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BenQ TK810 projector review: Decent picture, not so great software…

BenQ TK810 projector

While adding wireless casting and an app store to a projector seems like a great idea, the implementation on the BenQ TK810 left something to be desired.

Techaeris Rated 8.6/10

With different streaming services and apps available these days, more companies are putting “smarts” into their TVs and projectors. BenQ is the latest and have added Aptoide TV to one of their projectors, the TK810. With the new functionality, users should be able to use streaming apps and cast from their iOS or Android devices wirelessly.

For the most part, this review will likely be similar to the the BenQ TK850 Sports and HT3550 CinePrime Projectors which we recently reviewed. That being said, there will be a bit more focus on the software as this projector is being marketed as a smart projector with extra features.

On that note, our BenQ TK810 4K UHD projector review takes a look at an option from the company that includes apps and streaming capabilities. Read on to see how it performs!

Specifications

The BenQ TK810 4K UHD projector has the following features and specifications:

Projection SystemDLP
Resolution4K UHD (3840 x 2160)
Resolution SupportVGA (640 x 480) to 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)
Brightness3200 ANSI lumens
Contrast Ratio (FOFO)10,000:1
Display Color30 Bits (1.07 billion colors)
Native Aspect RatioNative 16:9 (6 aspect ratio selectable)
Light SourceLamp
Light Source LifeNormal: 4,000 hours
Economic: 10,000 hours
LampSave: 15,000 hours
Throw Ratio1.48 – 1.62 (100″@ 3.29m/10.79 ft)
Zoom Ratio1.1x
Lens ShiftNone
Keystone Adjustment1D, Vertical ± 30 degrees
Projection Offset100%
Clear Image Size (Diagonal)40″~200″
Image Size30″ ~ 300″
Horizontal Frequency15K – 135KHz
Vertical Scan Rate23 – 120Hz
Picture ModeBright / Living Room / Cinema / Sports / (3D)* / User 1 / HDR / HLG
Color Wheel Segment4-Segment (RGBW)
Rec.709 Coverage92%
SpeakerChamber Speaker 5W x1
Interface• HDMI-1 (2.0b/HDCP2.2)
• HDMI-2 (2.0b/HDCP2.2)
• USB Type-A (5V/2.5A power)
• USB Type-A (Media reader/FW download)
• USB Type mini B (FW download/service)
• Audio out (3.5mm Mini Jack)
• Audio out (S/PDIF – only supports 2 channels)
• RS232 In (D-sub 9pin, male)
• DC 12V Trigger (3.5mm Jack)
• 2x IR Receiver (Front/Top)
• Security Bar, Kensington Lock
WirelessDual Band 802.11ac/b/g/n, 2.4/5GHz
Bluetooth4.0
HDRYes (HDR10, HLG)
Motion Enhancer (MEMC)Yes
CinemaMaster Video+Yes
CinemaMaster Audio+2Yes
LumiExpertYes
HDTV Compatibility720p 50/60Hz, 1080i 50/60Hz, 1080p 24/25/30/50/60Hz, 2160p 23/24/25/30/60Hz
3D CompatibilityFrame Packing: Up to 1080p 24Hz
Side by Side: Up to 1080p 60Hz
Top Bottom: Up to 1080p 60Hz
Power SupplyVAC 100 ~ 240 (50/60Hz)
Typical Power ConsumptionMax 350W, Normal 340W, Eco 280W
Standby Power Consumption0.5W Max. at 100 ~ 240VAC
Acoustic Noise (Typ./Eco.)32/30 dBA
Operating Temperature0~40℃
Dimensions (W x H x D)380 x 127 x 263mm
Net Weight4.2 kg/9.2 lb

What’s in the box

  • BenQ TK810 Projector
  • Remote Control w/ 2x AAA Battery
  • Wireless USB Dongle
  • 3m Power Cord
  • User Manual CD
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Card

Design

Like the TK850 and HT3550, the BenQ TK810 follows the company’s new design. If you read that review, then this section will be pretty much the same with a minor exception. If not, read on!

The BenQ TK810 4K UHD HDR projector
The BenQ TK810 4K UHD HDR projector.

The newer design is less bulbous looking than BenQ’s previous designs. Still mostly off-white in colour, the front measures 15-inches by 4 3/4-inches and is black. The BenQ logo is on the left (when looking at the front) while the lens opening towards the right is rectangular in shape, roughly 3-inches wide and 2 1/2-inches in height. The IR sensor is on the far right side of the front. The projector is about 10-inches in depth.

The top has a few notable differences as well. The BenQ logo is printed in the lower right where the control panel used to be. The control panel is now on the lower left below the focus and zoom dials. The control panel features the circular navigation pad as well as buttons for power, back, settings, and source. There are three LEDs above it for power, temperature, and lamp warnings. As for the focus and zoom dials, BenQ has added a sliding door cover over it. This is a nice touch as it keeps the top looking cleaner.

The left side of the projector (when looking at the front) houses two fans behind a vent. The right side, on the other hand, only has a single fan behind a vent as well as a lock slot.

The entire back is covered with small indented holes. On the bottom left and right, these holes are cut out all the way through for the single 5W speakers. Centered across the back are your ports which include (from left to right when looking at the back) a 12V trigger, RS-232, USB Type-B service port, USB-A 3.0 media reader port, HDMI 1 and 2 HDCP 2.2 inputs, USB-A 2.5A powered port, SPDIF optical port, and a 3.5mm audio out jack. The power port is centered near the bottom of the back of the projector.

rts on the back of the BenQ TK810 4K UHD HDR projector
The ports on the back of the BenQ TK810 4K UHD HDR projector.

