Editors' Choice Mini Projector
BenQ Joybee GP1 Mini Projector
Review by Terry Kibiloski
The BenQ Joybee GP1 Mini Projector (Retail $499) is an incredible projector for the money. It has been nearly three years since we were as excited about a projector as we are with the BenQ Joybee GP1 Mini Projector. At Computer Times, we are very tough on performance, demanding excellence in all areas before we even consider a product for an Editors' Choice review, which is why this is only the second projector to ever earn our Editors’ Choice award. Much like Casio's Super Slim XJ-S35 compact projector exceeded our expectations in October, 2006 for higher end projectors, so too did the BenQ Joybee GP1 Mini Projector exceed our expectations for a reasonably priced palm-sized LED projector, providing incredibly clear images and good sound for its class.
The focus ring and external control panel, which is touch sensitive, are found on the top of the unit. The buttons on the control panel are labeled and light up bright blue when the power is on and the unit is in use. Measuring just 5.35 x 2.12 x 4.72 inches, and weighing only 1.4 pounds, the BenQ Joybee GP1 Mini Projector is a palm-sized, pocket projector designed to keep you entertained wherever you go. You simply plug in your personal media device to turn movies, photos, and even music videos into LED-lit projected images of up to 80 inches diagonal. While the focus of this product is on its incredibly bright and clear image projection, the integrated 2W speaker provides adequate sound for you to comfortably watch your videos and DVD. The BenQ Joybee GP1 Mini Projector is powered by BenQ’s exclusive 3LED Technology to exceed cinema picture quality. Rather than using one single LED array as its light source, this brilliant 3LED projection system incorporates three individual LED arrays, one for each color – red, green, and blue, enabling the BenQ Joybee GP1 Mini Projector to deliver clearer, brighter, and more vivid images. The GP1 has an internal thermally-controlled fan to help keep it cool. LEDs projectors are not only lamp free, they are energy-efficient. From a green perspective, the GP1 Mini Projector is 100% mercury-free, uses recycled materials in its packaging, and boasts a 30% reduction in power consumption with less than 1W standby power.
You can connect this slick little projector to your computer, a USB drive, or any other video device like a DVD player, camcorder, or any digital camera that can project images directly to a projector. You can also buy an optional iPod / iPhone universal dock for the GP1. The USB reader supports a nice range of both photo and video formats, listed separately in the table below. BenQ provides software with the projector to convert any video file to an acceptable format for the USB reader.
Some of the features we especially like in this compact projector include auto keystone, wall color correction, five picture modes, auto search, resolution reminder, high altitude mode, and the tripod connection at the bottom of the projector to let you use your camera tripod as an easy to set up projector stand. BenQ’s Wall Color Correction Technology offers a selection of five different wall colors to meet the projection demands of various surfaces, even blackboards, so you can always get outstanding projection quality. With the automatic keystone adjustment, your image can be always projected in a perfect square rather than in misshaped images, graphics, and charts.
The projector comes with a black carrying case, which is designed for just the projector, an AC adapter, multiple input cable, remote control, a 2GB USB flash drive, a quick start guide, safety manual, and a user manual on the CD which also contains drivers, software and sample image and video files to show off the projector out of the box. The multi-input cable lets you connect both composite and VGA inputs. The IR remote control is plain, simple, and easy to use. The GP1 comes with a Limited 1 Year Warranty.
By moving the projector about 8 feet from the wall or screen, you will get a 60 inch diagonally measured image. At a little more than 9 feet, you can get nearly the full maximum 80” diagonal image. While the native resolution is SVGA 858x600, you can increase it to 1280x1024. For a palm-sized LED projector, rated at 100 ANSI lumens of brightness, the image quality is surprisingly good at all projection sizes.
For all you techies out there, the details specs are shown in the table below.
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