BenQ Joybee GP1 mini projector

BenQ's LED projector is small but mighty -- displaying great images

BenQ Australia Joybee GP1
  • BenQ Australia Joybee GP1
  • BenQ Australia Joybee GP1
  • BenQ Australia Joybee GP1
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Good image quality, 80-inch maximum screen size

Cons

  • Non-standard resolution of 858x600 pixels, low overall light output

Bottom Line

BenQ's Joybee GP1 is a nifty little projector, with a native resolution higher than DVD quality and a reasonable light output given its tiny size. The non-standard resolution might annoy some users, and the fan output while not noisy, wasn’t as quiet as we would have liked.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 999.00 (AUD)

The BenQ Joybee GP1 is a portable projector that uses LEDs as its light source. This enables BenQ to design a very small device that fits in the palm of your hand — even so this projector has a reasonable light output and a DVD-quality native resolution. If you’re looking for a travel projector to accompany your netbook (or even a regular notebook), this is the device for you.

Just as the arrival of the netbook revolutionised the way people used their notebook computers, mini projectors are arriving on the market featuring LED lamps instead of the larger incandescent bulbs most models use. LED lighting’s compact nature allows projectors to be much smaller while still maintaining usable brightness levels and good image quality.

Unlike the other mini projectors we’ve tested, BenQ’s Joybee GP1 doesn't have an internal battery — it’s just like a regular projector, only smaller. With dimensions of 136mm, 120mm and 57mm (LxWxH) it’s not as small as other mini projectors on the market, but it would easily slip into the spare space of a laptop bag along with its power adapter. To keep its design compact, BenQ uses a break-out cable instead of regular ports on the rear of the projector — connecting to both composite and VGA video. The projector’s native resolution is 858x600 pixels, which is neither a 4:3 or 16:9 standard, but in our tests we were able to output at this resolution, using a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop.

The BenQ Joybee GP1 mini projector doesn't have a zoom lens, but its fixed lens has a variable focus to allow it to create a sharp image of between 15 and 80 inches in size. The throw distance is range is between 75cm to 4m away from the projection surface, so it’s versatile enough to suit a range of display environments. We doubt many people will use the projector to display a 15inch picture size, but it can be done. Once focused, the image displayed is sharp and the projector’s resolution is high enough to display plenty of detail.

The projector lamp’s output rating of 100 ANSI lumens is certainly not impressive compared to the 2500-plus ratings of models like the Viewsonic PJD5351 and its ilk, but given that the BenQ Joybee GP1 is a mini projector using an LED lamp we think it’s acceptable. We used the projector in a range of test scenarios and found its performance was adequate in dark and dim rooms. When we ventured to a boardroom with south and east-facing windows — which allows a lot of daylight to enter —l the projector still managed to produce a visible image at an 80-inch size. In such bright conditions visible contrast drops significantly, but if you’re happy to tweak the settings you can still watch a movie or make a presentation.

With a contrast ratio of 2000:1 and using a DLP colour wheel system internally, the BenQ Joybee GP1 mini projector is actually surprisingly capable of outputting good images when used in a home environment. We tested it with a few DVD-quality movies and found it very capable at displaying the video footage, with good colour representation and dark area detail in our Batman Begins test footage. At the rear of the Joybee GP1 mini projector there’s a USB port from which you can play a variety of video and audio files. We found MPEG, WMV and AVI video support to be trouble-free and there’s also playback for JPEG and MP3 extensions. In these situations the internal 2W speaker is used to project audio — it’s not particularly loud, but it’ll produce reasonable sound in a small room. Using a USB port is a handy feature, as it means you don’t need a computer to display your presentation.

BenQ’s Joybee GP1 is a very portable mini projector. We recommend it as an addition to your travel bag — and it’s suitably sized to accompany a netbook — while it’s ideal for business presentations, it’s a useful device for impromptu movie-watching at home or in your hotel room too!

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?