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To be accurate, gamers do not all have the same needs in a device, some live by the code of FPS, others would swear by a borderline-insane racing title. Nonetheless, a few factors are very important buying considerations across the board. Let’s find out what they are:
The bottom line with brightness is that brighter is better, which translates to higher lumen rating is better. In this regard, your goal is to find a projector whose brightness level coordinates well with the prevailing nature of ambient light in your gaming space.
All the same, projectors with higher brightness ratings are virtually always the best, which is great. The only downside is that these projectors also more expensive. The recommended approach, if cost is a factor, is to determine the baseline brightness rating that is adequate for you, find a projector model that meets your target, and then check out projectors with higher brightness ratings for as far as your budget permits.
Resolution types on projectors are a dime a dozen, there are 4K, 1080p, 720p, SVGA, VGA, XGA, and even unconventional resolution types in the mix. For gaming, there is only one sweet spot—1080p HD. Any higher is impractical: Any lower will not give you that “kick” that makes gaming awesome.
Like with brightness, higher is better when contrast ratios are brought up for deliberation. The reason is that, like resolution, higher contrast ratio are essential for transforming otherwise shadowy images to images that are more bright, clear, and crisp when viewed.
1. Optoma GT1080 Review
Our top pick for this list of best projectors for gaming is not a conventional projector that can be used for gaming; it is an optimized projector that has been designed from the ground-up with gaming in mind. The brightness level is on the high-end, it offers images in 1080p HD resolution, and it has 3D support; all at an exciting price (Way to Go, Optoma!).
Optoma makes a bold showdown in the GT1080. Starting off, its brightness rating is at 2,800 lumens. Together with a short-throw lens, that permits a 90-inch diagonal image to be thrown on the screen from just 38 inches away, the GT1080 is able to deliver an immersive experience in ambient lighting conditions. In clear terms, you do not have to sit far back or have to dim the lights to enjoy a full-on big display of your gameplay. As a huge plus, you do not have to worry about casting shadows.
For extensive functionality, the GT1080 is designed to support all HDMI 1.4a 3D formats. This is very useful as it offers a user flexibility to connect seamlessly to an extensive range of devices like a cable-box, Blu-ray player or other devices capable of outputting 3D media; in addition to letting you connect to your game console or PC for 3D gaming.
The Optoma GT1080 does not have 3D glasses in its product package. To avail of the 3D support, you would have to buy a third-party 3D pair of glasses, like Vesa RF glasses and 144Hz DLP-Link glasses.
It is always a good idea, dare say a given, to have audio play out from a dedicated audio system. With an external audio setup, the audio is unarguably richer and has better quality. However, if that’s not an option, the 10-watt mono speaker on the GT1080 delivers good quality at sufficient volume to fill a typical living room.
The GT1080 dimensions is interesting at 4 (H) by 12.4 (W) by 8.8 (D) inches. At this size, it weighs just 6 pounds, which is an impressive weight for a top-performance gaming projector. Together, the GT1080 proves to be a compact lightweight projector for gaming that may be setup permanently or easily packed up when not in use.
If you would have to set up your gaming projector from time to time, then you want a device that does not give you a hassle during setup. The GT1080 is a textbook example of such a device. Setting up the Optoma GT1080 is limited to positioning the projector optimally (at the right distance) to get the desired image size, connecting a cable to the image source (either your gaming PC or a video game console), and having to focus (using manual focus).
For us, that is as much as is necessary, and we are happy to find out it does not take any more ‘processes’ on the GT1080. The GT1080 has two HDMI ports with which can be paired to either a DVI-D, DVI-I, or an HDMI port; using an HDMI cable. MHL is supported on the GT1080 (via one of the two HDMI ports), which allows for easy connection to MHL-compatible smartphones and tablets.
The upper limit of the GT1080 is it being adequate for a 90-inch diagonal image under moderate ambient lighting condition. For smaller sizes, you will have to lower the brightness. To lower the brightness level, you would have to select either of a number of modes that have lower pre-defined brightness levels, like Eco mode.
