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BenQ GP500 4K 4LED Smart Projector Review

Posted on April 27, 2023 by Philip Boyle
BenQ GP500 Review Cover Image - Projector Reviews - Image
Benq GP500 4K LED Smart Projector

The BenQ GP500 is a 4K HDR capable 4LED Home theater projector that retails for $1,799 MSRP. This projector is rated to deliver 1,500 ANSI lumens by the manufacturer. While not a dedicated gaming PC, it can provide an excellent gaming experience due to its low input lag and superior audiovisual performance. The GP500 has a 1.3x zoom lens and projects up to a maximum recommended image size of 150 inches diagonally.

The GP500 is one of BenQ's Smart Home Theater projector series. Built off of Texas Instruments, 0.47″ DMD DLP system with XPR technology, the GP500 can display a 4K image through pixel-shifting technology.

Benq Gp500 Lifestyle 1 - Projector Reviews - Image

At Projector Reviews, we have a long-standing policy of using the term native to describe LCD and DLP imagers with a one-to-one sensor pixel-to-displayed pixel relationship. LCD and DLP-based projectors that don't use a one-to-one ratio to achieve their displayed resolution are called pixel-shifting projectors. All things being equal, we believe there is no inherent picture quality advantage to using either of these imager technologies in a projector.

  • Benq Gp500 Projector Chassis - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Chassis - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Chassis - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Chassis - Projector Reviews - Image
buy now on amazon button grey - Projector Reviews - Image
BenQ GP500 Specs
Price$1799.00
TechnologyDLP (0.47" DMD)
Displayed Resolution3840 x2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)1500 ANSI Lumens
Light Source4LED
Contrast100,000:1 (Dynamic)
Zoom Lens Ratio1.3:1
Lens ShiftNo
Lamp Life30,000 Hrs
Sound System4 X 5 watt
Weight11.9lb
WarrantyTwo (2) Years

Overview

The GP500 is one of BenQ's latest series of 4K UHD projectors. Those familiar with BenQ models like the X1300i and X3000i will recognize that BenQ used much of the same technology that made these projectors such strong performers. Projectors like the GP500 are designed for cinematic immersion in sound and video performance. The GP500 combines a state-of-the-art 4LED light source, HDR10, with 360-degree 3D sound.

The GP500 has much of the same core technology as most BenQ projectors but with specific components, such as the LED light source and the sound system, being step-ups over many of BenQ's other projectors.

Benq Gp500 Projector With Earlier Benq Models - Projector Reviews - Image
Shared Shape BenQ X3000i (Left), GP500 (Center) and X1300i (Right)

The 4LED light source used in the BP500 is one of its key step-up technologies with several key benefits, including a long lifespan, color range, and energy efficiency. On average, this projector's LED light source provides up to 20,000 hours of use in its brightest setting while hitting up to 30,000 hours in Energy-Saving mode. Thirty thousand hours is almost 10 to 15 times a traditional lamp-based projector's light source lifespan, helping LED projectors avoid the maintenance costs of lamp replacement.

90% Of The Dci-P3 Color Gamut And 97% Of The Rec. 709 Color Gamut - Projector Reviews - Image
90% of the DCI-P3 Color Gamut and 97% of the Rec. 709 Color Gamut

The GP500 is rated to deliver 1,500 ANSI lumens of light provided by a powerhouse 4LED light engine that covers 90% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and 97% of the Rec. 709 color gamut. BenQ uses its Auto Color Calibration feature to ensure that as the LEDs, typically the red LEDs, output lessons over time, that color balance is maintained by adjusting the other LED's output accordingly. This can't be done with a lamp-based projector.

If you read my review of the BenQ X1300i gaming projector, you'll discover I am a big fan of its built-in audio system and its Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology. BenQ builds on the X series audio system by adding two additional speakers to the GP500, totaling four, and boosting the total power to twenty watts providing 5 watts to each of the four speakers. The sound system is still treVolo-tuned with virtual surround modes created using what BenQ calls Acoustic and Psychoacoustic Sciences and DPS technology.

