A Bright and Powerful Gem – Review Geek

Ranking:
9/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Scorching Rubbish
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Rubbish
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Professionals, Tons Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Sufficient to Purchase On Sale
  • 7 – Nice, However Not Finest-In-Class
  • 8 – Incredible, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Cash
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Worth: $1,999

The BenQ X3000i gaming projector next to its Android TV dongle, remote control, and two gaming controllers
Kevin Bonnett

We are likely to solely take into consideration projectors in relation to TV options, however not typically sufficient for gaming when, truly, projectors just like the BenQ X3000i are completely tailor-made for the duty. With brilliant color-accurate photographs, low latency, and a number of gaming modes. Who may ask for extra?

This is What We Like

  • Excellent colour accuracy and picture high quality
  • Three distinctive gaming modes
  • Low latency
  • Audio sounds loud and crisp
  • A number of mounting choices

And What We Do not

  • 110% vertical offset not supreme for ceiling mounting
  • Blacks are strong however may very well be somewhat richer

BenQ first introduced the X3000i at CES 2022, which was thrilling, and after going hands-on with it for just a few weeks, I can say it’s really spectacular. The corporate advertises the X3000i as an immersive open-world gaming projector, saying it “overwhelms you with probably the most cinematic visible and auditory influence.” And with three devoted gaming modes, digital 3D encompass sound, assist for eARC and Dolby Atmos, low latency (16ms 4K at 60Hz), a brilliant 4LED mild supply, and 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut protection, that assertion is difficult to argue with.

Plus, with an included Android TV wi-fi adapter, built-in audio system, and a number of mounting choices, the X3000i effortlessly pulls double responsibility as a house theater projector. The projector is enjoyable to make use of, and it could simply deal with recreation evening simply in addition to film evening. It’s the one to beat wherever close to this worth level.

Specs as Examined

  • Projection System: DLP (0.65 inches)
  • Native Decision: 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) with HDR-PRO/HDR10 assist
  • Native Facet Ratio: 16:9
  • Undertaking Measurement: As much as 200 inches
  • Dynamic Distinction Ratio: 500,000:1
  • Coloration Protection: 100% DCI-P3 Cinematic Coloration
  • Gentle Supply: 4LED
  • Brightness: 3,000 ANSI lumens (about 900 nits)
  • Lamp Life: 20,000 hours Regular/SmartEco mode, 30,000 Eco
  • Refresh Fee: As much as 240Hz
  • Throw Ratio: 1.15~1.50:1
  • Zoom Ratio: 1.3x
  • Projection Offset: 110% vertical
  • Keystone Adjustment: 2D, Auto +/- 30 levels Vertical/Horizontal
  • Latency: 4ms at 1080p/240Hz, 8ms at 1080p/120Hz, 16ms at 4K/60Hz
  • Sound: 2x 5W audio system, with assist for eARC, Dolby Atmos, digital 3D encompass
  • Inputs/Outputs: 2x HDMI 2.0b, USB Kind A-1, 3.5mm Mini Jack, RS-232 in (DB-9 pin), DC 12V Set off (3.5mm Jack), Optical Audio out
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4G/5G), Google Chromecast (by way of included Android adapter)
  • Constructed-In OS: Android 10.0
  • Dimensions: 10.7 x 7.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Weight: 14.1 kilos

Design

The x3000i has a trendy trendy design, and it appears to be like extremely much like the corporate’s earlier X1300i mannequin for these acquainted with that. However make no mistake—the X3000i is on no account small. It measures 10.7 x 7.8 x 10.2 inches (excluding the adjustable toes) and weighs 14.1 kilos, so that you’ll want to make sure you have both sufficient area on the floor you wish to set it on or sufficient clearance on your display when you plan on mounting it to your ceiling (which I’ll discuss extra in a while).

