Best in Class – $1000-$2500 Bright Room Home Entertainment: BenQ TK800

August 28, 2018 / By Jennifer Stringfellow
benq-tk800
3000 lumens of 4K UHD resolution, for only $1499 list price.

The BenQ TK800 is, first and foremost, a 4K Capable 4K UHD projector claiming 3,000 lumens and relying on a typical lamp design. It is one of BenQ’s two models using Texas Instruments “entry level” 4K UHD DLP chip (1920x1080 x4), which is a pixel shifter. That makes it most similar to 1920x1080 x2 pixel shifters in resolution (ie. Epson and JVC), from a perceived sharpness standpoint.

And it should have the advantage in that regard. Most of that advantage comes from the single chip design – no 3 panels to align. Still, others, such as the Epson 5040UB, may seem every bit as sharp – or even sharper, due to how good their detail enhancement and sharpening processing is.

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BenQ TK800 Overview

The TK800 is a bright room projector. It claims 3,000 lumens, and measures 2850 in its brightest mode, so it got within 5% of claim, which is a lot better than most projectors we measure. More to the point, it has several modes that can put some pretty respectable looking imagery up on the screen with over 2,200 lumens!

That makes this a very suitable projector for brighter rooms, when paired with the proper screen, aka an ALR type – that designation is for light rejecting screens that optically absorbs light from the sides, etc. That can work great (see our bright room video).

$1000-$2500 Best in Class Best Bright Room Home Entertainment BenQ TK800

With a street price under $1,500, the TK800 isn’t the least expensive 4K UHD – that honor falls to its ViewSonic twin, the PX747-4K, which we did not review. That said, we have compared the BenQ HT2550 (same as the TK800, but for the lower lumens and different color wheel), to the PX727-4K. Again, they all come out of the same factory, and are mostly identical, except for firmware.

BenQ TK800
The BenQ TK800 is a true bright room projector, putting great color on the screen in the face of ambient light.

This BenQ comes with a 3-year parts and labor warranty, but your reasons for choosing this projector will be for its strengths in terms of providing a bit more accurate color than most DLP competitors, and the extra brightness. Where the TK800 comes up short – and all the other 4K UHD DLPs in this Class – is black level performance. So, while we count this as an affordable, bright projector, it is still more HE – home entertainment, than home theater.

I have always liked the BenQs because they almost always seem to be the more home theater oriented of the DLPs, and that includes even this TK800 with its HE-type color wheel.

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The BenQ TK800: A True Bright Room Projector

Nice and bright, good color, respectable sound for a small projector, and overall a good feature set. $1,499 puts you into a projector that lets you enter the world of 4K content, and is also bright enough, that when properly set up, can look great without the need for that home theater or cave environment.

BenQ’s ad campaign asks you which BenQ – the TK800 or the HT2550 is best for you.  My 2 cents: For most folks, it will be the TK800. Those looking to the HT2550 and demanding a higher level of Home Theater, are also likely, I think, to spend more for a projector with better black level performance. But, since the rooms where you are likely to be running the TK800 are almost certainly going to have some ambient light (even at night), black levels are going to get washed out a bit. All the more reason to start with a very bright projector, like the TK800.

This is a fun projector, it’s 46-48ms input lag makes it an acceptable gaming projector (anything under mid 50’s lag). Low 30s input lag would be better, but most will be fine with the TK800! Break out the sports, the Marvel movies, Blacklist, Game of Thrones. The TK800 on the big screen will properly entertain you.

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BenQ TK800 Review

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