The Gp500 Has An Impressive Built-In Sound System - Projector Reviews - Image
The GP500 has an impressive built-in sound system

The GP500 offers a new 360-degree sound system that, together with the added speakers, creates added depth, clarity, definition, presence, and enhanced stereo-field imaging in real time. This BenQ technology with individual speaker channel-switching and audio frequency adjustment adapts sounds to your viewing location regardless of where you sit. The GP500's well-balanced full-range drivers are designed to create natural low-frequency output for additional cinema-grade bass in every scene.

Improved bass helps the listener to feel the tension in movies or be caught up in the action by the movie's music. The GP500 can also be used as a Bluetooth speaker that provides pronounced treble, mid-range, and bass frequencies when listening to music.

BenQ is one of the few manufacturers that have kept 3D functionality in their DLP projectors which I'm glad of. BenQ's implementation of 3D works like 3D in a theater, creating an immersive experience. 3D projectors for home theater allow the user to play 3D games and watch compatible 3D movies. 3D content is still available and still enjoyable to experience. With movies like Avatar 2 coming out, we can enjoy them in 3D at home, like at the movie theater.

The GP500, like other BenQ i-series projectors, comes with a smart HDMI media stick BenQ calls the QS01. The QS01 plugs into a hidden HDMI (HDMI-3) port that can be accessed by removing the projector's top panel. Users can enjoy Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, parental control services, and access all the latest compatible Android TV apps. The QS01 also allows wireless casting from compatible Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, or Chromebook devices.

The Benq Ships With A Qs01 Android Tv Stick - Projector Reviews - Image
The BenQ ships with a QS01 Android TV Stick

QS01 includes BenQ's FamiLand Kids Channel (TV), which collects content suitable for kids to watch from YouTube creating playlists to let kids choose the curated content they want to watch.

The GP500 offers smart setup features like 2D Keystone to assist with setup and alignment. 2D Keystone eliminates trapezoid effects when projecting from various locations to help the user get a squared image. The projector can automatically correct the vertical sides of a distorted image by enabling the Auto Vertical Keystone on the Installation menu. A manual horizontal set of ±30 degrees is also available.

Manually Focus The Projector Or Let The Projector Do It Automatically - Projector Reviews - Image
Manually focus the projector using the remote or just let the projector do it automatically

The projector will automatically focus the image. Once the projector has finished autofocus, users can manually adjust the focus by pressing the left or right buttons on the remote control while the focus guide is still on the screen.

Corner Fit lets users adjust the four corners of the projected image to fix an image that can't manually be squared to the screen.Screen Fit adjusts the image when the projector is placed off-center and aligns the image to three borders of the screen, creating a proper fit.

The last smart setup feature is Object Avoidance. With this function, the projector detects if any object shades the screen and resizes the projected image automatically to avoid the object.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • MSRP – $1,799
  • 4LED DLP
  • Single DLP chipset (0.47" DMD)
  • 3,840 × 2,160 4K UHD displayed resolution
  • Rated Brightness: 1,500 ANSI lumens 
  • BenQ Dynamic Black Technology
  • Contrast: 100,000:1 (Dynamic)
  • 4K 60Hz: 25ms, 1080p 60Hz: 25ms and 1080p 120Hz: 28ms
  • HDR10 and HLG signal compatible
  • 90% DCI-P3 & 97% REC.709 color gamut coverage
  • DPS technology w/ virtual 3D surround sound
  • 2 HDMI (#1, #3) 2.0b HDCP 2.2 input plus 1 HDMI (#2) 2.0b supports ARC
  • 1.3:1 Zoom
  • 20,000 Hours (Normal mode) light source life
  • 2” x 10.5” x 7.2 inches (260 x 266.5 x 182.5 mm)
  • 11.9 lbs (5.4 Kg)
  • Three (3) year parts and labor

HARDWARE

CHASSIS

Although the GP500 is not identical to the BenQ X series gaming projectors, it shares a common shape, features, and specifications. One example of the shared design language is the GP500's onboard sound system with four drivers providing 4-directional sound output that BenQ calls a 360° sound field.

