The BenQ TK700STi is a compact DLP 4K projector with the chops for movies and games. As a movie machine, it sports Ultra HD resolution, HDR, and an Android TV interface. Gamers will enjoy its snappy response, zero motion blur, and 240 Hz refresh rate. A high-quality short-throw lens means easy setup and you can enjoy the sound from a built-in five-watt chambered speaker.
BenQ TK700STi Gaming Projector Highlights
- Ultra HD DLP lamp projector
- Accepts 1080p signals at 240 Hz
- Supports HDR10, HLG and 3D content
- Built-in chambered speaker delivers solid bass and volume
- High-quality short-throw lens
- Includes Android TV HDMI dongle
While we’d all like to have a dedicated theater room with a giant screen and a large projector to match, reality dictates a more versatile space that can accommodate a variety of activities and entertainment tastes. Short-throw projectors are perfect for these multi-use environments with their easy setup and compact chassis.
BenQ is a master of this genre with its line of DLP displays. The TK700STi is a 4K DLP short-throw projector with the performance to deliver high-quality imagery for both video and gaming. Ultra HD resolution and a quality lens mean a sharp picture for all content. HDR10 and HLG support cover the latest formats, and it even plays 3D content. For gaming, it accepts 1080p signals at 240 Hz and has super-low input lag. The DLP light engine means no motion blur and quick response. With a fixed lens offset, precise zoom and focus controls, and auto keystone correction, you can display a huge image in moderate-sized rooms with enough light output that you don’t have to watch in the dark.
Single-chip 0.47” DLP
1920×1080 (accepts up to 3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz)
frame-pack, side-by-side, top/bottom
4,000-15,000 hours (lamp mode dependent)
Light output (mfr):
3,000 ANSI lumens
0.9-1.08:1 (zoom range 1.2x)
1x 5w chambered
3x HDMI 2.0b
1x 3.5mm out
12.2” x 4.3” x 9.6” (W x H x D)
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The TK700STi is a single-chip DLP. The 0.47-inch DMD has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, but XPR technology which is always active delivers an Ultra HD image. With a quality lens, the image from my review sample was razor-sharp from edge to edge. The light engine is lamp-based with a UHP bulb rated for between 4,000 and 15,000 hours depending on the chosen mode. A Smart Eco setting varies lamp power with content to expand contrast.
HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) signals are supported though there is no additional color gamut coverage. The TK700STi is a Rec.709 display. The upside is there’s no filter to reduce the light output, so HDR content is nice and bright.
As a gaming display, the TK700STi has some serious cred. The DLP chip means there is absolutely no motion blur. This is something LCD and LCoS projectors cannot claim. Even at 120 Hz, those technologies show some smear during fast camera pans or when objects move quickly across the screen. A DLP maintains its full resolution with both static and moving images. Input lag is also extremely low. BenQ claims 8.3ms for a 1080p 120 Hz signal which is what you’d get from a console. I’ll be testing that later in this review. It also accepts refresh rates up to 240 Hz. The only thing missing is Adaptive-Sync, AKA VRR, AKA FreeSync, AKA G-Sync. So, you will see the occasional tear when the frame rates are lower than 120fps.
The TK700STi is very compact, about the size of an encyclopedia. To square up the image, there is a zoom barrel on top and an extendable foot on the bottom front center. The two back feet are threaded as well so you can level the projector easily. An auto-keystone function is included, and you can rotate the image. The zoom range is 1.2x with a throw ratio of 0.9-1.08. This means you’ll need about 10 feet of distance to see a 150-inch diagonal picture. The manual focus is very precise, and I was able to get a perfectly square image that was sharp from edge to edge in a few minutes. The lens is of very high quality and has no visible aberrations.
On top, you get basic controls for menu navigation, input selection, picture mode, and power. In the back, there are two HDMI 2.0b inputs plus a third one for the included Android dongle. For audio, there is a single internal speaker with five watts of power and a chamber to enhance bass. You can connect to headphones or an external sound system through the 3.5mm output. A USB port is also included. RS-232 provides an interface for automation systems.
