One of the benefits of watching and reporting on the projector market day-in and day-out at ProjectorCentral is that we get to look back at the end of each year and gauge the trends and stand-out products which, in hindsight, left an impression. For the first time, we’re delighted to share these observations in our inaugural ProjectorCentral Best of the Year Awards.
The products culled below from the 40 or so we reviewed or completed evaluations for in 2019 all have a little something extra. Some feature innovations or cutting-edge technologies that broke new ground; others offer impressive build or image quality that blew us away; still others just delivered the kind of price/performance value quotient that makes them an easy recommendation.
Taken in aggregate, what you’ll see from the mix is an industry that was in flux in 2019. Laser and other low maintenance, lamp-free projection solutions dropped rapidly in cost and began staking their claim in the markets for replacement education and business projectors. And we saw a more massive incursion of both affordable and premium 4K UHD projectors for the home theater market. Critically, new generation 4K home theater introductions starting in late 2018 gave us noticeably improved HDR as manufacturers began to finally figure out the tone-mapping formulas required to take advantage of this enhanced content. And of course, we saw our first reviews of 4K ultra short throw (UST) “laser TV” projectors intended to replace the family room flat-panel. We expect all of these trends to continue in 2020, and we’ll be here, as always, to tell you what we think of the new gear.—Rob Sabin, editor-in-chief.
BenQ CinePro HT3550 4K DLP Projector
BenQ notably improved image quality over prior models in 2019’s new crop of home theater projectors with updates that included an expansion of color gamut to DCI-P3 limits and its new HDR-PRO tone-mapping. These enhancements appeared in several BenQ models at different price points, but they delivered a truly superb value in the budget HT3550—one that still holds despite a recent $200 tariff-related price hike. (Read the full review).
BenQ TH671ST 1080p DLP Projector
BenQ earned our Highly Recommended award with this affordable, lightweight, 1080p gaming projector that boasts high 3,000-lumen brightness and an ambient light sensor; a short-throw lens with a helpful zoom control; color accuracy, black level, and shadow detail on par with its product class; and the low, 16.4 ms input lag that competitive gamers seek. (Read the full review).
BenQ EH600 1080p DLP Smart Projector
Intended Use: Business/Education
Review Pending | View Projector Details
BenQ bills the affordable, 3,500-lumen, EH600 as the world’s first Android-based business projector designed to make life easy for classroom and business presenters. It lived up to that promise thanks to its built-in Firefox browser for showing web pages, as well as business apps that allow users to display documents, spreadsheets, or PowerPoint presentations without a computer. It’s also equipped to wirelessly mirror a laptop or mobile device. Watch for our review this month.
What is ProjectorCentral? ProjectorCentral is a review and information site for anyone interested in projectors, screens and related equipment. We write reviews and commentaries on projectors and projection technologies, and all of the material for the site is written by our staff — Evan Powell and a few seasoned contract writers with in-depth experience in the technology we cover. We maintain a complete database of nearly every digital projector in the market that is announced, currently on the market, or discontinued.
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