Review Contents
The Viewing Experience
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Mobile Presentation
BenQ Joybee GP2 Projector BenQ Joybee GP2
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2400:1 Contrast Ratio
200 Lumens
Street Price: n/a
$699 MSRP

BenQ Joybee GP2 Pocket Projector

Allan Abbott, April 30, 2012

The relatively new class of mini-projectors (~200-300 lumen output) has always lacked something that their smaller relatives, the pico projectors, have offered as a standard feature: battery operation. While the new BenQ Joybee GP2 mini doesn't supply a battery as a standard feature, for the first time it is available as an option. And since there is a little more real estate to play with in a mini-projector, the GP2 battery is no slouch with its operational range of 1 or 3 hours depending on the GP2's brightness setting (200 or 100 lumens, respectively).

Another first is the embedded Apple docking connector on the top of the GP2. It accepts Apple iPods (Touch and Nano) and 3GS/4 iPhones. Just slide your iPod or iPhone onto the connector, and your Apple device sits at a comfortable angle for making selections. As an added convenience, the GP2 has a complete set of Apple device control keys on its remote control.

At 200 ANSI lumens with a native 1280x800 DLP chip and a street price of under $550, the 1 ΒΌ pound Joybee GP2 has a broader mix of features than any of its competitors. It is a versatile projector that serves both small business meetings and personal entertainment activities.

The Viewing Experience

When you first open the box, the GP2 may not knock you over with its styling. It is basically square from every viewing angle, and since it flares slightly outward as it rises from its base, it is a non-traditional design to say the least. But that impression quickly fades when you see how many devices the GP2 can accommodate.

Since it uses LEDs for illumination, the GP2 fires up quickly and presents its home screen where various sources can be selected for viewing. There is no source selection key on the remote control, so when a source change is needed, the home screen is the only place to do so. Fortunately, the GP2's menu system is intuitive and well defined, so this minor inconvenience is soon forgotten.

Ambient light is an issue for any 200-lumen projector, and the GP2 is no exception. In a normally lit room, keeping the image size down to about a 50" diagonal assures a bright enough image for a small group. But if you can control ambient light, you can take advantage of the GP2's relatively short throw and put up an 80" image from just eight feet away.

Once the GP2 is up and running, you will find the image quality excellent for data presentations with good saturation and crispness. Video images in the preset modes are not quite spot on, but going to User mode solves that limitation by increasing contrast and decreasing brightness. One of four color temperatures can be selected to complete the image tuning. With those adjustments made, the video image is very good with excellent flesh tones, well-defined highlights, and good black levels though slightly muddy shadow rendering.

Another impressive item is the GP2s's low fan noise. It is much quieter that its competitors, and with its pair of 2-watt speakers cranked up, you will be almost unaware of the fan noise. If you are sensitive to the fan noise, you can always switch to Eco mode where the fan noise is nearly undetectable with any modest audio content.

Review Contents: The Viewing Experience Key Features Performance and Limitations

Reader Comments(4 comments)

Posted Jun 25, 2013 9:30:44 AM

By jill

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i love this little projector. the only problem i am having is the sound. NOT the built in speakers, but the audio out jack. i cant get it loud enough to do an outdoor movie with even a small crowd of friends. i have a 200 watt amplified speaker (that blasts my ipod, radio and other devices) but when i hook up this projector, the volume is wimpy. i've tried different movies to rule out the movie. i tried both a new bluray player and my iphone and ipod, and same results.

But when i watched a movie via iphone on gp2, BUT HOOKED THE AUDIO DIRECTLY TO SPEAKERS from iphone, the result was big big sound.

i don't get it.

Posted May 4, 2012 10:23:39 PM

By Guy

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I returned this projector for missing software features.

1) No ceiling mode. Even the instruction manual says to mount on the ceiling, it must be mounted upside down. Guess what, the image is also upside down.

2) No zoom. The short throw makes this impractical to place at the back of the room. The projected image is bigger than the wall, and you can't shrink it.

Essentially this projector is made for projecting from a table.

Posted May 2, 2012 3:47:42 PM

By Bob

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The big differences are how easy it is to connect my iPhone and the short throw. My iPhone just drops in and works. With the battery it fits in my travel bag and doesn't cause a problem in security. The short throw makes it easy to watch a iTunes TV show on a hotel room wall right from my phone sitting on the table. The other thing I like is to preload a presentation into the projector and use it without a laptop. Both of those are hard to do with a traditional projector. [Note: this was written by a BenQ employee]

Posted May 1, 2012 8:34:48 PM

By Stoly

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I noticed the joybee can do 120hz.

Does that make it 3d compatible?

Also I was considering getting a MW-512. Other than the obvious lumen output, how would both compare?

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