Tom's Holiday Buyer's Guide 2008, Part 1

BenQ CP270 XGA DLP Projector
$999 ESP
By: Ed Tittel

Those in need of a quick-and-easy way to move big-image video capability around could do worse than to glom onto the BenQ CP270. Originally designed as a compact, portable video projector for business presentations – it weighs only 3.3 pounds and its dimensions are 7.5" x 8" x 3" – this 1280 x 1024 SXGA device can deal with computer output or DVD playback with ease. It uses TI’s DLP technology to create clear, crisp images as small as 19.2" x 24" to as large as 240" x 300" (that’s 20 x 25 feet!). To accommodate a variety of video hook-ups, the CP270 includes a VGA port, DVI-D, component video, S-Video, and composite video. It even comes with VGA and power cables and a soft-sided fabric carrying case with carrying handle and shoulder strap.

The CP270’s output is rated at 2000 ANSI lumens to help ensure a clear bright image. The TI BrilliantColor technology built into its DLP chipset boosts mid-tone colors on output to increase overall brightness and to boost color vibrancy and appeal. The unit also includes 3D color management software to let presenters or users fine-tune hue, saturation, and gain for primary colors to tweak picture quality for maximum effect. Those who use the CP270 with a variety of signal sources will find its support for 11 preset modes helpful, including Dynamic, sRGB, Cinema, Presentation, Standard (default), multiple selections for dark or colorful movies, AutoCAD, PowerPoint, and other popular graphics programs.

What sets the CP270 apart from other compact projectors comes from its conveniences. You can activate an on-screen timer to count down visually, which helps presenters stay on track and to keep audiences informed about remaining presentation time. There’s a wall color correction feature that lets users adjust for different display surfaces, such as blackboard, walls, or projection screens to help deliver a positive viewing experience. The CP270 also automatically scans for attached video sources as inputs are connected, so that content may be accessed as soon as it’s recognized. There’s also a compact remote control that provides access to all device controls and settings, so that users need not access the front panel directly while the projector is working.

Anybody who travels a lot to give presentations or display video will find the BenQ CP270 a useful and usable device. Even those in search of a compact medium-resolution video projector will find it satisfactory. If somebody on your Christmas list fits the description, why not consider picking one up?

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  • ravenware
    Dell 3008WFP Ultrasharp 30"

    , we can’t think of any computer user who wouldn’t be thrilled to get one.

    Gamers. The 8ms response time is a little on the slow side.
  • Portall
    Nope. You won't see difference between 8 and 4ms :)
  • V3NOM
    well you can... CRT vs LCD is quite clear.
  • cangelini
    I play on the prior year's model (3007) all the time without any problems. Don't pass up gaming on a 30" display without at least trying it for yourself!
  • Anonymous
    Dual-link DVI does NOT need two seperate cables. HDMI's video component IS DVI. I'm amazed this slipped through and into the article:
  • radnor
    Well, you will actually. If you ever seen them side by side you will notice the difference. 5ms seems to be the sweet spot.
  • LazyGarfield
    Interesting article! I´m still looking for the two beautiful women but cant find them :P
  • Anonymous
    Just a word of warning to anyone purchasing this monitor and wanting to watch Blu-Ray titles on it. If you use DVI as your input it can not display Blu-Ray titles above 1920 x 1080. Now I know this is the native res on the monitor. But HDCP will fail if the monitor's resolution is set any higher than this. This is due to a design flaw in the monitor's chipset. This wouldn't be a problem if all it meant was you had to reset the resolution when you want to watch a movie, but the problem is, 1920 x 1080 is not the same aspect ratio as 2560 x 1600. So your picture is vertically stretched. I know this because I bought one and spent hours in forums and on the phone with Dell before finding this out. I returned the monitor, because at $2000, there's no excuse for buggy HDCP support over DVI.
  • Anonymous
    what happened to the really cute girl you guys had last year ?
  • xsamitt
    I think I'd take the 30 inch dell if it was free......Guess I won't be having one now for
    8 mills is just to slow.And Leigon thanks for the heads up.

    I do hope the new items to come are more interesting than this first round.
  • Anonymous
    What happened to the great girl from last year? The blond on here looks strung out and or too gothy for a Christmas ad.
  • Anonymous
    Ugly girls...
  • zak_mckraken
    Ugly girls...

    Oh really? Come on pal, let's see some pictures of your wife/girlfriend so we can compare. Well, assuming you have one of course.
  • jameshan2k
    I usually don't go for blondes, but the blonde is quite nice....
  • zak_mckraken
    About the response time, 8ms does seem a tad high but we have to be careful here. Most manufacturers will advertise their monitors as having a 2ms or 5ms response time. However, when you look at the charts, most of the time this response time is the maximum the monitor can reach during a dark scene or a low action gaming sequence. This is often not representative of an average use and the so-called 5ms monitor will most likely be around 6ms-7ms in everyday situations. Same thing applies for contrast since every manufacturer uses their own chart for measuring it. The best way to know how your monitor will perform in real life is to look at comparative charts made by neutral parties, like Tom's, who uses the same methods to compare response time, contrast and color fidelity with all monitors.

    As for this particular Dell 3008WFP Ultrasharp 30", I have really no idea if it's suitable for movies and gaming or not. However, is Chris says it is, it's usually enough for me! Unfortunately, I just bought a Samsung T220 and it pleases me enough. Anyway, I do not have 2 grand to put on a monitor... yet.
  • crockdaddy
    Both ladies are quite lovely. If I recall correctly wasn't it Tamara whom graced the last two years as the xmas model?
  • xsamitt
    How do you find The Samsung T220 picture wise and lag?
  • zak_mckraken
    How do you find The Samsung T220 picture wise and lag?

    While not the "perfect" monitor, it's definitely one of the best (if not the best) 22 inches monitor around. The colors are rich and true, the contrast is sharp and I haven't notice any lag at all, although I only play World of Warcraft and watch some Divx. Still, the difference was amazing when I switched my old Philips 19" with it! I'm pretty sure the same quality would apply on a fast-paced FPS or a Blu-Ray HD movie. However, I would recommend the T240 if you intend to use your monitor to watch full HD content. Samsung also offer the same models with HD at the end (T220HD) which has a integrated tuner, if you're into that stuff.
  • cruiseoveride

    Santa Baby, a 30" Samsung TFT too, dark grey with a blond elf. I've been an awfully good girl.
  • KITH
    I recently purchased the samsung t260hd it along with the t240hd are a couple of the only ways to get an hdtv with that small of a screen still with 1080p support.