BenQ GP1 Joybee LED Projector Review
Cute certainly comes to mind (with, perhaps a touch of funky). I’m not exactly sure what it reminds me of, maybe a small “contemporary” music box, or ??? No matter, being cute normally isn’t a deciding factor in buying a projector (we can only hope).
The GP1 is all white except for the top, which is shiny black.
Let’s start in the front. The Joybee GP1 has a recessed fixed lens (no zoom), an vent, and an infra-red sensor for the included small remote control.
Moving to the top, you’ll find a recessed area just behind the lens with the focus control. In the center, in a large circle, is the control panel, which is touch sensitive, rather than having buttons to press.
Looking from the front, on the back of the left side, is the receptacle for the power supply.
The back of the GP1 has three items of interest. There’s the CEA socket for the provided multi-function cable, a stereo mini plug for audio out, a USB input, and the speaker
Moving to the bottom of the Joybee GP1, you’ll find a screw thread for using a tripod. There are three small, non adjustable “feet” for three-point, stable footing.
BenQ GP1 Control Panel
The control panel of the GP1 is fully functional. The power switch is dead center – just touch it to power up. (Touch twice to power down). Surrounding the power switch are four navigational arrow keys (in a round configuration). To the lower left (looking from the back), is the Menu/Exit button. In the lower right the “button” selects your color mode, and when you are navigating the menus, it doubles as an Enter button.
In the front left, there’s a Blank button to mute the video, and the front right button is the Source select. The Up and Down arrows double as manual keystone correction controls when not in menu navigation mode.
All in all, the GP1’s control panel is pretty comparable to ones found on most larger business or home theater projectors.
BenQ GP1 Inputs (and outputs)
I mentioned inputs only briefly above. Basically, there is a single CEA connector input which allows you to hook up a wide range of inputs. The single provided cable has an HD15 (standard computer input) connector, as well as three color coded RCA jacks for a composite video signal and matching left and right audio.
the GP1 projector is also capable of working with high quality component video sources. To feed it component video from a device like a DVD (or Blu-ray DVD) player, cable/satellite box, game machine, etc., you’ll need to have a component video cable that has the usual 3 RCA jacks (color coded Red, Green, Blue), on the source side, and an HD15 (female) connector on the Joybee GP1 end, to plug into their multi-function cable. Such cables are readily available – if not at Radio Shack then certainly online.
Because it is a single multi-function cable, you can have either component video or computer, plus a composite source hooked up at the same time. There’s no way to hook up (at the same time) both component video and the usual analog computer source (that’s no different than most business projectors).
In addition to the multi-function CEA connector (seen bottom center in the image above), there’s that stereo mini jack previously mentioned (below the protruding USB flash drive, for outputting sound to an external device like a stereo system, or for that matter a pair of headphones or ear buds. (You’ll need a typical adaptor for some.) I should note that the way to input audio is from those two audio input connectors on the multi-function cable. You can bring in the audio for the composite video source, the component video source, or audio accompanying the computer. Audio can also be input through the USB.
Finally, and with much fanfare, is the BenQ Joybee GP1 projector’s USB input.
BenQ is heavily touting this feature. Here’s why:
You can just plug in a USB thumb drive (memory, or disk) and view photos and video clips directly without having to lug around a source. The Joybee GP1 projector supports the following formats through the USB input:
Photos: JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIFF
Videos: MPEG4, MJPEG
Audio: MPEG-1 Layer 2, PCM
Now that’s a not a wide selection of video formats, but not to fear, on the provided CD that has the manual on it, there is ArcSoft’s MediaConverter software, which should expand your options. The GP1 had no problem with the movie file I shot with a point and shoot camera.
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