The third HDMI port lives under a small cover which is removed to install the included Android TV stick. It’s controlled from the remote via Bluetooth and supplies Android TV to the projector. It’s an easy way to add smart TV functions to the TK700STi but I’m spoiled by Apple TV and its nearly universal support for every imaginable app and streamed content carrier. The biggest omission from Android, and this is not BenQ’s fault, is seamless support for Netflix. You can graft it on there through another app, but it doesn’t include support for Ultra HD or HDR. If Netflix is not among your streaming gotos, the stick is a nice addition.
The remote is a small handset with controls for the projector and the Android interface. A dedicated button takes you right to Amazon Prime Video. You can also enable voice control through Google Assistant. It controls the TK700STi via infrared so you’ll either need to point it at the projector or at the screen.
BenQ continues its support of 3D content with frame pack, top-bottom, and side-by-side formats. I was able to use my trusty pair of Xpand DLP-Link glasses to run tests and watch 3D movies. Spoiler Alert: the TK700STi is a very good 3D display with decent light output and no visible crosstalk. If you’re into 3D, it is a good choice.
The TK700STi has a 110% lens offset which means it needs to be 10% of your screen’s height either below or above the edge. This makes it ideal for a ceiling mount if you prefer a permanent solution or a coffee table if you need something portable. I use a telescoping stand, so I didn’t need the keystone or image rotation options. It’s always best to physically move the projector to get the image squared, sized, and focused. I did this easily thanks to the excellent lens which delivers a very clean image edge-to-edge.
The XPR DLP shift feature that creates a 4K image from a 1920×1080 chip is always engaged and cannot be turned off. It is very effective at creating a picture that looks very similar to a native 4K projector.
The menu system has basic and advanced options if you want to keep things simple. Since I need to explore every nook and cranny, I set it to advanced and was greeted by BenQ’s familiar system that groups all the picture controls in one place and makes calibration convenient. Since the TK700STi has a gaming focus, there is a game picture mode that includes a low input lag setting. It makes a measurable difference though I found the projector to be super responsive without it. This means I can play games in Cinema mode if I want with no perceivable performance penalty. Skilled gamers will want to use the game mode though.
The Cinema mode includes adjustments for color temperature (two-point), color management, gamma presets, and bulb mode. The latter has Normal and Eco settings plus a SmartEco option that varies brightness with content. This effectively increases contrast by a measurable and visible amount. I ran my tests in Normal, then switched to SmartEco for my viewing tests.
Calibration wasn’t too difficult requiring only some adjustment to the color temperature. With my settings in place, I settled in to watch content and play a few games.
To see the TK700STi at its full potential, I cued up three relatively recent releases from my collection, Dune, No Time To Die, and Matrix Resurrections. All include both Ultra HD/HDR and 1080p Blu-ray discs in the package so I could make apples-to-apples comparisons.
First off, HDR does look better than SDR and Ultra HD resolution is sharper than 1080p. The TK700STi’s XPR pixel shift is implemented well and seems a bit cleaner than what I’ve seen in the past. Looking closely at the screen when watching 1080p content, the XPR is turned off which actually enhances this content by matching pixels 1:1. HDR doesn’t have any extra color saturation. Remember that this is a Rec.709 display, but the contrast is definitely enhanced. Shadow areas are somewhat murky; that’s a DLP trait. But the highlights really stand out. Starfields are effective because the stars are very bright.
Motion processing in every case is superb. This is something that DLP does better than other display types. Camera pans and moving objects retain their full resolution as they move across the screen. LCD and LCoS projectors will always show some smearing but the TK700STi does not suffer from this artifact.
The internal speaker does a respectable job with movie soundtracks. Though the frequency range is somewhat limited, the volume is spacious and undistorted. Dialog is clean and focused while ambient sound is presented with clear detail. You won’t mistake it for a surround system but it’s better than the speakers I’ve heard from most flat panels.
The Apple TV gave me a chance to test different signal formats. The TK700STi is fairly quick to lock onto changes in frame rate or resolution. SDR to HDR switching is also fast with only a few seconds of blackout before the info box announces the new content. I was able to use the Apple TV’s RGB High setting which delivered the clearest picture and best color. Even unusual formats like 1080p/50 played without issue.
