This Companion Cube-esque projector promises 120Hz quad-LED gaming

BenQ X1300i projector
(Image credit: BenQ)

BenQ has launched a new low-lag, high-contrast 120Hz projector aimed so squarely at gamers, it even looks a little like a Portal-style Companion Cube. Highlights include novel 4-lamp LED tech, low input lag, dynamic contrast boosting and short-throw optics. And of course that buttery-smooth 120Hz refresh.

The new BenQ X1300i is styled as the ‘world’s first fully immersive gaming 4LED projector’. It's main claim to fame involves BenQ’s 4LED technology, which boosts brightness, colour saturation, and contrast. 

The technical specifics are rather complex and hinge on the typical use of blue LEDs converted via ceramic phosphors to achieve the green output in standard 3LED RGB projectors. BenQ adds a further fourth blue LED which boosts brightness and improves colour and contrast detail. 

All told, BenQ says the X1300i is good for 3000 lumens, which ought to be plenty for all but the leakiest of ambient light conditions.

Just as important, the X1300i packs three low latency modes, the quickest of which achieves just 8ms of input lag when rendering at 1080p and 120Hz. The X1300i also supports 4K input at 60Hz, in which setting you’re looking at 16ms of input lag. However, the X1300i’s DLP chip is only 1080p and this model does not support pixel shifting to achieve 4K. Instead, the X1300i downsamples the 4K input to output at 1080p.

Other gaming relevant features include BenQ’s LED Dynamic Black, which is essentially an intelligent dynamic contrast feature designed to improve in-game detail in darker scenes. If it works as advertised, it could make a significant difference to what is a traditionally weak area for projectors when it comes to gaming.

BenQ X1300i projector

(Image credit: BenQ)

Another welcome feature is the short-throw optical setup. It enables the X1300i to produce a 100-inch diagonal image with the unit located just 2.87 metres from the projection surface.

Screen queens

(Image credit: Future)

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The X1300i’s combo of DLP and LED tech, of course, has plenty of other gaming-relevant advantages. BenQ rates the LED lamp life at 30,000 hours, which works out at three hours of gaming per day, every day, for over 25 years. That's probably enough for most gamers, we suspect. DLP chip tech, meanwhile, always for ultra-fast pixel response times.

If there is a catch, it’s cost. 

Positioned at an MSRP of £1,249, it’s pretty pricey for a beamer that can’t output 4K. Still, downsampled 4K can look pretty impressive at 1080p, while the usual limitations when it comes to frame rates and smoothness of 4K can make 1080p big screen gaming pretty compelling, especially if hair-trigger shooters as opposed to strategy titles or fantasy adventures are your thing.

The BenQ X1300i goes on sale in December and we'll be taking a look at a review unit soon.

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.