Angled shot of the front, top, and right side of the BenQ X3000i projector
Kevin Bonnett

It’s formed like a dice and has a black entrance with a white case on the opposite sides, with trendy vents wrapping across the sides of the projector, including to its easy but playful type. Ports are all on the again for straightforward entry, whereas controls for settings and navigation—in addition to the guide zoom and focus dials— are on the facet.

The projector ships with an Android TV wi-fi adapter. You’ll need to undo two screws and take away the highest of the projector earlier than you possibly can plug within the pocket-knife-sized adapter, although, as there’s a devoted slot for it in there. It’s a teeny trouble, however you solely must do it as soon as, and it solely takes just a few seconds. I really like that BenQ threw in an Android TV adapter as an alternative of choosing a built-in OS that will doubtlessly get sluggish with age; plus the adapter might be changed with newer variations in future fashions.

It additionally comes with adjustable toes, {hardware} for mounting the projector the other way up (for many who need that), an influence twine, and distant batteries. The included slim distant management gives up buttons for each the projector and navigating the Android TV interface. There’s a devoted button for Prime Video, Google Assistant, D-pad navigation, quantity/mute, dwelling, again, settings, and the final projector menu. Buttons had been giant, simple to press, responsive, and I didn’t really feel like several had been lacking.

The projector’s lamp life is 20,000 hours when utilizing both the Regular mode or the SmartEco mode, and it jumps to 30,000 hours with the usual Eco mode. This interprets to properly over 10 years of enjoyment when you use the projector for a mean of 5 hours per day.

Setup

Getting the projector arrange and able to use didn’t take a lot time, as its design is pretty plug-and-play. As soon as I unboxed it and linked the Android TV adapter, it was able to get together. The typical consumer shouldn’t have any points with this a part of the method, particularly if it’s simply gonna sit on a desk.

I believed its image colour regarded strong for being contemporary out the field, as did its brightness and distinction. Once more, I don’t suppose the common consumer might want to make changes to the image; extra superior customers might wish to make slight changes and, fortunately, this projector makes it simple to take action. The one settings I felt I wanted to tweak had been with focus and keystoning, and I additionally turned off True Movement (as a result of it’s the worst).

Angled view of X3000i on table next to the included remote control and Android TV adapter
Kevin Bonnett

You may choose to position the projector on a flat floor—like a desk, countertop, or bookshelf—or mount it the other way up to your ceiling. BenQ contains all of the {hardware} you’ll want for that. It’s price noting, nonetheless, that the X3000i does have a 110% vertical offset. This implies the image popping out of the lens doesn’t shoot straight out. As an alternative, it tilts barely downward; it’s possible you’ll must decrease your display a bit to get it to line up proper. Whereas the projector helps each vertical and horizontal keystoning, it does so at the price of doubtlessly impacting latency.

Ports & Connectivity

The X3000i is spaciously giant and, as such, has loads of room for quite a lot of ports, dials, streaming sticks, and extra. And as we talked about earlier, the included QS01 Android TV adapter truly will get plugged contained in the projector; you’ll plug the micro-USB energy cable into the adapter and plug the adapter itself into the HDMI port.

All different ports are available on the projector’s exterior, and there’s a pleasant choice in addition. You may have two HDMI ports (2.0b/HDCP2.2), which made it simple to attach my ROG Zephyrus G15 laptop computer once I wished to do some gaming. There may be additionally one USB-A (2.0/Energy Provide 2.5A/Service), one RS-232 in (DB-9pin), a DC 12V Set off (3.5mm Jack), and a 3.5mm Mini Jack audio out port.

Rear of BenQ X3000i projector showing an array of ports and vents
Kevin Bonnett

As for connectivity, the X3000i helps Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. It runs Android 10.0, which brings Chromecast to the gadget for many who wish to solid movies from a cellphone or laptop computer. With the Android TV adapter, you’ll have entry to numerous widespread video streaming apps like Prime Video, Disney+, ESPN, Tubi, Paramount+, YouTube, HBO Max, and Peacock. You may also entry the Google Play Retailer for many who need different apps, like TikTok, TED Talks, Fb Watch, Kodi, and Plex.

