Buying a projector can be deceptive: the thrill of viewing on a much larger screen often blinds shoppers to the installation migraines ahead. The high starts to fall away at home when the need to run power and signal cables to the back of the living room becomes apparent. Where do you find HDMI cables longer than six feet in length? Even if your quest is successful, how do you discreetly get them to the projector? All too often the process ends in cutting a check to a professional installer. Then the better half starts yelling. So much for that good deal.
The BenQ W1500 hopes to finally break the cycle. It's the first projector to include a wireless HD transmission technology called WHDI, which broadcasts uncompressed, full HD video and audio signals (including 3D) over a 5GHz channel up to 65 feet away from the transmitter -- without requiring a line of sight. Thanks to a 1.6:1 zoom lens and vertical lens shifting options, adjustment of the projector's throw is also much more flexible than competing DLP models in its price range.
Eschewing cables doesn't come at the expense of picture quality, either. A specified max white output brightness of 2200 lumens, a 6X-speed color wheel, surprisingly accurate factory gamma calibration and ample controls for fine-tuning color combine for excellent HD projections on screens up to 120 inches in diagonal length.
If there's a downside to this fully featured home theater projector, it's input lag. Even with a hard-wired connection, the BenQ W1500 straggles behind the competition and falls short of the 33 millisecond benchmark coveted by gamers. For the average projector shopper, though, this model still represents an incredibly advanced solution, especially for a price that's well below two grand.
Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope.
The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.
The GP100 is not a contest influenced by marketers or brands, nor is it a ranking by specifications as determined by uniform tests. Instead, it starts with a comprehensive list of nominees released in the calendar year, researched and compiled by our editorial team of obsessed experts across all of Gear Patrol's major areas of interest including Motoring, Technology, Style, Home, Spirits, Outdoor and Watches. Brands are not part of the selection process. Nominees are then debated in context of the past, present and future of their respective fields. Which selections stand as significant innovations, category busters or faithful monuments to the icons of history? Do they adhere to Gear Patrol's core tenets of excellence, design, utility and the spirit of adventure? Distilled to the following 100 items, the GP100 represents the best products on earth released in 2013 -- easily inspiring consumers and creators alike during their search for guideposts of excellence in a vast world of products.
Motoring Watches Style Technology Sports Outdoors Home Spirits
Jeremy BergerBen Bowers