or an 80-inch display screen in a household room at evening with lights on. Within the daytime with the identical 80-inch display screen and lightweight streaming by way of home windows, the picture was watchable, however washed out.
Verdict: Look Past the Rainbows, or Go Elsewhere
For house leisure, and for players who wish to transfer as much as a big-screen 4K HDR picture and the shortest enter lags out there, the BenQ TK700 could be a stable entry-level projector. If rainbow artifacts are a problem for you, nevertheless, make sure to take into account the Optoma UHD35 as an alternative, which presents barely larger brightness together with basically the identical enter lag occasions, and did a greater job of avoiding exhibiting the red-green-blue flashes in our exams.
In order for you a 4K gaming and residential leisure mannequin at a step past entry degree, take into account the TK700STi or Optoma UHD55 as properly. The TK700STi’s brief throw lens can ship a much bigger picture in a small household room or different tight area, and together with its Android TV streaming options, it provides three recreation modes—for first-person shooters, sports activities, and role-playing video games—to allow you to regulate each audio and video settings simply for every sort. The UHD55 lacks the a number of recreation modes, however presents larger brightness than both BenQ mannequin does, basically the identical lag time, fewer rainbow artifacts, and top-tier shade accuracy for the worth class.