BenQ Joybee GP2 Mini Projector
This article first appeared in HWM Mar 2012.
Compact HD-Ready Projection.
With mini projectors like BenQ’s Joybee GP2, you get HD-ready projection resolution and reasonable brightness without breaking the bank. While the GP2 might not fit into your pocket, it still possesses a compact form factor and weighs about 565g. Similar to the outgoing GP1, the GP2 sports a dual-color design, with a black top above a white body. The GP2 has a solid, hefty feel to it despite being constructed mainly of plastic.
You may not expect a host of ports available on such a compact design but the GP2 surprisingly possesses quite a few to choose from. Located on the right is an SDHC card slot, a USB 2.0 port, as well as microUSB and proprietary composite video/audio connectors. With the GP2 being HD-ready, the most important port (and what we found the most useful) was the HDMI port. Audio is served via a 3.5mm audio-in jack, while audio-out is provided in case you would like to use headphones.
On the top of the projector you get a touch-sensitive circular control panel and an iPod dock, which allows you to stream music and video from your iPod or iPhone. The GP2 also comes with a remote that we found to be rather underwhelming. The slim width of the remote made it uncomfortable to hold, while the small and recessed buttons further compounded the unwieldiness of using the remote.
The GP2’s control interface is simple to navigate, but it’s also pretty sluggish so don’t be expecting your commands to register instantly. With WXGA resolution support, the GP2 handles HD content pretty well, with images being sharp at the 1-meter mark, and colors looking quite saturated. We tested MKV, AVI and MOV files, with the GP2 handling most of them rather well. But do take note that with higher bitrate files there was some stuttering.
Putting out 200 ANSI lumens means that you will basically need to use the GP2 in a pretty dark room, but even at the 2-meter mark the image from the GP2 was clear and colors were vibrant in our testing room with the lights off. As expected from a portable device, the sound from the GP2 will suffice for most presentations but if you’re planning to watch a movie or play some video games, we suggest using headphones or external speakers as bass is practically non-existent. This results in muddy sound, making dialogue muffled at higher volumes. And not to forget that the GP2 tends to operate rather loudly too, affecting audio playback if the room is quiet.
The GP2 is a mini projector that has decent image quality with a good number of connectivity options, making it very versatile. Furthermore, its compact size does make it very portable. It does have some minor flaws such as its remote and sluggish interface, but you can consider the GP2 if you’re looking for a mini projector, as long as you manage your expectations.