Merely put, you possibly can completely hit the bottom working with the BenQ X3000i. Between the Android TV adapter and the projector’s many ports, it’s simple to hook up with different units, hop right into a recreation, or discover one thing to look at for household film evening.

Picture High quality

I’ve bought and loved utilizing many high-end TVs in my day, however I haven’t used many mid-range or high-end projectors earlier than. Nonetheless, to my eye, the picture high quality on the X3000i regarded incredible proper out of the field, and nothing felt unbalanced, dim, or profoundly missing. Most people who decide up this projector for his or her dwelling theater can be happy with what it gives picture-wise and that they gained’t must make a ton of changes.

Because of its 4LED lamp system, the X3000i is way brighter than projectors with a 3LED system. BenQ added a fourth blue LED pump inside, which boosts the brightness; this projector clocks in at a strong 3,000 ANSI lumens (with a distinction ratio of 500,000:1), making all of the distinction. And the place many projectors find yourself buying and selling brightness for colour accuracy, I by no means discovered that to be an issue with this mannequin. It’s brilliant sufficient to comfortably use mid-day or in a room with overhead lights on; although I’d suggest sticking with dimmer ambient lighting (or none) for the most effective image outcomes.

Maybe the one factor extra outstanding than the X3000i’s brightness is its spectacular colour accuracy. BenQ is understood for creating projectors with wonderful colour accuracy out of the field, and this projector isn’t any exception.

It covers 100% of DCI-P3—the trendy colour standardization protocol used for contemporary displays and video video games with a broader vary of colours than sRGB—with the large colour gamut setting toggled. It additionally helps each HDR-10 and HDR-PRO tone-mapping know-how, so colours will look extremely vivid and correct no matter whether or not you’re taking part in Fall Guys on-line with your folks or watching a dimly-lit scene in actually any fantasy TV present. It by no means regarded uninteresting or over-saturated at any level.

I saved the image at about 100 inches with the projector about 10 toes away from the display for the majority of my testing, sitting it atop a tall bookshelf. Its native facet ratio of 16:9 regarded nice, however it additionally helps 2.40:1 and 4:3. I moved the projector off to the facet at one level to check the vertical and horizontal keystone options, and it was simple to make use of and fast to repair. Since utilizing the keystone function can have an effect on latency, I solely suggest doing this whereas watching a film or YouTube and never whereas taking part in an internet recreation.

Talking of latency, when you aren’t messing round with the keystone function, I feel you’ll be happy with response instances right here. Latency on the projector’s native true 4K UHD decision at 60Hz, with gaming mode enabled, is 16ms. Likewise, it’s halved to simply 8ms with 1080p at 120Hz, and halved once more to 4ms with 1080p at 240Hz. The latter is very spectacular, as we don’t at all times see latency go down as framerates go up. As I performed hours of on-line FPS titles on the BenQ, I by no means seen any points with lag—it was at all times easy crusing.

As I examined out totally different placements and throw distances, I did so at totally different factors all through the day and with ambient lights on then off to see how the X3000i dealt with all of it. Unsurprisingly, it knocked it out of the park each single time. The image was at all times a lot brilliant, crisp, and had correct colours. My solely criticism right here (and it’s pretty minor given how wonderful the projector is in any other case and its $2K worth level) is that blacks may very well be somewhat richer. They’re genuinely simply tremendous, and most of the people possible gained’t discover an issue out of the field, however I felt like they may very well be improved barely (and when you really feel snug doing so, there are calibration options you possibly can fuss with to your liking).