  • Benq Gp500 Projector Chassis - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Chassis - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Chassis - Projector Reviews - Image
    The connections are on the rear of the projector
  • BenQ-GP500-Chassis-PJB-QS01-Hidden-Port -Projector Reviews - Image
    The port for the QS01 dongle is on the top of the projector  
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Chassis - Projector Reviews - Image
The BenQ GP500 is a new take on a square chassis design

The GP500 shares a similar shape with BenQ's X series of gaming projectors. This projector measures 10.2” x 10.5” x 7.2” (260 x 266.5 x 182.5 mm). The GP500 comes in at (5.4 Kg +/- 100g) At just under twelve pounds, the projector is transportable should the owner wish to take it out of the house for a gaming or movie event.

The window for the IR remote sensor is located on the front panel directly next to the lens. An additional IR remote sensor Is located on the projector's rear next to the inputs and connections. An ambient light sensor is located on the top front of the projector next to the projector's Bluetooth, volume, and power buttons. The top of the projector is where a manual focus lever is also located.

This Benq Gp500 Offers Three (3) Hdmi Ports - Projector Reviews - Image

This BenQ GP500 offers a similar Input Output (I/O) to other BenQ projectors I've reviewed, including three (3) HDMI ports (two on the rear and one hidden., All are HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2. These HDMI ports will accept up to 4K content.

There are two Type-A USB 2.0 ports for playing content using the projector's built-in media player, which supports an extensive range of audio and video file formats and can be used for data or to supply external power.

  • The GP500 has a 12-volt trigger for a motorized screen.
  • External Connectors
  • HDMI 2.0b inputs with HDCP 2.2 (HDMI#1)
  • HDMI 2.0b inputs (HDMI#2) supporting Audio Return Channel (ARC)
  • HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 (Hidden HDMI#3 with 2.5Ah power via USB Micro cable)
  • (2) USB 2.0 Type-A ports (2.5 A power supply)
  • Audio Out (mini jack)
  • Audio Out (S/PDIF) Optical digital audio output
  • Kensington anti-theft lock slot
  • (2) IR Receivers (Front/Rear)
Benq Has Removed Its Typically Robust Control Panel - Projector Reviews - Image

BenQ has removed its typically robust control panel that allows users to access all the projector's features and functions and, instead, has put a very limited number of buttons for power, volume, and Bluetooth on the top-right side of the projector (looking from the front). From the projector's right side, moving left is the power button. (Press once to power on; press twice to power down.) Next to it are the volume up and down buttons, and finally, the Bluetooth button and an ambient light sensor. The final control on the top is the manual zoom lever.

The Remote Control And Included Qs01 Hdmi Streaming Stick - Projector Reviews - Image

The remote control for the BenQ GP500 is lightweight and white, making it easy to see even in a darkened room. It's a combination remote that controls the projector's functions and the dedicated Android TV OS in the included QS01 HDMI Streaming Stick. It has all the buttons needed to quickly access inputs and adjustments when watching home content.

The remote features quick access buttons for Music settings, Game modes, casting, source selection, and Amazon Prime Video. One unique button on the remote is Google Assistant, which works just like on your smartphone. There are also two separate buttons for activating the GP500 projector menus and the BenQ QS01 Android TV menus. My only complaint is that the remote needs to be backlit.

LENS

The Benq Gp500 Projector Lens - Projector Reviews - Image

The GP500's lens is located on the front center of the projector. The lens has a manual zoom ring with a lever to adjust the image size and a manual focus ring to sharpen the image. The GP500 lens is an F1.8 - 1.85 mm, f = 10.6 - 13.7 mm, with a throw ratio of 1.0-1.3. The projector's zoom provides placement versatility.

