BenQ GP1 Joybee LED Projector Review

Projector LED Light Source Life

BenQ swears they are being very conservative, in rating the LED light source at 20,000+ hours. Considering that I’ve seen ratings of up to 50,000 hours on other LED light sources for the smaller pico sized projectors, they are probably right. More to the point, though, 20,000 hours works out to about 40 hours a week for a decade! Somehow I have to believe that 10 years is longer than anyone plans to use a product like this, if for no other reason that it is pretty much a first generation product, and who knows what the specs will be on a “similar” projector, that hits the market, in say, just five years!

And, since we are on the subject of the 3LED lightsource, it has other advantages besides a more dynamic image. It’s greener – no mercury (which is used in the traditional lamps), and there should be no significant dimming over the light sources full life. (Typical UHP lamps lose about 50% of their brightness over their claimed life.)

Wall Color

BenQ figures that a fair number of people will not have a formal screen to use with the GP1. Those using it at home, for example, might simply shine it on the wall. (The same might be true doing a 1 on 1 presentation in someone’s office). With the Wall Color feature, the BenQ does its best to correct for the color of your walls. It has settings for five wall colors: light yellow, pink, light green, blue (also light), and blackboard mode. I used the light yellow setting on the wall in my testing room which happens to be a medium brown. It definitely helped more than a little, but in reality, my wall is a lot darker than what you would want to project on. Unless your wall color matches pretty closely the colors mentioned, it will only partially help. Let’s just say if good color is your thing – find a white wall or use a screen.

Wall Color

BenQ figures that a fair number of people will not have a formal screen to use with the GP1. Those using it at home, for example, might simply shine it on the wall. (The same might be true doing a 1 on 1 presentation in someone’s office). With the Wall Color feature, the BenQ does its best to correct for the color of your walls. It has settings for five wall colors: light yellow, pink, light green, blue (also light), and blackboard mode. I used the light yellow setting on the wall in my testing room which happens to be a medium brown. It definitely helped more than a little, but in reality, my wall is a lot darker than what you would want to project on. Unless your wall color matches pretty closely the colors mentioned, it will only partially help. Let’s just say if good color is your thing – find a white wall or use a screen.

iPhone iPod adaptor

Too bad that their iPhone adapter is optional, and not included with the Joybee GP1. But, at least they offer one.

Audio Built In and Audio Out

Not bad, the BenQ has a small 2 watt speaker. That’s not much different from the typical lightweight but traditional portable projectors. If you want to game, or watch a movie, though, while there’s respectable volume, it’s definitely very thin on bass. The good news is that there’s a stereo audio output, so you can pump the sound back out to a boom box, stereo system, etc., to get some quality sound. And before you ask, “No, the BenQ Joybee GP1 does not support 5.1 surround sound audio.” Which means if you are hooking it up, to say a DVD player, or a cable/satellite box, where there is a 5.1 source, you’ll need to take the audio directly from those devices into your own 5.1 sound system

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