Our standard suite of DisplayMate tests put projectors to standard viewing tests for specific image types—data, photo, and video. Game images are a hybrid of data and video images, so a top-performance gaming projector will do well in data and video image tests.
On data tests, the GT1080 ace it on most modes. We were satisfied with color balance in all predefined modes, color production was decent, color saturation was top-notched in most modes, and the detail was brisk.
On video tests, overall quality was decent across most modes. We experienced a few glitches with noticeable levels of posterization, but the production was neither serious nor disruptive. Rainbow artifacts were near absent, which is commendable considering that it is a common pitfall of DLP projectors.
3D image quality is essentially at the same level of 2D image quality—excellent all-round on aspects that both image types share. The GT1080 also did well on 3D-specific tests. 3D-related motion artifacts and crosstalk are eliminated, which enables the GT1080 to boast top-grade 3D display.
The all-round performance of the Optoma GT1080 is impressive to say the least. Nonetheless, one important performance feat of the GT1080 that stands out is its very short lag time. The lag time of the projector is at 33 milliseconds (ms), which lead to virtually unnoticeable lag during gameplay. Compared to the BenQ HT1075 (lag time of 49.7 ms), the GT1080 also sports one of the shortest lag times on any projector in the market.
Although we cannot recommend the Optoma GT1080 enough, there is a more affordable offering from Optoma in the HD26. The Optoma HD26 offers similar design and functionalities (including short lag time) to the GT1080. A major difference is that it sports a standard lens instead of the of the short-throw lens on the Optoma GT1080.
Salient Selling Points
- Full HD 1080p resolution
- High brightness rating of 2,800 lumens
- Very short lag time
- 3D support
- Top-grade gameplay performance
- Affordable price point
2. BenQ W1080ST Review
Design and Features
At barely 6.2 pounds, the BenQ W1080ST easily qualifies as a paperweight consumer device. This weight matches the compact build of the W1080ST, whose dimensions are 4.1 (H) by 12.3 (W) by 9.6 (D). Our top pick, the Optoma GT1080 is only slightly larger and weightier, so like the GT1080, the W1080ST can be tucked away easily when not in use and if it is not permanently installed. Furthermore, moving it about is much easier.
Widespread connectivity and flexibility is offered thanks to several connectivity options. There are two HDMI ports, three RCA connections for component video, a composite video port, a VGA video port, and an S-video port.
Unlike the Optoma GT1080, the BenQ W1080ST does not have a short-throw lens, which entails you having to stretch the distance between the projector and the screen for optimal focus. For a 90-inch diagonal image, the distance climbs up to about 88 inches—in comparison, the distance is only 38 inches on the GT1080.
This is not an issue though, just a little setback if you are pressed for space. The W1080ST makes up for this with an offering of 1.2x manual zoom.
The W1080ST also boasts of high-end brightness rating. Like the Optoma GT1080, the W1080ST delivers suiting brightness for a 90-inch diagonal image under typical ambient lighting condition.
Additionally, the W1080ST performs well in color production as the measured color brightness, depending on the color mode, ranges between 77 and 79 percent of its white brightness. In simple terms, the brightness of color images is only a little different (23 to 21 percent different) from the brightness of a full-screen white image. During gameplay, this translates to an amazing gaming experience.
The image quality is one notable area where the Optoma GT1080 records better performance than the BenQ W1080ST, which explains why the GT1080 is higher up in our list.
In general, we recorded decent to excellent results in color and image quality in our standard tests. Nevertheless, the BenQ W1080ST presented a few quirks, like mild loss of shadow detail and noticeable level of noise in dark scenery. Rainbow artifacts were also more common on the W1080ST than on the GT1080, but the artifacts were not in sufficient frequency to count as a serious problem.
These few shortfalls aside, which in all fairness did not significantly impinge on the viewing experience, the W1080ST does exceedingly well with excellent color production, and color scheme handling. Motion artifacts and posterization were remarkably absent in our tests.