The GP500 has a short throw distance, so it can be placed closer to the screen than most home entertainment projectors. For example, the GP500 can project a 100" image from just 7.3 feet away. This is just for someone who wants to place the projector on a coffee table in front instead of in the back of the room.

The Benq Gp500 Throw Distance Chart - Projector Reviews - Image

Remember that the distance from the projector lens to the projection surface, the video format, and the zoom setting all factor in the GP500's projected image size. The GP500 can produce a 100-inch image at 7.3 to 9.4 feet and a 150-inch image at 10.9 to 14.1 feet from the projection surface.

After manually squaring the projector to my screen, I noticed only two things. The first is a minor issue, with the focus being a little soft in the top left corner of the displayed image. The second issue is the projector's focus slightly drifting over time, forcing me to run the autofocus feature periodically.

The Benq Gp500 Throw Distance Chart - Projector Reviews - Image
The GP500 is a short throw projector able to display an image up to 200-inches diagonally

Everything I write in this section requires using the included QS01 HDMI media device. The following features will only work if the QS01 is plugged into the projector. Wireless Networking is completely contained in the QS01. The device provides 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac connectivity in both 2.4 and 5 GHz bandwidths.

The QS01 adapter provides Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity allowing users to connect to compatible Bluetooth devices such as, but not limited to, remotes, speakers, or headphones. In addition, the QS01 allows external Bluetooth devices to use the projector as a wireless speaker.

The Benq Ships With A Qs01 Android Tv Stick - Projector Reviews - Image

Users can enjoy premium streaming applications like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more. Netflix is not natively available on BenQ smart home projectors, but there is a workaround by downloading the Apps Manager application from the Google Play store. Be sure to enable "Allow all Netflix access." Make sure you have updated the QS01 to the latest firmware and that you never update the Netflix application. FYI, the projector's remote control cannot control this Netflix workaround. You must download the BenQ remote control application available on iOS or Android to control the Netflix app.

The BenQ QS01 gives BenQ's FamiLand Kids Channel (TV) access. BenQ states, "BenQ FamiLand Kids Channel (TV) collects content most suitable for kids to watch from YouTube and channelize these playlists to let kids choose the channel they want to watch."

The BenQ QS0I dongle also allows Google Voice search and Google Assistant via the built-in microphone on the remote control. In addition, Google Assistant provides voice control of the GP500.

MENUS

  • The Benq Gp500 Projector Menus - Projector Reviews - Image
  • The Benq Gp500 Projector Menus - Projector Reviews - Image
  • The Benq Gp500 Projector Menus - Projector Reviews - Image
The GP500 features full Android TV 10 menus as well as Basic and Advanced BenQ Menus

The BenQ GP500 is what we at Projector Reviews refer to as a hybrid menu system. This projector uses four menus. The first three, QUICK INSTALL, BASIC, and ADVANCED are used to control the projector.

The GP500 projector menu button is marked on the remote control and takes the user directly to the projector's On-Screen Display (OSD) menu. The menu settings in SYSTEM allow the end-user to select the projector menu type as advanced or basic. Lastly, there is the Android TV 10 menus and interface.

PERFORMANCE

COLOR REPRODUCTION

  • Benq Gp500 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Color Reproduction - Projector Reviews - Image

The GP500 uses BenQ's four LED lights with an extra LED to boost the colors compared to other projectors using three LED light sources. The out-of-the-box color reproduction on the BenQ GP500 is excellent for a projector at its price, especially when set to the projector's CINEMA or GAME modes when watching SDR content. The BRIGHT mode delivers the brightest picture, but I would not recommend using it due to its greenish-looking picture. Overall, I was impressed with BenQ's factory calibration.

BenQ has always offered impressive Color Management Systems (CMS) in their projectors, while many other brands only offer limited color adjustment. The BenQ GP500 provides users with everything they need to fine-tune the projector's color performance.

