Portable Led Projector: Benq Joybee GP2

9/24/2012 11:26:49 AM

Small box, big picture

The iPhone 4’s Retina display maybe gorgeous, but it’s still on the small side for watching movies. BenQ has come up with a neat solution in the shape of the Joybee GP2, a cute little LED projector with a built-in iPhone/iPod Dock that enables it to project whatever’s on the iPhone’s screen onto a wall.

Description: Benq Joybee GP2

Benq Joybee GP2

Sturdily built and decked out in black and white glossy plastic, the GP2 is an attractive device that sits comfortably in the hand. It weighs just 560g and comes with a padded carry case, so it’s very protable.

Its short throw ratio of 1.13 means you can project a 44in screen image in just one meter, so you can even use it in smaller rooms. If you have more space, though, you can enjoy a maximum screen size of 160in.

Its 2W speakers aren’t really up to much, but there’s a 3.5mm line-in jack so you can attach external speakers or headphones for a more immersive home cinema experience. And if you don’t have a suitable surface on which to place it, there’s a crew thread in its base so you can mount it on a tripod.

Not content with showing content from iPhones iPods, the GP2 has VGA, composite and USB video for connecting to a Mac, component and HDMI for games consoles and Blu-ray and DVD players, as well as an SD card slot and a USB port for external storage. There’s also 1.3GB of usable internal memory, and you can copy files to the projector from your Mac over USB.

File format support is nothing if not comprehensive, including MOV, MP4 and H.264, JPG, BMP and PNG, AAC, MP3 and WMA.

Description: The Joybee GP2 has a veritable embarrassment of connection options, with VGA, composite, USB and USB video, component and HDMI, an SD card slot and a 3.5mm line-in jack for audio

The Joybee GP2 has a veritable embarrassment of connection options, with VGA, composite, USB and USB video, component and HDMI, an SD card slot and a 3.5mm line-in jack for audio

All this versatility also makes the GP2 a useful presentation tool. Thanks to its internal memory, USB and SD card support, and the built-in iPod dock, you don’t even need to take a MacBook with you. An optional external battery pack will give you three hours of projection, and it comes with a carry case with room for the power supply and cables.

The GP2 has backlit, touch-sensitive controls on its top surface, plus a credit-card-sized remote control with blister buttons. The player’s controls don’t give much feedback, whereas the remote refers you use it on the left of the GP2, as that’s where the receiver is.

It’s an LED DLP projector, which means it uses red, green and blue LEDs to produce color rather than a single white lamp and a spinning color wheel. This not only eliminates the dreaded DLP rainbow effect – where flashes of primary color are visible in fast-moving or black-and-white images – but reduces power consumption dramatically. The downside is that the lamps only produce 200 lumens brightness, which isn’t enough to view images under bright lighting.

Its resolution of 1.280 x 800 is reasonably high for such a small projector, which means you can use the mac desktop without having to compress it into a smaller resolution, but the GP2 still suffers from inconsistent focus across the screen. There’s an auto-keystone control, but we didn’t notice it making much difference, so we switched it off, as keystone correction generally degrades the image. You also get wall color correction – you select the approximate color of your wall from a list, and the projector adjusts color balance to compensate, helping image quality.

Despite this, color weren’t very accurate, but their boldness made up for this to a certain extent. We noticed problems with skin tones from the start that the GP2’s color certainly wouldn’t use than adequate for watching movies. We had no problems viewing detail in dark scenes in Casino Royale, such as the folds in the black velvet dinner jacket worn by Le Chiffre.

Presentation are good, too, although if you’re using images you’d be advised to turn down the lights, as the projector’s limited brightness means your audience won’t see much detail. Charts and graphs were fine, however, and text was clear – you’ll be fine with high-contrast content, even under office lighting.

The versatile Joybee GP2 looks like a good choice whether you’re after a home cinema projector or a portable presentation tool.





Apple Store



portable * good resolution * flexible connections and formats


relatively expensive


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