Most people getting a projector never had a projector before. It’s not something you buy often…And if you do, it lasts for years. This BENQ TK850? It’s a 4K, HDR projector with a screen size of up to 250”, with a focus on sports, but most importantly home entertainment that doesn’t kill the budget. Not to say that this is a product everyone can afford as projectors don’t belong to the affordable ones.
…Oh, and if you are here because COVID-19 made you want to have your own entertainment platform, then you aren’t the first one.
In this BENQ TK850 review, we go over everything you need to know about this projector, and everything to look out for when buying a projector.
One thing that people often confuse about projectors, is pixels.
When buying a monitor or a TV, you want that 4K to make sure things don’t look too pixelated on a big screen.
…But on projectors that’s not quite the case.
Perhaps that’s why 2008 cinemas already had such great quality, and why there’s still such a huge amount of non-1080p projectors out there selling at steep prices.
If you play something on a 4K monitor and then on this 4K projector, the projector, even though much bigger, and thus should display much more pixelation, does a much more superior job at showing an image.
…But the BENQ TK850 it’s not a true-true 4K projector. It’s 1080p upscaled 4x upscaled by their technology, producing an effective illusion of a 4K screen.
Going back to what we just started though, it’s not just about the pixels when it comes to projectors, and the content on this projector looks beautiful.
The projector comes with HDR, although it’s not HDR 10. It’s more precisely called High Dynamic Iris, and in situations where it’s possible to use, it does a great job.
Compared to some different models, you get 98% Rec.709 color accuracy on this model.
Does that matter? Well, it depends on whether you value a little bit more of extra color accuracy or whether you want a projector that is superb in bright spaces, which we’ll talk about as you keep reading.
This projector delivers the brightness of 3,000 lumens which is crazy. If you plan to watch in dark environments or at night, you for sure don’t need that much, and well, in most cases you wouldn’t need taht much anyway, but it does help when you want to watch with some daylight still around, or with some lights in the background so you can see where your tea is.
We tested this projector inside in a room with 12 windows during sunny days, and the projector did a great job. Not to say that it was the optimal viewing experience at all times, as sometimes depending on the scene of a movie, it wasn’t, but…it did a job that allowed you to watch. And that’s pretty impressive.
…But to really test things out, we put the projector outdoors into complete daylight.
Now, you might look at this picture and not be impressed, but to show that much in such a lighting scenario outdoors, that’s super impressive. There’s a ton of drop shipped projectors on Amazon. They are much cheaper, but they don’t deliver on that. They only work in the h dark.
The TK850 is a projector that does superbly in high-light, and not just on paper.
Around 7 PM works great in the August period with a sunset set for 8 PM.
If you live in Scandinavia, this is a perfect projector for your bright rooms.
The BENQ TK850 by the standard of some new projectors coming out can be considered big, and well, let’s be honest, it is not the most portable projector you will find, but you also have to ask yourself how much you are willing to give in exchange for size.
Remember those MacBook’s that weren’t able to perform to their full potential because they were too small? Smaller projectors have to make sacrifices because projectors generate a ton of heat, and to power them, one needs to have the right fans and spacing.
The bigger size? It means much bigger screen size options, brightness, and speakers.
The Remote Controller
We never talked about a remote controller in any review in the past.
…But this one is worth giving it a minute.
Particularly because it lights up.
Most of the time when using a projector, it will be in a darker environment, so the remote should be with lights. Not everyone thought of that.
It lights up, is fashionable, and oh, YES!!! Batteries included.
The Ports & Platforms
Any new projector coming from a company that wouldn’t have a long history of making projectors offers a device that comes with an OS which you can watch Netflix from such, right away. And that’s a big marketing point of these devices.
The BENQ TK850 doesn’t come with such, and that’s fine.
If you are into entertainment and use the likes of VPNs then you know that a lot of these platforms don’t allow for VPN usage, making them useless for many.
A device like an Amazon Fire TV Stick is able to unblock all the entertainment you will want to access, for just €20, and it connects right into the HDMI port. (And yes, the projector comes with a power supply USB port.)
However, what is an issue is the lack of a USB-C port (but has the likes of RS-232?!?) for easy connection with a phone and most modern laptops, and perhaps even more importantly, no Bluetooth support. If I want to connect my Bluetooth speakers to this projector, I can’t do it. At least not directly.
The System & Modes
The projector comes with a set of different modes such as Living Room, Sports, Cinema, and others.
When you switch between them, the projector will temporarily turn the screen off, which can be annoying, and we do wish there was a better explaining of the modes, so users could make better decisions regarding what’s the best option for watching right now.
Perhaps a view of how it is on the left side, and a preview of how it could look on the right, would be great.
Sound wise, when you look at this projector, you probably wouldn’t have the highest expectations.
…But the projector delivers.
Whether you are in a 150 m2 apartment and want to hear on the other side, or whether you are in an outdoor scenario, this projector delivers.
This is not an average pair of speakers you would get on your TV. You do not need to get a pair of speakers to enjoy entertainment on this projector.
We aren’t going to show how they sound or how loud they are, because…depending on our microphone, and then most importantly, your speakers, how the audio sounds, and how loud it sounds, it will differ.
You’ll just need to take our word for it that these are surprisingly great.
…But since we are talking about sound, we need to talk about the fans, and we are not talking about how awkward football matches sound without fans, but about the cooling fans on the TK850.
And the fans on this BENQ TK850 are somewhat loud. Like a 2015 PC. When you are watching something with sound, you don’t ever hear it so that’s fine, but once the sound is off, that is an issue.
Oh, and there is quite a bit of heat generated by the projector.
Conclusion: Is the BENQ TK850 Worth it?
If you never had a projector before, once you get one, and a good one, you will never want to have a TV again.
A projector = king of the football matches, movie nights, and TV shows binges, and the TK 850 is a perfect mix of price, modes, and features.
This BENQ TK850, it doesn’t come with any OS platforms like some new to market projectors, nor is it the smallest, but if your main focus is quality, this is a projector that delivers.
And yes, projectors are expensive, but if you want to get a great 75” TV, you will pay, and you will pay a steep price, making this look like a bargain.
And a projector, while it might seem expensive, once you buy it, it will last for years, and the TK850, is one worth having for years.