Abstract We report on the design and experimental evaluation of a liquid crystal beam deflector generating a blazed refractive index profile. By using multi-resistive electrodes, the wavefront of monochromatic light passing through the active areas of the array becomes spatially modulated in a continuous and linear manner. The special features of such a beam deflector are reduced number of electrodes and constant intensity of the deflected beam over the whole beam deflection range. Owing to the careful design and optimized fabrication process of the electrodes, the angular independence of steering efficiency has been successfully confirmed for the first time in a beam deflection experiment. The optical throughput of our beam deflector was enhanced by a novel Talbot array illuminator.