- 4K (3,840 by 2,160) resolution
- Bright LED light source (rated 3,000 ANSI lumens)
- Very short input lag
- Three paired video and audio modes for three categories of gaming
- Includes Android TV 10 dongle, controlled by projector remote
- Wi-Fi is sole network connection option
- Prone to rainbow artifacts
- Some tricky assembly may be required
BENQ X3000I SPECS
|Rated Brightness||3000 ANSI lumens|
|Native Resolution||3840 by 2160 using 1920 by 1080 DLP chip with XPR fast-switch pixel shifting|
|Maximum Resolution||3840 by 2160 HDR; Full HD 3D|
|Inputs and Interfaces||hdmi 2.0 (HDCP 2.2), USB 2.0, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (in Android TV dongle), Wi-Fi Direct|
|Dimensions (HWD)||7.8 by 10.2 by 10.7 inches|
The BenQ X3000i is our Editor’s Choice pick for a 4K gaming projector. It offers HDR support, a powerful brightness rating, and an incredibly low input lag time. Additionally, it’s great for watching movies and videos; it comes with the built-in BenQ Android TV 10 streaming stick. But what makes this model especially appealing to gamers is its ability to output high-definition content at 3,840 by 2160 resolution. If you’re interested in investing in a top-notch gaming projector that can do more than just show pictures on the big screen – such as play games or watch movies – then the X3000i should definitely be on your radar.
Some Assembly Required
The BenQ TK700STi and X3000i share several features, including three game mode options. Both are based on 1,920-by-1,080 DLP chips that use TI’s fast-switch pixel shifting to project 3,840 by 2,160 pixels on the screen. In addition, both monitors have the same brightness rating. But where the TK700STi uses a lamp for its light source along with a colour wheel, the X3000i uses LED lights in colours Red (R), Green (G), Blue (B), and Blue + White(W).
The second blue LED on the BenQ projector boosts brightness and provides a wider colour gamut, making it easier to see in brightly lit environments. The lamps used with this model are rated for 20,000 hours or 30,000 hours in eco mode–long enough to last the projector’s life and avoid costly replacement costs.
The main difference between the TK700STi and the X3000i is that the former is smaller and lighter, at 7.8 by 10.7 by 10.2 inches (HWD) and 14.1 pounds. At the same time, the latter is bigger and heavier, at 8.9 by 12.6 by 11 inches (HWD) and 17 pounds due to its robust sound system, which uses a pair of 5-watt treVolo stereo speakers powered by Bongiovi Digital Power Station.
The Android TV functionality is fully integrated with the projector, so it can be controlled with a single remote. However, like some other BenQ models we’ve reviewed, accessing and streaming content from the device requires taking apart parts of the unit and installing a separate dongle. This process involves removing screws and opening up a panel to place the streaming accessory.
If you want to position the projector on a flat surface lower than the screen, or if you are using it with a ceiling mount, that is all that is required. However, if you need to use the adjustable feet found on some projectors (for higher shelves in the back of the room), then simply attach them after assembly. The adjustment feet help aim and adjust the projector when positioned above a high bookshelf like this one; without them, projecting would be difficult or impossible, depending on where exactly you placed your projector.
In theory, magnetic feet are an excellent addition to a toolkit. However, they were difficult to use due to their size and magnetism. Each piece is about the size of my pinky fingernail and surprisingly strong; however, it becomes difficult to attach each one while holding on with both hands and fighting against the magnetic pull. This might be possible if you have small enough fingers or assistance from another person, but for me, this was too much trouble, so I gave up after several failed attempts. BenQ needs to include magnets in the packaging design process instead of having customers try attaching them themselves.
Setting up the hardware is straightforward. Just plug in the cables and adjust the focus, and zoom manually. There are two additional HDMI 2.0 ports on the back panel, while Wi-Fi is your only option for connecting to an Android TV set-top box. One welcomed convenience is that you can bypass the Android TV setup if you want to later; just return to it when you’re ready.
The X3000i’s pair of 5-watt stereo speakers deliver both high quality for a projector and high enough volume to fill a large family room. For better quality and higher volume, you can connect to an external audio system using the 3.5mm or S/PDIF audio-out ports, the one HDMI port that supports eARC, or Bluetooth. You can also use the unit as a Bluetooth speaker for other audio sources.
