It can be officially said that pico projectors have landed, and from the looks of things, they are here to stay, at least in the foreseeable future. There are several projectors in the market featuring this small form factor, but there is nothing that really can differentiate one from the other besides the slight design change and the branding. In the past we have seen the 3M 180, which had a different form factor and came with features, such as Wi-Fi as well as a screen allowing one to access the various options. BenQ, a major player in the projector segment, is addressing the competition by adding a unique feature to their recently unveiled pico projector, the Joybee GP2. The brand has added an iPod dock in this pocket projector and in the process giving it a unique selling proposition.
Overall glossy exterior
Design and Build Quality
When it comes to the design of the BenQ Joybee GP2, the projector can really stand out. It has a squarish design and covered in an all gloss finish. The design of this projector is good because it features a white body overall and only the top panel is finished in black. Due to the highly glossy surface, fingerprints can be easily visible on the black surface. This may take away the look of the device. An area of the projector, at the top features a textured design, which also adds to the style factor of the tablet.
The connectivity options are one of the main features of the projector, as it is absolutely littered with ports. The connectivity options located here include ports for USB, mini USB, PC/AV, mini HDMI, audio in, an SD card slot, a 3.5mm jack and of course the main feature of this projector, the iPod dock. Unlike most projectors where the ports are located at the rear, BenQ has fitted most of the options at the side apart from the SD card slot, which is located at the rear and the iPod dock, which is at the top.
Lamp located at the front
The lamp of this DLP projector is featured at the front, while the focus ring is fitted at the side. The only issue we had with the projector when it comes to the way it is built is the quality of this focus ring. It feels rather cheap in comparison to the rest of the body. Vents are located on three sides of the projector and these help in its cooling. The controls for this projector are neat, too as the brand have added all touch sensitive buttons for navigating through the interface. Overall, the projector is designed well and featuring a minimalistic look, it can really complement any home. Another thing going for it is its size as it is light and can be easily carried around in the pouch that came along with the bundled up accessories. One can also add a the supplied cables in this bag as well for convenience and easy portability.
The BenQ Joybee GP2 is loaded with neat features that can leave the competition biting dust. On paper, the projector features such a wide range of features, that one may feel that it is a full sized projector and not a palm sized one. The iPod dock that is featured on the top is the chief feature here and with this addition, very few projectors can match up to it in terms of specs. Though it features an iPod dock, which is a unique feature, this trait is not reserved to this model alone. There are only a few other pocket projectors in the market that feature this option and with this model, it is BenQ’s way of addressing this niche segment of pico projectors.
This projector is based on Texas Instruments’ DLP technology and by adding this technology one can expect smoother images and better ANSI contrast levels. This LED-based projector features a native WXGA resolution of 1280 x 800, while the maximum resolution supported is 1600 x 1200. The brand rates the brightness levels of the projector at 200 ANSI lumens and a contrast of 2400:1. The native aspect ratio featured here is 16:10, but one has the option to switch it to the conventional 16:9 aspect ratio that is used while watching HD movies. Since the projector uses LED technology, one can expect a lamp life of up to 30,000 hours. This will be significantly longer than the life of the projector as well.
Connectors are featured at the side
Like most pico projectors, there is no complicated set up process whatsoever. All one needs to do is connect an iPod, or any other storage drive, like an SD card, USB drive or connect it to a PC or Blu-ray player using the required cables with the ports. The interface is well designed and one can easily navigate through the menu without any hassles by using the remote control or the touch sensitive buttons.
The projector is compatible with resolutions up to 1080p when paired with a Blu-ray player. Though it does not output at this resolution, it does accept video inputs at full HD resolutions. It can support a variety of video containers, including AVI , MOV , MP4, FLV as well as MKV. The projector can also read a range of audio files, such as MP3, MP2, APE, FLAC, OGG, WAV and m4a. This allows one to listen to music on the two 2W speakers as well if not using the projector for viewing presentations or watching videos.