BenQ TH671ST projector review: Superb viewing for gaming and movies

A short-throw projector full of features, all wrapped up in a sleek package.

BenQ is a major player in the monitor and projector space, and its TH671ST gaming and cinema projector is a competitively priced option that brings a lot of great features and few flaws in a relatively compact package. I used the TH671ST for a couple of weeks for both gaming and movie watching to see how well it fits in and whether or not it's worth your hard-earned cash.

What you'll love about the BenQ TH671ST projector

The BenQ TH671ST is designed in the same style as a lot of smaller home projectors — like the ViewSonic PX607HD that I also reviewed — with a compact white chassis, offset lens, manual focus and zoom wheels, and some venting on the side. You get a full set of controls on the top of the projector, and it comes with a small remote for convenience. The back of the unit is stocked with quite a few ports, including dual HDMI, and everything is spaced well, so there's no congestion if you're simultaneously hooking up multiple devices.

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Resolution1920x1080 (FHD)
Brightness3,000 ANSI lumens
Picture sizeUp to 120 inches
Respone time16.67ms
Throw distance100-inch picture at 5 feet
Aspect ratio16:9
Lamp lifeUp to 15,000 hours
Lampsave mode
PortsTwo HDMI 1.4 (one MHL/HDCP
USB-A 2.0
Mini USB-B
3.5 mm in and out
D-Sub in and out
SpeakersSingle 5 watt
Weight5.95 pounds (2.7 kg)
Size11.65 inches x 4.72 inches x 8.81 inches
(296 mm x 120 mm x 224 mm)

Setup takes no more than two or three minutes, and it involves choosing a projector position — low, high, or behind a screen — as well as basic or advanced settings. I recommend choosing advanced, as basic mode only lets you switch between a few preset picture modes, audio modes, and some LumiExpert options. Out of the box, the preset modes offer a great picture, and I didn't have to adjust much other than the wall color offset since I didn't have a white screen to use with the projector. If you find that the picture isn't quite up to snuff, you can tweak just about every aspect of any of the modes to get it looking just how you want it, and there are two custom modes to switch between. You can expect about 92 percent coverage in the Rec. 709 color space; the standard generally used to measure modern TVs.

I first set up the projector in the middle of a sunny day, and it's safe to say you shouldn't have any issues with using it whenever you wish, as long as it's not in direct sunlight. The lamp hits upwards of 3,000 ANSI lumens on the brightest setting, which is enough to offer a vivid if slightly washed image. In a darker room without direct sunlight, the picture is crisp and clear, even in SmartEco mode that helps extend lamp life. Using the lamp normally, expect about 4,000 hours of life, all the way up to about 15,000 hours of life with Lampsave mode. The TH671ST's LumiExpert feature includes a light sensor on top of the projector that measures how bright the room is and adjusts picture gamma automatically. It's subtle but welcome.

BenQ's TH671ST offers up an enormous picture with full color, great contrast, low input lag, and enough brightness to be seen in just about any setting.

The TH671ST has a respectable 16.67ms input lag in Fast Mode, which makes it suitable for gaming. I tried out a Nintendo Switch with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe multiplayer and hooked up my PC for some Battlefield V, and even with the high visual demands of a first-person shooter, I found the experience enjoyable if not ideal for a competitive arena. The picture has excellent color and contrast, and the single 5-watt speaker gets quite loud without any distortion. If you're going for a true home cinema setup, 3.5mm jacks on the back are there for external speaker hookup, but in my case I found the built-in speaker to be enough. I wasn't able to test it, but the TH671ST will project 3D movies with a dedicated mode.

The "short throw" aspect of the projector means it only has to be about five feet from the wall to get a 100-inch picture. The keystone can be corrected with just a few presses of a button, and two adjustable feet on the bottom of the projector also help get a perfectly rectangular picture. Zoom and focus are handled manually with two wheels accessible from the top of the projector. If you're not often moving the projector, you should be able to set it once and not have to touch it again. During use, the fan stays quiet enough that it doesn't interfere with whatever you're watching, no doubt helped along by a sizeable exhaust on the front corner.

What you'll dislike about the BenQ TH671ST projector

The BenQ TH671ST is tough to dislike, and anyone who would like to go the projector route instead of investing in a TV should find plenty to appreciate. However, dropping this much money on a device means you'll expect it to last well into the future, and it would be nice to see a USB-C port included for quick hookups of multiple devices. It's not a deal-breaker, but we have seen the modern port on some other projectors in the same category.

Anyone who's looking for more than a casual gaming experience where refresh rates and response times need to be as low as possible will also no doubt want to lean toward a gaming monitor, as the TH671ST is better suited for consoles and casual PC gaming. It's a thrill seeing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on a 100-inch screen, but those sitting down for some sweaty Apex Legends matches will likely still turn to something with better overall performance.

Should you buy BenQ's TH671ST projector?

BenQ's TH671ST short-throw projector is an excellent alternative to a standard TV for casual gaming and movie watching, offering up an enormous picture that has full color, excellent contrast, low input lag, and enough brightness to be seen in just about any setting. All picture modes can be extensively adjusted to get the best picture possible, and the additional LumiExpert feature that adjusts gamma automatically is a nice addition. It would be nice to see a USB-C port on the back, but it's not a dealbreaker.

The $799 price tag might cause pause, but remember this is designed to replace an enormous TV that would no doubt cost quite a bit more. It does come with a three-year warranty and a lamp that can last up to 15,000 hours under optimal settings, with lamp replacements costing about $58. Bottom line? If you're looking to recreate a cinema experience in your home, the BenQ TH671ST is a great place to start.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond.