Hardware Review ScootView: The BenQ GP1 JoyBee Mini “LED” Projector

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Scooter, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    ScootView: The BenQ GP1 JoyBee Mini “LED” Projector

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    Back in the early 90's, I happened upon a mini LCD projector from Fujinon, which I believe was a subsidiary of Fuji Photo. It was about the size of two and a half packs of smokes...had only composite in with L/R audio in. It could project, dimly, a 4' picture, but if one were reasonable about expectations, it did a kinda neat job. It even could run on camcorder batteries and had a spare bulb included inside for immediate change over in the event of a burn out.

    Damn spiffy!

    I wondered if any company would bring a similar product out today, using current imaging methods and newer technology.

    BenQ just did!

    This diminutive projector packs a good sized punch. The image is clear and bright. The LED source will last into my grandchildren’s college graduation! It can input composite, component, and your PC. It will also play directly off of a USB drive and external HD, as well. The USB and external have to be formatted FAT32. Pretty versatile device!

    Setup is a no brainer. On a table...on a tripod...anywhere. A nice feature is that you can adjust the picture to the color of the projection surface. Thus, you have a wall with a tint, you go into the menu and choose the closest match for that and the projector adjusts the hue so the colors look accurate. Handy for when you bring this along to house with an owner that has a flair for colored walls. Or in my case, I am a pretty heavy smoker and my shades have that ever appealing yellowish hue. Using this adjustment, I got perfect colors projecting on that surface.

    Included with the projector are the power cord and adapter, soft carrying case, a break out cable for either Composite with L/R audio or from your Laptop or PC. The back of the projector also has a USB input for a pocket drive.


    The formats that can be played off of the USB Drive are limited. I have a pre-release product that does not have the ArcSoft software now included. With that, you can readily covert what you want to show to a format the projector reads through the USB port. No need to drag your computer of digicam along. Just load it on the stick. For presentation purposes, you can use a PowerPoint file without using your laptop. I had a stick with a short PowerPoint presentation, and it performed flawlessly.


    Damn spiffier!


    I set up a slide show of some pictures I copied on to my thumb drive. Using the internal firmware of the JoyBee, I was able to set up a slide show, with a variety of transitions between pictures. It took some finagling to get just what I wanted, but I was really pleased with the results once it got going.

    The playback of other sources (i.e. Laptop, DVD, etc.) were displayed with a bright, crisp, colorful image. When one takes into consideration the size of the GP1 and the ability it has, it’s quite impressive.


    Here is what I would like to have seen different on the GP1:

    The power cable is bulkier than need be. What the projector itself offers in portability, the power supply takes a little away from that. I would like to see a cable more akin what my laptop has, or any of the external drives I use. Thinner and much more flexible.

    More popular internal codecs loaded. I tried running Divx files, and the video would play, but no audio. The Divx files I have seen use MP3 for audio. The preferred codec for the projector is MJPG, kind of a bastard format. While a file converted to that plays nicely overall, I would like to have seen the mainstream codecs built into the piece. Thing is, Joe Public will want to simply plug and play, as that is the appeal of the projector. To be messing around with a video file that will take a fair bit of time to convert, will not set well with them. As much as I love this product, this is a shortcoming.

    As for video/computer material, I would suggest in future versions of the GP1 using an HDMI input instead of or in addition to the one already there. I have a camcorder that has a USB out to a breakout cable that does composite video, right and left audio, as well as allowing connection to a computer. Using HDMI as the input/output that can be assignable as per the function needed, would allow a HD digicam or BluRay player to be plugged directly into the projector and viewed. Audio output can be assignable to out put either analog or digital audio from the mini jack.

    Two other minor suggestions. A sliding cover to protect the lens when transported. And a small pocket on the outside of the carry case for the remote. Otherwise the remote is carried separately or in the case directly laying on the projector. On the outside, the projector would be somewhat protected by the material that separates the 2.

    I absolutely LOVE this thing in design and image quality. It feels and appears quite solid and the potential is great for it’s uses. I see applications with Recreational Vehicles as well. Many of these have satellite receivers and something of this size would give the owners the ability to do projection in the vehicle. As for presentation, it’s perfect for quick, on the spot setup and use. The LED is bright as hell and lasts forever, blowing away conventional lamps. I can’t wait for the HD version of this to appear.
     
  2. prasibreo

    prasibreo Auditioning

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