BenQ GP1 - Performance
7/2/2009 - Art Feierman
BenQ Joybee GP1 Brightness
Impressive for a small projector. Don't get me wrong, there are a couple of very small traditional business projectors that are only about 2-3 times the bulk of the GP1, that are as much as 20 times brighter, but that's not the point.
What is the point, is that the GP1 actually puts out sufficient brightness to do a reasonable job. That's something new for these mini projectors, although there are a couple of other models out there that probably do as well, but which we haven't reviewed yet.
Measured in its brightest mode (which just happens to be call "Brightest" mode, BenQ claims 100 lumens, and we were very pleased to see it actually beat that, with a measured 113 lumens. OK, that doesn't sound like a lot, however, that LED light source makes a difference. It's hard to guess, but the GP1 projector just might seem as bright as a projector with a conventional lamp, that is rated around 200 lumens. When you consider that a number of very fine home theater projectors, in their best (least bright too) modes, with their lamps in low power, only measure in the 200 to 300 lumen range, you start to appreciate the BenQ's horsepower.
On that note, BenQ was showing a second projector of similar size, but with a standard lamp, and a claim of about 250 lumens (if I recall correctly). I wasn't paying that much attention, since they told me that unit wouldn't be sold in the US, because, despite the higher lumens and traditional lamp, it doesent seem significantly brighter than the GP1. I believe them, in this case.
Turn off the lights and the projector really can fill a typical business or classroom 60 inch diagonal screen, and do a respectable job. I've also watched parts of movies with the image in the 60 to 80 inch diagonal range. When doing so, I used the User mode which we adjusted for best picture. In that mode, the BenQ GP1 measured 75 lumens. Not bad, and spectacularly brighter than the little pico projectors which seem to only be able to muster 8 to 12 lumens, depending on brand.
Here are our measurements for each of the modes. Please note that we have four different measurements for User mode, representing the four different Color Temp options provided. With each one, we also indicate the color temperature measured for white (100 IRE). For those that want to watch movies, 6500K is ideal. For general purposes, anywhere from about 6500K to 8000K will provide respectable preformance for business presentations, keeping in mind that around 8000K, the image will be a bit thin on reds, and strong on blues:
Brightest – 113 lumens @ 7800
PC – 113 lumens @ 7882
Movie – 69 lumens @ 7452
Photo – 77 lumens @ 7483
User (w/ User reference mode):
Color Temp T1 – 113 lumens @ 8162
Color Temp T2 – 75 lumens @ 6466
Color Temp T3 – 75 lumens @ 7744
Color Temp T4 – 77 lumens @ 8559
Note that Movie mode is notably cool (stronger blues, weak reds) which is why I ended up using the User mode, with the Color Temp set to T2, for movie viewing. That said, for those that find the oversaturated reds of the GP1 to be a little too much to deal with, try Movie Mode.
To give you a decent idea of brightness, below is a photo of the projected image of our homepage. You can see how much of the 106" diagonal screen we are filling (about 64 inches wide out of the 92 inch width of the Carada white screen. You can also see the ambient light in the room, although to get a decent exposure of the projected image, without badly overexposing it, the walls, etc., are definitely seen as darker than the room really was. The second image shows the back of the same room, and one of the two overhead recessed lights that were on for the photo. Both lights are 65 watt, running at about half power via the room dimmer:
BenQ GP1 Sharpness
The BenQ GP1 produces a reasonably sharp image, and focuses easily. If you are feeding it higher resolution source material, from a computer, or perhaps hi-res photos through the USB input, or an HDTV or Blu-ray source over component video, the relative lack of sharpness is more due to the projector being lower resolution than the material, than any issue with the optics. That said, the GP1's resolution is SVGA (actually a little wider), which is a lot more pixels than the typical VGA (640x480) found on the smaller pico projectors.
Impressively quiet. The BenQ GP1 does have a fan to keep it cool. With the presence of a fan, comes fan noise, the primary source of audible noise on projectors. The BenQ GP1, however, despite the small box (less ability to baffle the sound), it is impressively quiet. BenQ claims 28db, and I'll definitely believe that. It is quieter than a lot of home theater projectors (though still a good bit noisier than the quietest, and a lot quieter than most business projectors. Audible noise is not going to be a problem.