Salient Selling Points
- Compact and lightweight build
- High brightness levels
- Full HD 1080p resolution
- Extensive connectivity options and premium performance
3. ViewSonic PJD5134 SVGA Review
A common theme for high-end gaming projectors that make our list is that they are compact and have tons of features. The ViewSonic PJD5134 is a good example of portability, sleekness, and extensive functionality rolled into one supernova gaming projector. Its performance especially with the high-grade nature of the image quality is astutely matched with an affordable price point that is hard to beat.
Hard to beat the PJD5134 is on close evaluation. Its brightness rating is at 2,800 lumens, which confers on it brightness levels that are way higher than brightness levels on most general projectors. For extensive connectivity, the whole roster is presented—we’re talking an HDMI port, a RCA composite video jack, two VGA-in ports, a S-video jack, audio in and out jacks, and a miniature USB type B port.
On a recap, the ViewSonic PJD5134 is a lightweight device that also happens to be impressively durable. Its performance is not exactly at the high-end of the spectrum like on the Optoma GT1080, but it does okay in real-time use, in terms of brightness and image quality. But then, there’s only so high a gaming projector can perform when it occupies the lower price bracket like the PJD5134. Which is why in our opinion, for the price it is sold at, the ViewSonic PJD5134 nails it hands-down.
Salient Selling Points
- Compact built
- Extensive connectivity
- Terrific price point
4. BenQ HT-Series HT1075 Review
What the BenQ HT-Series HT1075 doesn’t offer in price like the ViewSonic PJD5134, it offers in an all-round high-end gaming projector offering. Starting off, setup is a breeze, and the 10-watt speakers are as high as it gets in the projector industry.
An innovative SmartEco mode is featured on the HT1075 which enables the projector to adjust power for energy efficiency and best picture quality automatically. More noteworthy features included in the offering are 3D support, full HD 1080p resolution, dual HDMI, and MHL connectivity for compatible mobile devices.
The brightness levels are adequate for general gaming applications and the image quality is breathtaking with lots of detail. The icing on the cake is an optional wireless full HD kit and wireless reader that may be used to make the already streamlined gaming experience on the HT1075 sleeker.
5. Optoma HD141X Review
Watching movies or playing video games is a great way for family members and friends to spend time with one another. While movies can be viewed using a standard television set, it is not as immersive as seeing the action on a bigger screen. Thankfully, there are outdoor projectors that can bring this experience at home. One of these projectors is the Optoma HD-141X Full 3D 1080p 3000 LumenDLP Home Theater Projector which can be bought from Amazon.com.
Picture quality essentially makes or breaks any movie or gaming experience since it determines the overall sharpness and clearness of the picture. The HD141X has an HD 1080p resolution with a contrast ratio of 20,000:1. This ensures that all colors will be replicated perfectly and that dark colors will have varying levels of blackness. Additionally, the HD resolution ensures that movies will be projected as clearly as possible.
3D Playback Compatibility
One thing that sets this projector apart from others in the market is its 3D playback compatibility. Users are able to plug-in any 3D supporting device into this projector and the 3D content will be displayed as is. A rapid refresh rate of 144 hertz ensures that 3D images and videos will not flicker even during continuous playback.
The Optoma HD141X has dimensions of 8.8 by 12.4 by 4 inches. It weighs roughly 6 pounds. The lamp on this projector has a lumens rating of 3000, meaning it produces a very bright light. The lamp has a lifespan of about 6500 hours. For inputs, this projector has 2 HDMI ports, a 3D sync port, and an audio port. Finally, it comes with a back lit remote control.
The Optoma HD141X is a great projector and is very effective in bringing an immersive film watching, and gaming experience to the entire family. This can even be used as an outdoor projector, as this product is capable of bringing your games to life thanks to its lumens rating of 3000. Additionally, it has multiple ports for various input devices and is also fully compatible with 3D devices – a highly recommended product.