So, over the last year and a half, I’ve been seriously into console gaming. Mostly because PC parts are prohibitively expensive, and consoles have been a more pleasant experience for me. I’ve played games on projectors, monitors, and TVs, but nothing compares to the one-of-a-kind experience I enjoyed with BenQ’s 4K x3000i gaming projector. And, believe me, I understand that projectors are a niche product, but this dedicated gaming projector pushes a competitive price to 4K TVs and a gaming experience.
So, instead of watching TV, I can now get completely clapped by 12-year-olds on a far larger monitor with 4K HDR gaming and entertainment, Android TV, and settings ranging from 60 to 240 hertz. This projector has truly astounded me. It’s not often that I remark to myself, “I can’t believe this.” So, here’s a BenQ x3000i review from a tired dad that values a nice console experience.
BenQ X3000i True 4K UHD 4LED Gaming Projector
| 3000 Lumens | 1080p 240Hz 4.2ms | 100% DCI-P3 | Preset Game Modes | Android TV | 10W TreVolo Speakers | HDMI | 2D Keystone | eARC | 3D | PS5 | Xbox
So, first and foremost, unboxing and setup. When you open the box, the first thing you see is the BenQ qs01 Android TV stick, which is responsible for the entire app experience. Then there’s the dedicated remote for switching inputs, changing volume, and so on. It’s little yet has everything you need. You get the power cable as well as the little accessories kit, which includes the remote batteries, adjustable feet, and the papers that everyone must read.
In terms of appearance, this device is quite great. It’s a dense cube of gaming pleasure weighing in at around 14 pounds, so keep that in mind if you intend to ceiling install it. It features a standard two-tone gaming look, but nothing out of the ordinary. The white and black body complements the neon orange trim nicely, and the front end is highly reflective. Threadings for attaching a tripod, on the other hand, are not available. Many projectors provide this feature, however this is not one of them.
In terms of specifications, this projector is fully loaded and by far the greatest one available. It has a decent 4K 60 hertz output, as well as 1080p at 120 hertz or 240 hertz. This projector has a brightness of 3000 ANSI lumens and does it using a four-LED arrangement, unlike other projectors, which only have three LEDs (red, green, and blue). This fourth LED boosts the brightness of the image without washing it out, which is much appreciated. The increased brightness is accomplished by 100 DCI P3 colour coverage, which provides HDR and HDR10 experiences. The LED has a lifespan of 20,000 hours in auto mode and up to 30,000 hours in other Eco modes. It contains two 5-watt speakers, which will undoubtedly be tested.
It contains three HDMI 2.0 connections (two on the back end and one inside), a power input, SPDIF, RS-232, VGA, and an audio out jack, as well as an audio out jack. This projector has a 12-volt trigger that can be used to power on a motorised projector or an audio setup when the projector is turned on. That’s really cool.
When it comes to setup, it’s actually fairly straightforward, but it also relies on how you intend to do it. I don’t have a theatre space, but I do have a wide wall that I like to utilise for projectors. When I utilise this, I just flip my couch around and make a nice night of it. The projector setup is simple enough; the top end unscrews with two screws, revealing the internal HDMI port where the qs01 Android stick is installed. I’m not sure if additional Android sticks will fit in there, but you still have the two exterior HDMI connections for anything else you might need to plug in. After it is installed, setup should take no more than 10 minutes, including software updates. Logging into Google is simple, and they provide opportunities to install popular apps right away.
Let’s get into the gaming portion of the BenQ projector, which is unquestionably my favourite. To be honest, I didn’t expect the game experience to be as enjoyable as it is. My wife and I were completely out of our heads when I first started Horizon Forbidden West. I even applied BenQ’s suggested game profiles, which improved the game’s appearance across all popular games. BenQ provides colour profile formulas to improve the look of your games.
I put it through its paces in Horizon Forbidden West, God of War Ragnarok, and Hogwarts Legacy. I’ll link to the colour profile options down below so you can check them out. In terms of all the recent gaming hardware I’ve used, I finally achieved Ultra Instinct because I actually dunked on 12-year-olds for once instead of simply playing respawn simulator. I’ve reached my limit with Call of Duty, and the clip is actually shot in 1080p at 120Hz on the PlayStation 5. Even at 1080p, it looked incredible. The response time in 1080p game mode is 4ms, and even at 4K in other games, it’s just 16ms, which is undetectable to me.
To test the HDR capabilities, I had to launch Cyberpunk 2077, which is designed for it. Driving about Night City with all of the neons, colours, reflections, and other effects is just so much fun. The footage was shot in 4K 60Hz mode, and if I seem fanboyish, it’s because I am. This projector is literally sick, and as I indicated, it helps me get my Greek on with Kratos in style, akin to Horizon, God of War, and all its 4K HDR beauty. If you don’t want to design your own colour profiles or utilise any of the recipes, there are presets such as HDR FPS, HDR RPG, and more. You can, of course, adjust these to your taste or swap them around manually.
And, aside from games, watching entertainment is also enjoyable, especially with such a large screen. The display can be anywhere from 60 and 150 inches in size. I have a 120-inch display here, and I don’t even have a projector screen to keep things crisp. This is directly against my wall. My projector is also positioned head-on in this configuration. If you must position your projector at an angle, you may always use keystoning to ensure that the image remains correct. Remember to avoid keystoning when gaming because it will impair your game mode and response speed. There are several image profiles, such as gaming, cinema game, HDR game, and you can change these out manually to your taste, just like game profiles. Watching movies in 4K HDR is still an incredible experience, and while my setup isn’t permanent, I do plan on ceiling hanging this projector to make it easier to use.
UI and Menu
The projector is totally competent in terms of overall UI and usage. However, it cannot compete with Apple TV or even PlayStation, but it does include all you need to have a fantastic viewing experience. It includes the most popular apps, such as Amazon Prime and Disney Plus, but Netflix is glaringly absent. If you want Netflix, you can always plug in another entertainment box or even a laptop. If you have additional devices and wish to share your own media, this projector can cast from them as well. Daytime or ambient illumination is easily viewable with the 3000 ANSI lumens if you wish to watch your material during the day.
You get two 5-watt speakers for sound, which are adequate given the size of the projector. They don’t get as loud, but if you’re putting together a theatre setup, you’ll need a separate audio equipment as well. For myself, I still like to watch movies with headphones, and much more so when gaming. I really use my controller-connected headphones for this, especially when playing Call of Duty, and it works great. BenQ claims that the ambient noise generated by the projector is around 32 dB.
I can’t quantify the input lag, but even in 4K 60Hz mode, it’s barely visible to me. But, unlike any other projector, this isn’t just okay for gaming; it’s designed for it, and it’s unlike any other experience I’ve had. The beauty of these games on the big screen has me questioning traditional arrangements, and with the low latency and visual quality, this is a legitimately amazing alternative for both movies and especially gaming. It’s undoubtedly pricey at $2000 USD, but the experience, versatility, and portability of a projector may make it worthwhile for you. In any event, I’m looking forward to playing God of War Ragnarok’s New Game Plus and finally finishing Horizon Forbidden West. But let me know in the comments what you’d be playing on here.
BenQ X3000i Gaming Projector Review: 120" 4K HDR Gaming for PS5, Xbox
The beauty of these games on the big screen has me questioning traditional arrangements, and with the low latency and visual quality, this is a legitimately amazing alternative for both movies and especially gaming. It's undoubtedly pricey at $2000 USD, but the experience, versatility, and portability of a projector may make it worthwhile for you.