Out-of-the-box performance is excellent. Based on my prior reviews of BenQ projectors, I was not surprised by GP500's color reproduction. Most users will be satisfied with the out-of-the-box picture quality of the GP500, whether it was calibrated or not.

  • Benq Gp500 Projector Skin Tones - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Skin Tones - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Skin Tones - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Skin Tones - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Skin Tones - Projector Reviews - Image

Regarding skin tones, the BenQ GP500 does a commendable job. Skin tones look most natural in HDR mode and when watching SDR content in CINEMA and GAME modes, even with sitcom-style shows. This applies to both 4K and upscaled 1080p content. BenQ has struck a good balance between detail and super sharp image and staring at all the pores on an actor's face. This BenQ projector's skin tones look very natural in color and sharpness.

Like BenQ home entertainment projectors, most users would be satisfied with the picture quality of the GP500 whether it was calibrated or not.  However, since the GP500 has lots of adjustments to fine-tune the image to calibrate the projector’s USER Mode.

Since your room and screen material significantly impact the overall picture, we don’t recommend using someone else calibration adjustments. If your room is brighter/darker or your walls are a different color, copying someone else results can cause more harm than good. However, below are the before and after calibration results in my room.

To test, measure and calibrate the BenQ GP500, we used Portrait Displays Calman color calibration software.

Pre-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

BenQ-GP500-Calibration-SDR-Pre-Results - Projector Reviews - Image

BenQ advertised that they take the time to pre-adjust the color reproduction of many of their projector models before they leave the factory. Our pre-calibration measurements were very good.

When calibrating projectors, we target an average color temperature of 6500K and a Gamma of 2.2.  Several picture preset modes, including GAME, CINEMA, and USER, measured very close to our color temperature target. We choose to calibrate the USER picture mode, which out of the box measured 6540K.  Pre-calibration, the Gamma measured 1.8, which made black appear grayish in a darkened environment.

The GP500 also did a good job accurately tracking REC709 color before adjustment. Since the BenQ GP500 offers CMS adjustments, which we used to further improve the projector’s color tracking.

  • Picture Mode: User
  • Gamma: 1.8
  • Color Temperature: 6634K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 3.63
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 3.22

Post-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

BenQ-GP500-Calibration-SDR-Post-Results - Projector Reviews - Image

The GP500 offers a complete suite of calibration tools, including Gamma, Color Temperature, White Balance, and Color Management System (CMS) adjustments. 

Switching the GP500 Gamma setting from BenQ to 2.3 achieved our target of 2.2. We left the Color Temperature set to its default of Normal since it was close to our 6500K target. We slightly reduced the GREEN GAIN setting to quickly dial in the projector’s grayscale.

Once the projector's color temperature was adjusted, the overall color tracking but over-saturated. We used the CMS adjustments to correct the blue color shift along with decrease saturation and reduce the brightness of red, blue, and magenta. The end in a great color sweep and color checker measurements.

  • Picture Mode: User
  • Gamma: 2.21
  • Color Temperature: 6573K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 0.9
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 1.08

Delta E measurement of 3 or less is considered ‘Excellent’ and imperceptible by the human eye. After calibration, the BenQ GP500 had an average grayscale dE of 0.9, which is outstanding. An average post-calibration Color Tracking dE was just 1.08, which is great.

The GP500 includes BenQ's Auto Color calibration feature designed to maintain optimal performance throughout the lifespan of their LED projectors. This feature does not replace professionally adjusted for your room. Instead, it monitors the decay and deviation of the LEDs that can occur over time. It automatically makes adjustments to ensure the projector remains within specifications, ensuring years of consistent performance.

Most customers in the market for a sub-$2000 home entertainment projector will not invest hundreds of dollars to have their projectors professionally calibrated. The great news is that BenQ projectors like the GP500 continue to deliver outstanding picture quality whether they are calibrated on not. 