Picture Modes and Game Modes
The X3000i projector offers five preset picture modes and a user mode. However, Game mode provides three predefined variations—RPG (role-playing game), FPS (first-person shooter), and SPG (sports player game)—effectively giving the projector eight different viewing options instead of six. The benefits of these three game modes are that they are specifically designed to improve the experience for those who play them. One nice touch is a button on the remote, which allows you to quickly switch between settings in Game Mode while keeping your previous setting selected.
One of the drawbacks of many projectors’ brightest modes is that they produce an obvious green bias. This makes it best to avoid using Bright mode unless you need the highest possible brightness. Cinema and RPG deliver more accurate colours than other modes, but note that there are also manual colour-calibration options as well as a feature which maintains consistent colour accuracy over time by automatically adjusting the hue, saturation, and gain for each primary and secondary colour (red, green, blue, cyan/blue/yellow/magenta).
For my formal movie viewing tests for 1080p SDR, I stayed with Cinema for its colour accuracy. Both bright and dark scenes fell a touch short of delivering a good sense of three-dimensionality, but the contrast in both was more than acceptable. Shadow detail held particularly well, showing some details in dark scenes that most projectors leave hidden. That’s a small extra for watching movies but important for games that hide treasures or enemies in the shadows.
Regarding 4K resolution, the available picture-mode choices are limited to two: HDR10 and HLG. The latter offers identical options for FPS, RPG, and SPG modes when using an SDR input signal. However, on a 4K TV with an HDR10 input signal, the button on the remote can cycle through these three mode selections as needed.
For my formal viewing tests with 4K HDR movies, I used the “HDR Brightness” setting on the X3000i projector. Like most projectors that offer HDR functionality, this one offers a variable brightness setting that depends on your video source and room lighting conditions. To get the best quality output, you’ll need to adjust it as needed.
Our test suite consisted of four movie clips in 4K HDR and four identical movie clips in 1080p SDR. The only noticeable difference between the two versions was that the HDR version had slightly better contrast and the ability to hold subtle tonal gradations. However, it was not clear if there were any other differences between the two videos.
Although the 4K HDR version of movies looked at least as good as the 1080p SDR versions, this is not always true for all projectors capable of displaying HDR. Additionally, BenQ has announced that they have tuned their X3000i projector specifically for PS5 game consoles and will be doing the same for Xbox consoles soon. As a result, you may see more dramatic differences between standard definition (SDR) and high dynamic range (HDR) when viewing video games than I did with movies.
The X3000i supports Full HD 3D, which was confirmed by my tests. Additionally, there was no crosstalk in the one mode I tested it in, and motion artefacts were less noticeable than typical.
If you’re bothered by the rainbow artefacts commonly referred to as “rainbow flashes,” be sure to buy your projector from a dealer who allows returns without a restocking fee. This will allow you to test it before making a purchase.
The positive aspects of using a projector today include its short input lag time. I measured it with the Leo Bodnar meter at 4K/60Hz, 1080p/60Hz, and 1080p/120Hz. All three results were consistent with BenQ’s own ratings; for example, their rated 4.2ms at 1080p/240 Hz is also included in this test suite.
According to SMPTE recommendations, the BenQ X3000i projector should be able to produce a brightly lit image for a 250-inch diagonal screen in a dark room. In my testing, both Cinema and Eco power modes delivered an appropriately bright image on my 90-inch screen under low to moderate ambient light conditions. The X3000i was also watchable on an 80-inch screen during daytime use with the full power setting.
Verdict: This Is the Gaming Projector You Probably Want
The BenQ X3000i is a fantastic gaming projector that should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for an affordable option. Other lamp-based 4K projectors you might want to consider include the BenQ TH685P, BenQ TK700STi, and Optoma UHD55. The TH685P doesn’t offer 4K resolution like some of the other models listed here, but it does support HDR input; this makes it preferable over the TK700STI when using compatible content. The UHD55 competes directly with the TK700STI in terms of features and performance. It offers fewer rainbow artefacts than its rival, enough for some buyers to choose it over the more expensive model.
While the BenQ X3000i’s sound system is arguably its strongest feature, its robust preset gaming settings make it a top pick among competitors. Its solid-state light source maintains brightness levels longer than traditional lamps. It keeps it at that level for an extended period, making the BenQ X3000i our new Editors’ Choice award winner in this category.
If this article is helpful for you, please share this article with your friends on social media. Thank you!!
This article is based on the personality of the reviews. You are responsible for fact-checking if the contents are not facts or accurate.
Title: The BenQ X3000i is a powerful projector that has plenty of features to make your viewing experience enjoyable