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BenQ X3100i Review: Dual-Purpose

Discover the Versatile BenQ X3100i: A Dual-Purpose Marvel

While the BenQ X3100i may not excel as the top projector in a specific category, it delivers commendable results in both movie and gaming environments, making it a potent dual-purpose device that offers significant benefits to users with varied requirements.

Priced at $2,399 Available on Amazon Advantages +Vivid, clear visuals +Quick and reactive gameplay +Admirable range of colors Disadvantages -Unpredictable HDR management -Predominantly plastic construction

BENQ X3100I 4K PROJECTOR: QUICK OVERVIEW

The BenQ X3100i represents the brand’s newest high-end gaming projector, featuring a 4K DLP chip that can transition to 1080p to provide an impressively quick 240Hz refresh rate. Coupled with its luminous 4LED light source, this $2,399 (approximately £1,900 / AU$3,690) projector has ample attributes to set it apart among the top-tier 4K projectors.

All of these features are neatly housed in a somewhat fashionable, though plastic, cube that is decidedly more modern than many of the office-like projectors available. Equipped with numerous configuration options and optical tweaks, the X3100I is a robust projection device with an advantage over some of its more stylishly designed rivals.

While the X3100i may not be the first choice for those who primarily watch TV and films, it performs admirably in this regard. Considering its gaming capabilities, it becomes an obvious selection for gamers seeking a home theater projector.

BENQ X3100I 4K PROJECTOR ASSESSMENT: COST AND LAUNCH DATE

Unveiled: November 2023
List Price: $2,399 (approximately £1,900 / AU$3,690) The BenQ X3100i is currently on sale for $2,399 (around £1,900 / AU$3,690). Being a relatively new model, it hasn’t experienced significant price fluctuations or special offers during promotional events.

BenQ X3100i positioned front-facing on a table

BENQ X3100I 4K PROJECTOR ASSESSMENT: TECHNICAL DETAILS

Supported Screen dimensions: 60-200 inches Specified Brightness: 3,300 ANSI Lumens Support for HDR: HDR10, HLG Optical tech: 4LED, DLP Smart TV Platform: Android TV Ports: 3x HDMI 2.0 (1x eARC, 1x internal), optical digital audio out, USB-A 2.0, RS232, 12V trigger out, 3.5mm audio output, Ethernet Measurements: 10.7 x 8.4 x 10.2 inches (W x H x D) Heft: 15 pounds

EXAMINATION OF BENQ X3100I 4K PROJECTOR: STRUCTURE AND CHARACTERISTICS

Appealing, but not extraordinary aesthetics Adaptable optical modifications Powerful audio devices

The BenQ X3100i is a reasonably compact projector, almost resembling a cube in shape. BenQ introduces a dash of elegance by incorporating a unique pattern of ventilation openings, complemented by a dark facade highlighted in orange. However, it’s practically indistinguishable from the preceding BenQ X3000i and X1300i models. It’s difficult to overlook that the projector’s frame is constructed of plastic — akin to any business projector — but the X3100i’s design embellishments lend it slightly more visual charm than variants from Epson or Optoma.

For certain projectors, an enhanced design has implied fewer optical controls, but BenQ has not excluded them. It features a manual knob to shift the lens vertically, in addition to optical zoom and focus control rings. Digital modifications are becoming the norm on projectors, but these compromise the actual image resolution, which is why the optical adjustments on the BenQ X3100i are a valuable inclusion. It does possess digital keystone modifications, but as these introduce latency, avid gamers are advised to steer clear of them.

The setup attributes of BenQ don’t end here. The projector is equipped with a pair of adjustable feet at the front to assist in achieving the perfect angle. Ingeniously, it comes with attachable feet and a rubber buffer in case you wish to position the projector inverted on a location like a high shelf. Given the vertical offset of the lens, elevated placements necessitate the X3100i to be inverted, and these design elements enable you to do so without resorting to ceiling installation.

BenQ provides a relatively simple remote for effortless navigation through the projector’s menus and the menus of a connected streaming stick. The controls on the side panel are useful if your remote is misplaced and you need to make quick adjustments, but they feel inexpensive and lack responsiveness.

The accompanying streaming stick is a basic Android TV dongle that fits into a niche within the projector, equipped with an integrated HDMI port and a micro USB power connector. Frustratingly, it isn’t pre-installed, compelling you to remove the projector’s top cover to insert it.

Accessing the battery compartment of the included remote control is also challenging. BenQ extended the cover across nearly the entire length of the remote, making it difficult to grip.

Besides the internal HDMI port, the BenQ X3100i incorporates two additional HDMI ports at the back, one of which supports eARC. It also includes 3.5mm analog and optical digital audio outputs, ensuring your connection options are comprehensive. The built-in speakers of the projector are impressively powerful, delivering resonant sound before reaching their limit in my 200-square-foot room.

BenQ X3100i

REVIEW OF BENQ X3100I 4K PROJECTOR: QUALITY OF IMAGE AND AUDIO

Vivid 4K display Adaptable and quick gaming features Somewhat unpredictable HDR

Despite its small size, the BenQ X3100i packs a powerful punch. A 4LED light source emits a rated 3,300 ANSI Lumens, collaborating with a single DLP chip to generate a vibrant, sharp, and colorful 4K display. This projector makes films and television shows look spectacular, particularly when projected onto a screen of 100 inches or more.

To fully utilize it, you might want to combine the BenQ X3100i with an alternative streaming device like the Roku Streaming Stick Plus or Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max. The provided one didn’t appear to support HDR, and a third-party option was also unreliable in displaying HDR content, requiring considerable tweaking to optimize the projector’s settings.

Nevertheless, the BenQ X3100i is capable of delivering a stunning image. It might not produce the same deep colors as triple-laser projectors such as the Hisense PX2 Pro, which aims for complete coverage of the vast Rec. 2020 color space, but its color reproduction is still noteworthy. (BenQ’s specifications mention 100% UHDA-P3 color space coverage.)

The gaming performance of the BenQ X3100i, which can operate at 4K at 60Hz or 1080p at 240Hz, is a significant feature. With this feature, I could choose 4K for rich visuals, and then switch to 240Hz mode for intense Overwatch 2 gameplay. The projector’s DLP chip responds incredibly quickly. Navigating the battlefield and targeting different opponents was effortless, and the large projected image made the targets appear significantly larger.

No matter which picture mode I chose (except for the unattractive Bright setting), the BenQ maintained a fairly steady noise level, with fans humming softly and never spinning wildly to interrupt my experience.

BenQ X3100i

ASSESSMENT OF BENQ X3100I 4K PROJECTOR: COST-EFFECTIVENESS

$2,399 is a high-end range Admirable features for the cost

While the BenQ X3100i might not top any category, it’s a versatile choice that strives to offer more value for your investment and is a commendable projector for both home cinemas and gaming rooms. Its $2,399 cost might make it compete with other projectors that can provide equal gaming or entertainment experience, but only a handful can deliver both at the standard that BenQ accomplishes.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Gaming Performance
9
Video Quality
8.5
Brightness
8
Sound Quality
8.7
Build Quality
7
Setup
7
Value for Money
8

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While the BenQ X3100i may not excel as the top projector in a specific category, it delivers commendable results in both movie and gaming environments, making it a potent dual-purpose device that offers significant benefits to users with varied requirements. Priced at $2,399 Available on...BenQ X3100i Review: Dual-Purpose