Finally, the bottom has three twistable feet — one centered on the front and two in each back corner — for aligning the projector when it’s on a smooth surface. There are also three M4 x 8L screw holes for ceiling mounting.

Where the TK 810 differs is the addition of the wireless USB dongle. To install it, you’ll need to slide the top cover off (forward) to insert the USB wireless dongle into the projector. There are two screws, one on each side, that you’ll need to remove. Once removed, the cover slides forward and the dongle is easy to install. To be honest, I’m not sure whyBenQ they didn’t just build this functionality into the projector, or ship with the dongle pre-installed.

Remote Control

While the TK810 projector shares its design cues with the other models, the remote is much more simplified. Roughly six inches long and 1 3/4-inches wide, there are only 11 buttons, a circular directional pad, and a volume rocker on the remote. These buttons allow you to turn the power on or off, select source, go home, go back to the previous menu, access the menu and settings, adjust the volume, mute the volume, or invoke the voice control.

Display

The TK810 uses four 1920×1080 micromirror arrays to project 8.3 million distinct pixels for 4K resolution. Rather than get into all the technicalities of this, you can view BenQ’s simplified explanation of how this works on their website. One unfortunate side effect of this chip, as I’ve explained before, is that you will get a light “shadow border” around your screen. In other words, once you’re set up and focused with the main image adjusted to the borders of your screen, you will see a faint light border roughly 2-inches around it (when viewed at roughly 100-inch screen size).

The focus and zoom rings on the BenQ TK810 4K UHD HDR projector
The focus and zoom rings on the BenQ TK810 4K UHD HDR projector.

As with other BenQ projectors, the image quality is pretty decent, nice and crisp with great colours depending on what your settings are set to. With 3,200 lumens, the picture is nice and bright as well and suited for just about any setup location. That said, it does only cover 92% of Rec.709 while other BenQ offerings do cover more.

Setup/Ease of Use

Being a smart projector, the BenQ TK810 takes a bit more to set up. Fortunately, the system walks you through it. First, you’ll need to install the wireless USB dongle as mentioned in the Design section. Once done, power up the projector. After you pair the remote on the first screen, connect to your local Wi-Fi network. Set your time zone, agree to the privacy/data collection terms, and you’re good to go.

Once set up, the home screen displays tiles for Wireless Projection for iOS & macOS, Wireless Projection for Android, and Wireless Projection for PC. Below this are other settings and options which we’ll get to in the next section.

Software

The BenQ TK810 is powered by Aptoide TV. This software package allows you to install streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, and Plex. The selection is limited though, so don’t expect to get access to all of your favourite streaming service apps. In addition, you can install other games and apps to get further use out of your projector. We were able to use YouTube, Netflix, and Plex with no issues. The couple of games we tried worked fine as well, although playing with a remote is a bit tricky. While Aptoide TV worked o.k., I’m glad to hear that BenQ has opted for Android TV in its latest smart projectors, which we’ll be reviewing shortly.

The Aptoide TV interface on the BenQ TK810 4K UHD HDR projector
The Aptoide TV interface on the BenQ TK810 4K UHD HDR projector.

As far as Wireless Projection is concerned, we couldn’t get it to work on any device. This included a number of Android phones and a couple of Windows 10 laptops. None of them wanted to see or connect to the projector. While I don’t wirelessly stream, it is a key selling feature and just didn’t work at all.

Performance

The TK810 projector take about 30 seconds or so to start up. The fan is slightly quieter than its predecessor as well. Again, when switching between HDR and non-HDR content the screen does go black for 15 seconds or so.

Aside from that, I had no complaints with either projector when it came to movie or TV watching, as well as gaming. I also didn’t see any noticeable lag for any games I play regularly which include Forza Horizon 4Gears 5, and the like.

Sound Quality

Onboard projector sound is always hit and miss. The single 5W speaker isn’t great for much aside from listening in a pinch. While it is crisp and clear, the audio is somewhat lacking when watching movies or playing games.

The menu buttons on top of the BenQ TK810 4K UHD HDR projector
The menu buttons on top of the BenQ TK810 4K UHD HDR projector.

Price/Value

With an MSRP of US$1549, the BenQ TK810 is a bit more expensive than its counterparts. That is to be expected given the inclusion of the wireless USB dongle and the Aptoide TV and wireless casting functionality. Unfortunately, there are better interface options like Android TV and the wireless casting functionality just plain didn’t work.

Given a choice between this and the TK850/HT3550, I’d save a couple of hundred dollars and go for one of those over this — even knowing you can get the TK810 for as low as $1399 on Amazon.

Wrap-up

While adding wireless casting and an app store to a projector seems like a great idea, the implementation on the BenQ TK810 left something to be desired. As mentioned, we’ll be reviewing the BenQ TK850i here shortly and hopefully the Android TV interface will be much better than the Aptoide TV option on the TK810.

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BenQ TK810

US$1549

Design

10.0/10

Display

9.0/10

Setup/Ease of Use

9.0/10

Software

7.0/10

Performance

9.5/10

Sound Quality

7.5/10

Price/Value

8.5/10

Nailed it

  • Nice bright colours
  • 3200 lumens
  • 4K HDR support
  • 3D support
  • Auto-keystone

Needs work

  • No lens shift
  • Light "shadow border"
  • Takes a few seconds to switch to HDR mode
  • Only 92% Rec.709 coverage
  • Software is o.k. at best, wireless casting didn't work at all
  • Mediocre sound
  • Optical audio only supports 2 channels
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