Close-up of the projector lens at the front of the X3000i projector
Kevin Bonnett

By far, the good options BenQ added to the X3000i are three devoted gaming modes! There’s RPG, which boosts cinematic colours and sound settings once you play, properly, RPG video games like Darkish Souls; FPS, which makes a sound finder seen on the display so you possibly can find your enemies when taking part in shooters like Halo; and SPG, which boosts issues like commentary and the green-ness of the grass whereas taking part in sports activities video games like FIFA 22. The totally different modes may seem to be a bizarre flex on BenQ’s half, however I loved them. What’s to not like about higher immersion as a gamer?

No matter what I used the projector for—be it gaming, watching Disney films, or catching up with my For You web page on TikTok—I used to be always wowed by the X3000i. I by no means seen any rainbow results or different unpleasantries so far as the image was involved. It’s a pleasure to look at, at all times clear and crisp, and it appears to be like like a TV, not a projector.

Sound High quality

Prior to now, once you selected to buy a projector, you had been additionally selecting to buy an exterior audio answer. Nevertheless, this isn’t actually the case anymore with trendy audio system, and particularly not in relation to the X3000i. It sounds incredible, and wow, does it get loud!

The twin 5W full-range audio system simply fill medium-sized rooms and sound clear no matter what you hearken to. Audio is well-balanced throughout bass, mid, and treble frequencies, and devoted audio modes fine-tune your audio to boost particulars. I by no means felt like I’d want to attach my soundbar or in any other case use an exterior speaker at any level. The projector sounded effortlessly nice whereas gaming and watching TV exhibits.

Plus, the onboard Bongiovi DPS know-how helps digital 3D audio, permitting you to correctly hear not simply the place enemies are in an internet multiplayer online game, for instance, however how distant they’re. You may also allow Dolby Atmos and seven.1 pass-through by way of eARC when you’ve received the setup for it.

As I examined the projector for audio, I ran it by means of the identical audio testing playlist I take advantage of for testing earbuds and headphones and was wildly happy with the outcomes. It dealt with all genres of music (from nation to classical) like a professional. I threw all types of video content material at it—together with Marvel films, a Gradual-Mo Guys video, a humorous pet compilation, Elden Ring, Sifu, Minecraft, Gang Beasts, and Halo Infinite—and was thrilled with the complete, detailed sound. I additionally beloved having the ability to hear the place enemies had been coming from in video games and the way distant they had been.

The X3000i with the remote and Android TV adapter on top of it
Kevin Bonnett

I don’t suppose it is advisable to join separate audio system to this projector, particularly when you’ll be sitting close to it and it’s in a small- to medium-sized room. Positive, it doesn’t present an audiophile-level expertise, however it’s nonetheless fairly strong and works tremendous by itself. A devoted speaker setup by no means hurts, although, and it could solely improve the X3000i expertise.


Ultimate Ideas

The BenQ X3000i was a pleasure to check, and I’m disheartened on the considered having to ship it again. It was enjoyable to play video video games and watch movies on, as it’s highly effective, simple to make use of, and rocks some significantly spectacular specs.

I really like how brilliant it’s (whether or not it was the center of the day or late at evening), how crisp the 4K image appears to be like, how correct the colours are, and the way loud the amount is. I used to be happy with what number of mounting choices and ports it gives and that it comes with an Android TV adapter and an excellent distant management. Plus, with its three devoted gaming modes, such low latency, and an artillery of calibration controls and different settings you possibly can tinker with, the X3000i was certainly a blast to recreation on (and watch films on).

Whereas the 110% vertical offset is likely to be undesirable to anybody seeking to ceiling mount the X3000i, and its blacks may stand to be just a bit bit richer, the projector doesn’t actually have any appreciable downsides. And actually? You’re going to be hard-pressed to discover a higher projector with such excessive ease of use and so many options at this worth level.

Ranking: 9/10

Worth: $1,999

Right here’s What We Like

  • Excellent colour accuracy and picture high quality
  • Three distinctive gaming modes
  • Low latency
  • Audio sounds loud and crisp
  • A number of mounting choices

And What We Do not

  • 110% vertical offset not supreme for ceiling mounting
  • Blacks are strong however may very well be somewhat richer



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