HDR content like Sugar Rush Christmas and Drink Masters played correctly. Both shows are mastered in Dolby Vision but will play HDR10 on compatible displays. The Great British Baking Show is standard HD but also played without issue in its 50Hz European format.
The only thing I wished for here was more vivid color. The contrast is there for sure, but the color is just a bit less vivid than I’ve seen from other BenQ DLP projectors. This observation is backed by my tests which show correct saturation but reduced luminance. I suspect this is done to make gaming content more detailed and visible and, in that genre, the TK700STi excels. My request would be for BenQ to keep the Cinema mode the same as its other projectors and save the luminance alterations for the Game mode. I also noticed occasional brightness pumping as the SmartEco feature changed the lamp brightness from scene to scene. It wasn’t a distraction, but an LED projector can modulate brightness more quickly.
The TK700STi is fully capable of interfacing with the latest consoles from Sony and Microsoft. It can run at 120Hz in 1080p resolution but there is no VRR support. In practice, this isn’t a big deal because when you’re running over 100fps, frame tears are rare. The great thing about this projector is its super-quick DLP response. There is no motion blur whatsoever, even at 60fps. That is something no LCD panel can claim.
I used a Windows PC equipped with a GeForce RTX 3090 video card which can easily hit 240fps at 1080p. The TK700STi is the first projector I’ve reviewed that can run at 240Hz. Playing highly detailed games like Doom Eternal and Tomb Raider was an absolute hoot. Control response was incredibly quick, instantaneous in fact. There was never any breakup or loss of resolution no matter how fast I moved the mouse. Mowing through monsters in Doom Eternal’s horde mode was an addictive experience. Exploring the lush landscapes in Tomb Raider on my 92-inch screen was completely mesmerizing. The TK700STi isn’t just a great gaming projector, it’s an exceptional gaming display that will run rings around just about any dedicated gaming monitor, some of which cost much more than $1,699.
To test the TK700STi, I set up my usual suite of benchmarks using the latest version of Calman from Portrait Displays. To measure color, I used an X-Rite i1 Pro Spectrophotometer and for luminance, an X-Rite i1 Display Pro tri-stimulus colorimeter. Signals were generated by an Accupel DVG-5000. HDR signals were generated by the same unit with an HD Fury Integral in the signal path.
The TK700STi comes out of the box in Game mode which is appropriate given its design intent. If you want to take advantage of the low input lag setting, you must use this picture mode. I chose to test in Cinema mode since it offers more than enough game performance for me and it’s easier to achieve an accurate calibration.
My initial measurements show a warmish grayscale with blue levels declining as the image gets brighter. The errors are visible at 40% and above. This is a minor issue, and most users will not notice a problem in actual content. Gamma tracking is excellent with only slight dips at 10 and 80-90%. This error is also very hard to spot.
I stayed with the Normal color temp preset and tweaked the two-point RGB sliders to get all errors under 3dE. I also had to lower contrast to prevent clipping at 100% brightness. The grayscale tracking is a tad uneven but only to the eyes of the meter. Visually, it is without flaw. Gamma is nearly unchanged. Visually, it is the same as before.
The TK700STi comes relatively close to the saturation and hue targets for Rec.709 SDR. The secondaries have slight hue errors which will be fixed by the grayscale calibration. The lower color luminance values are unusual for BenQ. In their efforts to make the projector more suitable for gaming, they are altering these metrics to maintain color saturation but make detail a little more visible in dark areas. This has a positive effect on the image when you’re gaming but video content looks a little less vivid.
Calibration doesn’t fix the luminance errors, but saturation and hue are now spot-on except for 100% magenta which is a touch too red. I tried increasing color gains in the CMS but that caused hue errors in the primary colors. In practice, the picture is still very good, but other BenQ projectors I’ve reviewed are a little more colorful than the TK700STi.
The TK700STi switches to HDR mode automatically when it senses HDR10 content. There are two picture modes available, HDR10 and HDR10 Game. Like SDR, the Game mode is required to use the low input lag setting. I calibrated HDR10 for this review.
The default HDR grayscale is warm in tone with errors most visible in the brightest parts of the image, mainly past the tone-map transition at 75%. The EOTF rides well above the reference line and given my experience with other BenQ projectors, I’d conclude that this is by design. Their marketing talks about “black detail enhancement” which makes objects in dark parts of the image more visible. This is an advantage in gaming for sure. The default setting of the HDR Brightness slider is +1 which is a contributing factor.
