With ever more life-like graphics driving an ever-greater interest in big-screen gaming, BenQ has come up with a trio of new home entertainment projectors specifically designed to deliver a king-sized and immersive game experience. So game-friendly are the new X3100i, X500i and X300G projectors, in fact, that BenQ chose to unveil them at the recent 2023 Tokyo Game Show.
Now, though, the brand has revealed full details about them ahead of a mooted mid-October launch – and if they’re as good as BenQ’s 2022 X3000i gaming projector was, there could be plenty to get excited out.
All three DLP models debut BenQ’s new ‘detail refinement engine’: A combination of technologies intended to bring out more detail and realism from game graphics. These technologies include: ‘True’ (according to the CTA’s assessment of the technology, anyway) 4K HDR resolution; BenQ’s projector-optimized HDR-Pro technology, with its SSI Dynamic Black and HDR tone mapping systems for enhancing contrast and details in dark areas; and BenQ’s CinematicColour technology, where a 4LED lighting system (3LED on the X300G) delivers high brightness and colour volumes by projector standards. In fact, the X3100i is claimed to be capable of delivering 100% of the DCI-P3 colour spectrum widely used in the HDR content world.
Fast response times are, of course, hugely important for a convincing, responsive gaming experience, and here BenQ claims to have delivered the world’s fastest projection input lag figure of just 4.16ms – though the exact set up required to achieve this remarkably low figure isn’t clear from the information BenQ has released so far.
BenQ also points to the new projectors’ ‘CinematicSound’ audio systems as further evidence of their gaming talents. These use BenQ TreVolo speaker systems to create a virtual 3D spatial audio sound stage, in a bid to make you feel as if you’re immersed in the heart of the surround sound audio mixes games carry these days. The speaker systems in the projectors – especially the 8W set up in the cube-shaped X300G – are also claimed to deliver more dynamic range than the puny sound systems squeezed inside most projectors, with a wider mid-range and deeper bass. The surprisingly good sound of 2022’s X3000i suggests that these audio promises for BenQ’s new projectors might actually be more than marketing hype.
BenQ has also equipped its new gaming projector trio with dedicated role-playing, FPS Shooter, sports and (in the X3100i’s case) racing game picture presets, as well as an Auto Game Mode that can detect incoming game sources and optimises input lag and picture settings for each console you own.
There’s even a SettingXChange feature that allows for on-the-fly switching of preset colour settings for specific gaming titles, as well as the option to superimpose a crosshair over the projector’s images for more accurate targeting.
While BenQ’s new projector trio clearly go further than most to cater for gamers, they can also, of course, be used for watching TV shows and movies. In fact, they all carry Google Certificated Android TV smart systems with built-in Netflix, regular HDMI video support (and eARC HDMI audio passthrough), as well as video-based picture presets alongside the gaming options.
As with last year’s X3000i, BenQ’s new game-focused projectors feature striking “futuristic” (according to BenQ’s wording) styling, and are designed to be easy to set up in recognition of the fact that they’ll likely only be brought out when needed rather than left permanently installed. There’s 1.3x zoom on the X3100i and 1.2x zoom on the other two models, vertical lens shift on the X3100i, 2D keystone correction on all three models, and a motorized zoom system on the X300G.
Looking finally at other differences between the three models, the X3100i is rated to deliver 3300 ANSI Lumens of brightness, the X500i is rated to 2,200 ANSI Lumens, and the X300G is rated to 2000 ANSI Lumens. Also, while the X3100i is the only model claimed to cover the whole DCI-P3 spectrum, the X500i and X300G both cover 84%.
The X3100i supports a throw ratio of 1.15-1.5 (100-inch image from 2.5m), while the other two models do 0.69-0.83 (95-inch images from 1.44m). Finally, as you can tell from their images in this article, aside from the unifying black front edge with orange trim design feature, each model enjoys an overall very distinct design.
The X3100i is set to cost $2,399/£2,099, the X500i $1,699/£1,499, and the X300g – which will only be available in select regions not, it seems, including the UK – $1,799.
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