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Review Contents
Performance
4
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
DIY Home Theater
BenQ Joybee GP1 Projector BenQ Joybee GP1
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Street Price: n/a
Contrast:2,000:1
Lumens:100
Weight: 1.4 lbs
Resolution:858x600
Aspect Ratio:4:3
Technology:DLP
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:20,000 Hrs
20,000 (eco)
Warranty:1 year
Connectors:  Audio Out, MemoryCard, USB
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 576i, 576p

BenQ Joybee GP1
LED DLP Pocket Entertainment Projector

Bill Livolsi, July 31, 2009

Limitations

Odd resolution. The Joybee GP1 has a native resolution of 858 x 600 pixels, with a 1.43:1 aspect ratio. This resolution is nonstandard and a bit wider than traditional SVGA. As a result, you are unlikely to encounter any content which is truly "native" on this projector. 800x600 content actually leaves slight black bars to the left and right of the image, creating a pillarboxed effect. The real benefit to this format, though, is that a 16:9 DVD can be displayed at its native resolution of 854x480 without being compressed.

Lumen output. As we mentioned, the one factor that limits the use of LEDs in projectors more than any other is brightness. The Joybee GP1 is rated for 100 lumens of brightness - yes, you read that correctly, one hundred lumens. To its credit, we measured 96 lumens on our test sample, so it is at least living up to its specifications. However, in anything but a very dark room, you will want to keep the image size down in order to preserve some semblance of visibility.

Lack of "real" case. When a projector's chief virtue is portability, we like to see manufacturers include a good quality carrying case. The GP1 does have a case, but it is only large enough to hold the projector itself -- indeed, it is less like a case and more like a sleeve. You are on your own when it comes to storing the power brick and assorted video cables.

Restricted connectivity. The Joybee GP1 can be connected to a video source in three different ways - using a USB drive in the USB slot, using an iPod in the BenQ iPod dock, or using VGA or composite video via the included breakout cable. However, the breakout cable is only about eighteen inches long, forcing you to keep the projector and the attached device very close together. The connection from the cable to the projector uses a proprietary plug, so there's little chance of obtaining a longer one.

Proprietary iPod connection. BenQ sells an iPod dock for the GP1. If you own an iPod, you know that the standard connection cable uses USB, and may be wondering if you can simply plug the standard iPod cable into the projector. Sadly, this does not work. To connect an iPod to the Joybee GP1, you need to purchase BenQ's own iPod dock attachment, or an Apple iPod A/V Composite cable, which costs $49 from the Apple Store.

Conclusion

BenQ's Joybee GP1 is a new breed of pocket projector. With its LED lamp, it promises to light up your game room - or hotel room - for years to come. While it is not bright enough to be a true home entertainment projector, and connectivity requires a careful selection of cables, it is a great choice as a secondary projector for more mobile applications - especially at $499.

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Comments (9) Post a Comment
sonyhome Posted Jul 31, 2009 11:46 PM PST
OK, so what image can you reasonably obtain with 98 lumens?

Pico projectors, especially cheap could open up a market of toys cary-on screens. Travelers, DJs, etc.

That sounds like it has a 3W, 5W or 7W Luxeon LED inside or something like that. I think those achieve 150 lumens of white light. 1 watt gets 45 lumens if I recall.

The other question is power consumption. How long can I project say using my car outdoors with the car's stereo? I suspect it normally uses much less than the rated 60W

Does it work on +12V
Robert Posted Aug 17, 2009 9:46 AM PST
So how does the Benq compare with the LG hs102g that was so highly rated on this site? Some comparisons would be nice...
Gill Williams Posted Sep 2, 2009 2:38 PM PST
Hi, Can you recommend a tripod to mount the Optoma HD65 projector on please.? Thanks
Dave Posted Sep 17, 2009 3:44 AM PST
My old Shapvision P10 which I paid $2000 for in 1993 had a lumen rating of little more than a 100 lumens and although it offered only 450 lines of resolution, in a well darkened room, it made for a pretty decent movie experience using a 96" 4x3 glass beaded Draper screen. Compared to the 60" box options in the $2500 and up range of the mid nineties, I chose this projector for my home theater. Most people were amased at just how good a 8 foot TV could look. I am looking forward to seeing the new BenQ.
Nagappa Posted Oct 14, 2009 12:12 PM PST
Robert: "So how does the Benq compare with the LG hs102g that was so highly rated on this site?"

Aside from the better brightness (the LG is rated at 160 lumens), I feel the LG looks more professional and would not look incongruous in a professional presentation, while the BenQ looks more suited for entertainment. Thats my $0.02.
John R Posted Mar 14, 2010 1:30 PM PST
I am little confused about connectivity to a television with a cable connection. If I detach the cable that runs from cable box to the TV and switch it to the projector, will the projector show what's on? If yes, is that applicable cable only 18"? I'd like to able to turn my TV in the living room, and have what's on TV be shown through the projector in my bedroom. Is that possible? How would that be done? Thank you, John (johnrossini11@yahoo.com)
Sharon Posted Mar 29, 2011 7:53 AM PST
The BENQ doesn't recognize videos created on a Mac, even when they're in the exact formats specified in the manual. Unfortunately BENQ doesn't state this on the box, or in the manual. For video via a USB key, this projector is Windows only.
Shinde Posted Sep 14, 2011 4:50 AM PST
Are LED projectors usefull for classroom presentation & what will be maximum duration .
gigel Posted Dec 11, 2012 8:55 AM PST
after 80 hours usage i see a lot of white and black dots.. why?

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