REVIEWED: BenQ MH530/TH530 projector
Perfect for on-the-go yet cinematic presentations, Full HD images and a built-in speaker give this 2kg beamer star appeal on the road
Giving a good presentation is not all about technology, but it sure helps. After a few years of false promises about brightness and sharpness from portable LED projector manufacturers, it’s time to return to a ‘proper’ projector’. Cue the MH530/TH530, a single-chip DLP beamer from BenQ.
TheMH530/TH530 is certainly a lot smaller than DLP projectors used to be (perhaps those mini LED projector-pushers forced other projector designers to up their game). It measures 283x95x222 mm and weighs just under 2kg, so it’s small enough to go in a travel bag for short trips. The user interface is old-school, yet simple onscreen menu with tabs across the top. Image presets include Dynamic, Presentation, sRGB, Cinema, 3D and two User modes.
Theoretically theMH530/TH530 can manage a maximum image size of 95-inches from 3m, but for our tests an 80-inch image from 2.5m is recommended for maximum size and sharpness. Images are good, and during movie playback there’s no sign of the colour fringing DLP projectors of this low price are known for.
Over the rainbow
Nor is there any sign of motion artefacts or jumpy panning shot, though the MH530/TH530 never gives the perfect picture for video; its BrilliantColor improves things, but appears to give the colour palette a yellow-ish bias. If you’re after a good-value projector for occasional use, the only real reason to avoid theMH530/TH530 is its incessant DLP rainbow effect during movies; if your eyes are susceptible, this is not the projector for you.
TheMH530/TH530 is bright. I mean, really bright. Its 3200 ANSI Lumens make it usable even in daylight, and its Full HD 1080p, widescreen resolution lends extra pizazz to presentations. Even when in the Cinema mode, and with the brightness toned-down, theMH530/TH530 makes white scenes seem eye-searingly bright. Also adding something special is its built-in speaker; it only manages 2W of power, but it’s enough if you’re playing a short video. Just be wary about using too much subtle music, which isn’t rendered that well at all.
Small, compact and capable of producing some enjoyable images in all kinds of ambient light, this single-chip DLP projector is nevertheless not on its game out of the box. After some trials and tweaks it’s possible to extract colourful, crisp images that nevertheless struggles with contrast and black levels. Does that mater for presentations? Probably not, and at such a low price it’s difficult to conclude that theMH530/TH530 is anything other than a great-value way of achieving an 80+-inch image.