Using the two-point color temp adjustments, Normal mode, I was able to fix most of the grayscale errors. Only the brightest highlights still look a tad warm. I was not able to achieve correct luminance tracking though. Turning HDR Brightness down to its lowest setting of -2 improves the image noticeably but it is still a bit light. It works well for gaming, but movies and TV lack the punch of the other BenQ HDR projectors I’ve reviewed.
The TK700STi is a Rec.709 display and therefore cannot fully cover the DCI-P3 gamut. When measuring against that standard, color is generally under-saturated but since the points are linear, full detail is maintained. In practice, HDR and SDR content look similar with the HDR version being a bit brighter overall.
To test actual screen response and input lag, I use a 1000fps camera to photograph a series of flashes on the screen. The footage is analyzed to determine the precise time between a mouse movement and its reaction on the screen. I can also see how long it takes to draw a full white field.
The TK700STi is one of the quickest gaming displays I’ve ever tested. It runs rings around dedicated gaming monitors and has zero motion blur. To check out its maximum potential, I connected a Windows PC equipped with a GeForce RTX 3090 video card. Running at 240Hz means selecting 1920×1080 resolution. I also used the Game mode which turns on the Low Input Lag feature.
Drawing a full white field took 3ms which is on par with 360Hz computer monitors I’ve tested. The total lag was 20ms (23ms in Cinema mode) which is also what I usually see from 360Hz displays. My results are not meant to refute BenQ’s claims which are much lower. My test includes the total lag from a mouse input, not just the source to display lag. It’s a more practical representation of actual performance. The TK700STi is one of the very best gaming displays I’ve experienced of any type.
The TK700STi is a very bright projector that will work equally well in a totally dark room or an environment with some ambient light. I measured my Stewart Filmscreen Luminesse with Studiotek 130 material from 10 feet back using an i1 DisplayPro. Units are nits.
SDR Cinema mode, post calibration, lamp Normal
• Peak white – 276.1564
• Black – .2732
• Contrast – 1010.8:1
SDR Cinema mode, post calibration, lamp SmartEco
• Peak white – 275.8904
• Black – .1509
• Contrast – 1827.9:1
SDR Bright mode, lamp Normal
• Peak white – 428.5298
• Black – .3362
• Contrast – 1274.7:1
HDR, lamp Normal
• Peak white – 298.9976
• Black – .2666
• Contrast – 1121.4:1
HDR, lamp SmartEco
• Peak white – 216.7538
• Black – .1315
• Contrast – 1648.9:1
• Peak white – 31.5158
• Black – .09
• Contrast – 350.2:1
• Crosstalk – .04%
Looking over the numbers, you can see that SmartEco increases contrast whenever its used but reduces peak brightness slightly. The Bright mode is usable in a room with some ambient light and is a little green in tone with a very light gamma.
Brilliant Color 10
Color Temp Normal
CMS at defaults
Brilliant Color 10
Color Temp Normal
CMS at defaults
The BenQ TK700STi Gaming Projector is a superb value at $1,699 with class-leading game performance and a sharp image. It’s ideal for gamers and movie buffs alike.
- Phenomenal gaming performance
- Sharp and bright picture for 1080p and 4K content
- 240Hz capability
- Excellent sound from the internal speaker
- Better color luminance
- Wider color gamut for HDR
As a gaming projector, the BenQ TK700STi is unmatched in my experience. It goes toe-to-toe with the fastest and most expensive gaming monitors I’ve tested and trounces them all. With 240Hz capability and almost zero input lag, it is a gamer’s dream.
As a movie and TV machine, it delivers good color and contrast, but I found the picture just a bit less vivid than other BenQ projectors I’ve reviewed. It’s still very pleasing to watch thanks to its expert motion processing and solid accuracy. It can handle all video formats with equal precision, and it pairs well with Ultra HD Blu-ray players and streaming boxes alike.
If you play a lot of games, the TK700STi is a no-brainer. Run, don’t walk, to buy one. The experience of playing the latest games on a giant screen is something that should not be missed. Highly Recommended.