If you're in the market for a portable projector, you may want to take a look at the BenQ Joybee GP2, which is the high-definition version of the Joybee product line. It's predecessor, the BenQ Joybee GP1, had many of the same features, but provided a lower video resolution. The GP2, however, does provide additional features that viewers on-the-go may need. These new features include 200 lumens of brightness (compared to the 100 lumens of the GP1), an HDMI port to support the higher-resolution, an SD card slot, and an iPhone/iPod touch dock.
GP2 – What's In The Box?
Other than the projector itself, the package contains a carrying case, power cord, power adapter, CEA30 pin cable, remote (with battery included), a mini HDMI adapter (that can be used for connecting an iPad), a USB cable, a quick start guide, and a user manual on disc. The GP2 itself is approximately 1.2 pounds and is 5.5 x 5.1 x 2.1 inches in size… it won't fit in the palm of your hand, but it's still very portable. To add to the portability, BenQ provides an optional battery, but that will cost you an extra $100.
In addition to the aforementioned iPhone/iPod dock, SD card slot, and HDMI port, the GP2 provides USB Type-A, USB Mini-B, PC/AV, audio in, and headphone connections. The USB connections allow you to display photos, videos, and documents from any USB storage device that is formatted to FAT/FAT32/NTFS. Keep in mind that the GP2 also provides approximately 1.3 GB of internal memory. The audio in and headphone jacks provide obvious functions. The PC/AV connection, in conjunction with the provided CEA30 cable, lets you use RCA video/audio connections for any devices that don't have an HDMI port. Plus, the cable has a VGA connector for PCs that don't have HDMI. The built-in speakers and touch controls round out the physical features. One thing missing, however, is a lens cover, so you'll want to keep the GP2 in its case when not in use.
GP2 – Let's Take A Look
The GP2 uses a DLP (Digital Light Processing) chip and an LED lamp to produce its picture. It is rated at 200 lumens (brightness) and 20,000 hours, which means you shouldn't need to worry about replacing the lamp for a very long time (if ever, depending on use). Its native resolution is WXGA (1,280 x 800 pixels) compared to the SXGA (858 x 600 pixels) of the GP1. This means you'll get a more detailed picture, but the GP2 still exhibits some of the drawbacks found in most small projectors.
First there's no zoom control and because of its size, the projector needs to be fairly close to the screen/wall to display properly. For example, if you want to display a 60-inch diagonal image, you'll have to position the projector approximately five feet away. Luckily, it provides a tripod connector so you won't need to move any furniture around (depending on your viewing location). Also, while the 200 lumens is a nice improvement, this is still typical of most portable projectors and still not bright enough to display in a lighted room.
As for the image display itself, its usually very good, but it depends on what you're viewing. Like with other small projectors, you'll sometimes get artifacts in the form of color tints, faint lines, as well as banding. And if you're displaying anything with small fonts, they will probably be blurred. It really does depend on the material. For pictures and videos, you probably won't notice any problems. Of course, you can't expect a small projector to display the same quality as the larger ones.
The built-in operating system for controlling the GP2 is very nice. There are touch controls provided on the top of the unit, and you also get a mini remote control. The on-screen menu gives you access to GP2 features as well as files in the internal memory and any connected devices. Navigation is quick and easy.
GP2 – Package Vs. Price
At a list price of $549, the GP2 sounds expensive, but this price is in range with most other portable projectors, and it's more than likely you'll be able to find it at a price that's lower than list. It provides good quality picture and sound (depending on source material), a wide-variety of device connections, and everything you need in the box for viewing on-the-go. So, if you don't need or want a larger projector, and just want something that can be carried around and setup quickly and easily, you'll definitely want to consider the BenQ Joybee GP2. For more information, visit benq.com.
Additional information: BenQ Joybee GP2 Portable Projector