BenQ – MP522ST review

portable short-throw business projector
Photo of BenQ – MP522ST
£529 + VAT

BenQ’s latest series of short-throw projectors has created a big stir in the market and the MP522ST is the second in the recently released trio (we reviewed the MP771 last month). While the third – the MP512ST – is aimed principally at gamers, the MP522ST is a more portable business projector.

Like the MP771, it’s styled in chic jet black but has more compact dimensions (255 x 90 x 214mm) and won’t break your back shifting it around (weighing just 2.2kg). There’s a straightforward external control panel on the top but you can also use the remote control.

Many of the inputs match the MP771 as well, including a D-sub for analogue RGB and component video, a mini-DIN for S-Video and RCA for composite video, plus a stereo mini jack and an RS232 serial connector. The most noticeable difference is the absence of an HDMI port which underlines the business bias of this machine.

All three of these projectors manage their remarkable one metre short-throw picture size (74-inch for the MP771 and 55-inch for the MP522ST and the MP512ST) thanks to their aspherical lens, which manages to keep pin-sharp focus and authentic colour reproduction even over such a short distance. Not only does this cut down on the need for large meeting rooms but it also means the presenter doesn’t have to be dazzled by standing in front of the beam.

The high brightness lamp delivers 2,000 ANSI lumens with a 1,000:1 contrast ratio and has the ability to display 16.7 million colours, which are kept intense and vibrant via BenQ’s BrilliantColor technology. Each of the six colours (R/G/B/C/M/Y) can be varied via 3D colour management for hue, gain and saturation levels, while wall colour correction (there are five options) ensures you’ll never be short of a surface on which to project.

Once you’ve plugged in your source, the quick auto search detects the signal rapidly and there are eleven sets of picture modes that are designed to maximise the benefits of your presentation. The highest spec is XGA (1,024 x 768) resolution and you can display in either 4:3 or 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.

In terms of operation, the lamp is protected by an automatic temperature monitor, the optimum life expectancy of the lamp being 4,000 hours. The Quick Cooling feature means it only takes seconds for the lamp to become safe before it’s ready to pack up and move on. In terms of noise this has to be one of the quietest projectors around, with a noise level of just 26dB in economic mode and 31dB in normal operation.

Company: BenQ

Contact: 01442 301 000


Verdict
BenQ scores another hit with this highly portable business projector with high grade picture image over an extremely short throw distance. Should you need HDMI connectivity or stereo sound, however, you'll need to buy its big brother, the MP512ST.