For those willing to splurge on a truly big-screen experience at home, all-in-one projectors have made it incredibly easy to build a solid home theater without completely breaking the bank, and the latest offering from BenQ caters to gamers too with 4ms response times and impressive brightness.
The biggest reason to choose the new BenQ X3000i over the growing number of 4K all-in-one projectors slowly trickling out into the market is that it uses four LEDs inside—one for blue, red, and green light plus an additional blue LED that serves as a boost—to throw 3,000 lumens of brightness on a screen or wall while still remaining relatively compact. Even the $2,500 XGIMI Aura Short-Throw Laser Projector we tested last year only hit 2,400 lumens, making the new $2,000 BenQ X3000i a seemingly better choice for rooms where the lighting can’t always be kept completely dark.
There are many other advantages to using LEDs over more traditional light bulbs in a projector, including no warm-up time needed for the projector to hit full brightness, minimal heat production which reduces the need for overly loud cooling fans, and BenQ claims the LEDs should last up to 20,000 hours, giving the projector a 10-year life span if used around five hours a day.
BenQ also promises response times of just 4ms with the projector displaying a 1080P image at 240Hz, 8ms at 1080P at 120Hz, and 16ms when bumped up to full 4K at 60Hz. It can’t hit the 1ms response times of the best gaming monitors, but most competitive gamers aren’t going to opt for a projector anyways.
On the back of the X3000i, you’ll find two HDMI 2.0b ports with one offering eARC support (a third HDMI port is accessible beneath the projector but is used by an included Android TV dongle), a USB-A port that can be used to power an alternate streaming dongle, SPDIF, a headphone jack, a power connector, and an RS-232 port for those who choose to permanently mount it high out of reach.
On the side of the projector, you’ll find a full set of manual controls for when the included wireless remote goes missing (always a welcome feature) as well as manual sliders for both focus and 1.3X optical zoom, making it easier to position the projector in a room while ensuring the projected image properly fills a screen. Sound is provided by a built-in pair of 5W speakers that can simulate a 3D surround setup (don’t expect miracles) and the projector can also be used as a wireless speaker through Bluetooth.
The BenQ X3000i is available for pre-order now through the company’s website, with shipping expected to start in just a few weeks on March 7.