As the V7050i is BenQ's first offering in the Laser TV space, they ensured its design was stylish and functional. The V7050i measures 19.7 wide x 15.3 deep x 6.2 inches high and weighs a hefty 22 lbs. The V7050i projector's stylish black aluminum and plastic chassis would easily blend into any environment.
Sitting down, pretty much all you see is the charcoal-tone cloth-covered speaker cover looking like any high-end center channel speaker. From above, the 7050i is so sleek you can't help being impressed. The sides of the projector keep the modern angular styling while dipping into the center in a concave fashion.
This projector's design highlights the motorized sliding panel covering the projector's lens and sensor package, keeping out dust and dirt. Watching this silent and stylish panel slide open to reveal the lens and sensor package reminded me of the first time I watched a pair of Tesla Falcon-Wing doors open.
The BenQ V7050i offers just enough inputs and connectors to get the job done. The right side toward the projector's rear has two easily accessed USB-A inputs.
The rest of the connectors are also on the rear. There is a single S/PDIF Digital Audio output (two-channel), an RS232 connector, an additional USB-A for powering the included QS01 smart media stick along with two HDMI 2.0b inputs. HDMI #2 supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) which can be used to pass multi-channel audio from the projector's internal apps to a connected A/V system.
Since the included Q501 smart media stick occupies one of the HDMI inputs, it would be nice if the V7050I had a third HDMI input which BenQ includes on many of their less expensive BenQ projectors.
The lens is located on the top of the projector chassis about halfway back. The optics used on a UST (ultra-short-throw) projector like the V7050I are different from those used on a traditional projector. A UST projector's optical system uses a complex series of mirrors to project images at an extreme angle.
By their nature, the challenge is UST projectors spread out the light from the lens when sitting on a tabletop. At the far lower left and right, the light travels only a few degrees above horizontal. But light also exits the lens at almost every angle from just above horizontal to fully vertical. Therefore, light is being projected over an arc of nearly 180-degrees. Even when placing the projector inches away, the V7050i does an excellent job of spreading light evenly across the screen.
The BenQ marketing and support materials give the specifications of the type of lens used in the V7050i. BenQ lists the lens as having a clear focus range of 70 inches to 120 inches in addition, the lens is an F = 2.0 mm. The lens has no optical zoom or lens shift capability.
The V7050i sits below the screen, only inches out from it. The smallest screen size BenQ recommends is 80″ diagonal with the top of the projector 12.2 inches below the bottom of the screen surface. The largest screen size BenQ recommends is 120″ diagonal, which increases the distance down from the screen to 18.2 inches
The distance from the projector lens to the screen, the zoom setting, and the video format are all factors of the projected image size. For example, if you are using a 120-inch screen, the recommended projection distance is 331 mm. If your measured projection distance is 230 mm, the closest match in the "Projection distance (mm)" column is 222 mm. Looking across this row shows that a 100'' (about 2.5 m) screen is required.
The BenQ V7050i comes with a few digital alignment tools including one that very effectively helps the image entirely fill the screen. Still, I strongly recommend spending a few extra minutes on getting the alignment perfect by adjusting the projector's position and not using digital correction, which slightly degrades the picture.
BenQ includes a pair of rulers, yes, I said rulers, that are built into the V7050i Chassis. All you have to do is pull them out from the bottom rear of the projector to get an accurate measurement of the distance from the wall to the back of the projector. These rulers ensure that the projector is parallel to the screen so your image is square.
Since Laser TVs are designed to replace a flat panel TV, they are typically utilized in rooms with ambient light. To get the best results in those rooms, you should consider using an ALR (ambient light rejecting) screen. The BenQ V7050i does not ship with a screen. For most of my testing, I used my 100" Screen Innovations Solo Pro 2 UST screen.
We ran the projector through a range of tests from solid colors to highly detailed scenes, test patterns, and text slides. The image showed minimal distortion and the edge-to-edge focus was good for a UST projector.
BenQ's remote control is nicely laid out. It's larger than some remotes but feels nice in the hand. The remote also has a backlight that can be turned on by pressing any key. The light automatically turns off in about 10 seconds.
In addition to the common buttons found on most projector remotes, there are several buttons to access picture adjustment directly like Brightness, Contrast, Dynamic Iris, Color Temp, Color Management, Light mode, Gamma and Sharpness.
There is a Picture Mode button and HDR button to manually engage HDR or 3D, as well as a button to access BenQ's Cinema Master picture settings. Last but not least there is a button to engage the projector's highly accurate Filmmaker Picture mode.
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In addition to the standard remote, the V7050i ships with a separate remote to control the included BenQ QS0I Android TV dongle. It includes a Google Assistant button and built-in microphone for voice control of the projector and compatible 3rd party Internet of Things (IoT) devices via the Android TV. It also includes the basic buttons to control the projector.
While the remote worked well it would have been a better user experience if I could have accessed all the adjustments, menus, and smart features from a single remote.
There are two menu systems built into the V7050i. One menu is used to adjust the projector picture settings while the other menu gives you access to the unit Android TV smart features.