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Best gadgets for Gaming: Tech Awards 2021 Editor's Choice Results (Part 4)

By Team HardwareZone - 12 Apr 2021

Best Home Entertainment Projector

Best Home Entertainment Projector

2020 saw people hunkering down in their homes for extended periods and parents trying to keep their sanity by entertaining their kids while also trying to get work done at home.  Some say it's the curse of Covid-19, while others say it helped bring families closer. To increase the entertainment options and in a big way, home projectors were highly promoted by many of the usual vendors. Portable ones might seem handy and an easy way to add fun to any room easily. However, they still lack the vividness and brightness to hold the attention of young ones.

All said and done, you really do need a proper home projector to bring the fun home in a big way and with the impact that the projector companies want you to enjoy. Two years back, we assessed expensive home theatre class projectors that focus on bringing the finest in imaging on the big screen and cost well above S$7,000. 

This year, we're focusing on projectors that a tier below and are designed to perform in both bright and dark rooms, upscale content to 4K resolution, cast content from your phones, output from your game console or even the traditional TV box. These Home Entertainment class of projectors are made to tackle a wider variety of content options and genres that stretch from playing your favourite games, watching the latest sports tournament and of course, binge-watching your favourite serials or immersing yourselves in the latest box office movie release from the heart of your home.

To further qualify for our Tech Awards 2021 assessment, the project must have been launched within the last 12 to 15 months (projector refresh cycles don't happen often and not to mention the supply chain logistics disruption caused by Covid-19, hence we've extended the timeline), and priced around S$2,000.

So, for 2021, these boundaries brought us to qualify two 4K home entertainment class projectors for our assessment.

 

And the nominees are…

  • BenQ TK800M
  • Epson EH-TW7000

 

And the winner is…

BenQ TK800M

Both projectors had the same basic specs, brightness levels, connectivity options etc., but the BenQ TK800M was easier to set up, more user-friendly and had better playback results.

The TK800M isn’t an ultra-short-throw projector but you can still get to project 100 inches across at about 3.3 meters from the screen. Even though it needs a fair bit of space between the screen and itself, fortunately, it is the more compact of the two models tested, is lighter and has a more modern vibe going for it.

One handy feature the TK800M had was excellent auto keystone correction. This allowed it to correct any screen distortion from misaligned placement during our setup and offers your more leeway to place the projector in your home. In fact, that was one of the standout things we liked about this projector. It was extremely user-friendly. Finding the right option you needed, or getting it set up to what you wanted was very straight forward without you needing to jump through hoops. In fact, we were up and running in around 20 minutes from unpacking the unit.

For playback, we found the projector's bright 3,000 lumens output was enough to produce 8.3 million pixels for 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) upscaled performance. HDR and HDR10 support allows for auto colour mapping, which is DCI-P3 and BT. 2020 compatible, bringing out life-like colour and tone rendering image to your big screen in the living room.

We found the TK800M had no problems handling our video materials to test its colour gamut. Blues and reds came out distinct and with little oversaturation. There was little motion blur noted while viewing the challenging escape scene from “The Martian” early in the movie. Our 4K video was played back with breath-taking graphics and colours along with crisp and sharp motion.

BenQ has also added a number of viewing modes, Football, Sport, Bright, Vivid TV and Cinema Mode, to the TK800M. Swapping between each optimises the projector for each genre although we found we preferred to use Vivid as the default mode for most viewing options.

In terms of connectivity options, the TK800M has two HDMI ports (one is HDCP 2.2 compliant for 4K devices, and the other is for 1080p devices), a VGA port, 3.5 mm audio in and out, and the power supply. The USB port can also be used to connect to a USB Wi-Fi dongle so it can connect to a home network. The projector also packs a usable speaker within its housing should you want a hassle-free and immediate playback.

Considering all the usability and performance aspects, we chose the BenQ TK800M as the winner for 2021 in our new Best Home Entertainment Projector category.
 

Scoring Breakdown

 

BenQ TK800M

Epson EH-TW7000

Design

8.5

8.0

Features

9.0

8.0

User-friendliness

9.0

7.0

Performance

8.0

7.0

Value

8.0

7.5

Overall Score

8.5

7.5

Price S$2,099 S$2,099

 

References

  • BenQ TK800M review coming soon
  • Epson EH-TW7000 review coming soon
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