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Who Has the Best Short Throw Laser Projector – BenQ or Epson?

  • 2022-03-15
How does the new Epson L630SU stack up against BenQ’s best-selling short throw laser projectors? Check out our fair comparison and decide for yourself

In 2021, laser projectors represented nearly 90% of all projectors sold over 5000 lumens.  Epson’s L630SU is a high brightness projector with a short-throw lens that is designed for digital signage and classrooms.  So how does it compare against the top-selling LU935ST and LK936ST short throw laser projectors from BenQ for use in these settings as well as a larger home theater or golf simulation?  Here is a fair comparison that addresses the following areas.

 

·         Brightness and Resolution

·         HDR & Color Accuracy specifications

·         Maintenance requirements

·         Throw ratios & Lens Shift

·         Single-Chip vs. 3 Chip Reliability

·         Purchase Price 

Brightness and Resolution

The Epson L630SU and the BenQ LU935ST / LK93 both use a laser instead of a lamp to generate a rating of over 5000 ANSI lumens.  The Epson L630 and the BenQ LU935ST are rated at 6000 and 5550 respectively, slightly higher than the LK936ST, which is rated at 5100 lumens. 

 

But while the Epson and the BenQ LU935ST display 2.4 million pixels on the screen, the BenQ LK936ST offers true 4K UHD resolution with over 8.3 million pixels.   Larger screens enable you to see all of the minute details of an image with higher resolution and one reason is that models from BenQ are often used for golf simulation and larger home theaters.

HDR & Color Accuracy

Color performance is a key part of any projector – and can vary between brands and models.  While brightness is measured in “lumens ” the color performance of a projector is specified using an industry-standard color gamut like Rec. 709.  For example, home theater projectors from both BenQ and Epson have defined specifications for Rec.709 color support, but the high brightness Epson L639SU does not have any color accuracy specifications. 

 

For a classroom or basic signage application, this may not matter, but a projector with higher color accuracy will render a more accurate and immersive image with difficult colors such as Bermuda grass, mottled skin tones, and realistic clouds when used in a simulator or theater.  Both the BenQ LU935ST and LK936ST deliver over 92% of the Rec. 709 color but the 4K model also has advanced HDR capabilities to enable you to watch movies, play X-Box, stream video, or play golf on a single projector. 

Maintenance Free vs. Cleaning Filters

If you are placing the projector in a hard-to-reach place – such as suspended from the ceiling, you want to check to see if your projector has a filter that requires cleaning.  The Epson L630SU has filters that have to be kept clean to keep the projector cool – and keep dust from getting inside the laser engine.   How often you need to clean the filter will vary from place to place - and If the filter is not maintained, this could invalidate the warranty on the projector.

 

The best solution is to use an advanced sealed laser engine – which doesn’t require a filter.  Even better, BenQ tests and certifies every model using an industry-standard IP5X  dust test certification to ensure that the projector will operate even when dusty –eliminating the risk of a “clean filter” warning or damage due to a dirty filter.

Throw Ratio and Lens Shift for Easy Placement

Projectors can be complicated to mount and set up in the right location where they are out of the way, but still enable you to properly fill the screen.   The short-throw lenses on both the BenQ laser projectors and the Epson L630SU have good zoom and lens shift capabilities and will fill up the large screen from just 10 feet away.

 

The other component of a projector is “lens shift” which makes it easy to move the image up and down or side to side after you have it mounted so that you can fine-tune the picture to fit inside your screen.  Both the BenQ short throw laser projectors and Epson L630SU have vertical and horizontal lens shifts, as well as a handy feature called “corner fit” which enables you to drag the image to each corner of the screen for a fast and easy setup.    

DLP Technology and Input Lag

Besides the sealed laser engine, the BenQ models of short-throw projectors have another big advantage over the Epson L630SU – the Emmy award-winning DLP chip that creates the picture is used in nearly every commercial laser-powered cinema today.  Texas Instruments rates the imaging chip in the BenQ projectors to hold its color (not turn yellow) for 100,000 hours. 

 

These chips also have very high “fill factors” to nearly eliminate the black boxes or “screen door” effect on the projector. The Epson projector doesn’t use DLP technology and uses three panels that need to be precisely aligned to ensure the colors are correct. 

 

If you are using the projector as part of a simulator or for gaming and events, both models of the BenQ have solid input lag performance, while the Epson does not specify its input lag.

But How Much Do These Laser Projectors Cost?

Here is a breakdown of the cost and features of the Epson LU635SU compared with a leading 4K lamp projector as well as two other 4K laser projectors mentioned in this article designed for home cinema and simulation use.  All projector pricing data comes from each manufacturer’s website.

  BenQ LU935ST

BenQ LK936ST

Epson L630SU

 

Brightness

5500 Lumen

5100 Lumen

Epson L630SU

6000 lumens

 

Resolution

WUXGA

4K UHD

Epson L630SU

WUXGA

 

Specified Color Accuracy

92% of Rec 709

92% of Rec 709

Epson L630SU

Not specified

 

Maintenance-Free Design

Yes

Yes

Epson L630SU

No – requires filter cleaning

 

Lens Shift

Yes

Yes

Epson L630SU

Yes

 

HDR 10 Support

No

Yes

Epson L630SU

No

 

DLP Technology

Yes

Yes

Epson L630SU

No

 

Input Lag

<17 ms

<36 ms

Epson L630SU

Not specified

 

Est. Street Price

$3999

$4899

Epson L630SU

$4099

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