BenQ-GP500-HDR-Calibration-Results-2 - Projector Reviews - Image
HDR Grayscale Before and After Adjustment

The HDR and HLG picture modes have their dedicated color temperature adjustments. The color temperature and white balance were very good when viewing HDR, like SDR. Even before adjustment, the average 2-point HDR RGB Balance dE was less than 2. While theoretically, you don't need too, you can fine-tune the RGB Balance (Grayscale) further.  

BenQ states that the GP500 can reproduce 90% of the DCI -P3 color space. We measured 87.83%. Switching the Wide Color Gamut setting to ON engages a color filter for those looking for even wider color reproduction when viewing HDR and HLG content. This gives the GP500 the ability to deliver nearly 96% of the DCI-P3 color space. Note that engaging the color filter does reduce the projector’s brightness. The GP500 also did well tracking DCI-P3 colors in HDR content.

BRIGHTNESS

  • Benq Gp500 Projector Brightness - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Brightness - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Brightness - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Brightness - Projector Reviews - Image

BenQ advertises the brightness of the GP500 as 1,500 ANSI lumens. To measure the projector's brightness, I set its light source mode to NORMAL and its picture mode to BRIGHT. I then took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.

At wide zoom for maximum brightness and in BRIGHT mode, the GP500 measured 1,628 ANSI lumens, 128 lumens over BenQ's published ANSI lumens specification. I measured all seven picture modes at wide zoom; my measurements are below.

BenQ GP500 Brightness

ImageBrightness Measured (ANSI Lumens) Color Temperature
HDR1010826622K
Bright16287447K
Living Room11908555K
Game12006558K
Sports12006539K
Cinema12286630K
User11756540K

LED light sources, especially four LED light sources like BenQ uses on the GP500, offer incredible perceived brightness. My editor and I were blown away by how bright this projector looked out of the box.

At 1,500 lumens, this isn't the brightest projector you can buy at this price point, but it's still decently bright, especially in a darkened room. While a brighter projector paired with an Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) screen might be a better solution for a room with moderate or high ambient light, the GP500 produced a vibrant image in my viewing space. Pre-calibration, we measured 140 nits (cd/m2) on our 100” matte white screen, which is more than enough brightness for a room with little to no ambient light.

BLACK LEVEL AND SHADOW DETAIL

  • Benq Gp500 Projector Black Level & Shadow Detail - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Black Level & Shadow Detail - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Black Level & Shadow Detail - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector Black Level & Shadow Detail - Projector Reviews - Image

Curiously, The GP500 does not show anywhere in the literature that it features BenQ Dynamic Black technology. However, I did confirm with the BenQ product team that this projector does feature Dynamic Black technology which is a function of the projector's Smart-Eco mode. Even so, I find the black-level performance of the BenQ GP500 to be average, displaying blacks that are more of a dark gray. At $1,799, I hoped to see better, deeper blacks.

It is possible to get deeper blacks by turning down the brightness but at 1,500 lumens max; there is not a lot of brightness available to sacrifice. Turning down the brightness can dramatically affect shadow detail which this projector does a decent job of showing.

This projector is at its best in a light-controlled environment where the picture can be exceptional. Using an ALR screen also helps and is my recommendation.

HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE

  • Benq Gp500 Projector High Dynamic Range - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector High Dynamic Range - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector High Dynamic Range - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector High Dynamic Range - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector High Dynamic Range - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector High Dynamic Range - Projector Reviews - Image
The BenQ GP500 supports HDR10 and HLG

High Dynamic Range (HDR) offers a visibly higher dynamic range in HDR-encoded video signals, allowing an image to be shown with more brightness and increasingly detailed color tones. HDR is meant to enhance the light areas of the image while also allowing dark areas to show better details.

The GP500 does an excellent job with HDR. The projector's dark-level detail is very good in a light-controlled space. The GP500 also does a commendable job maintaining bright highlight details while delivering full-screen brightness. In addition, the GP500 provides users with an HDR BRIGHTNESS adjustment, where the projector's HDR tone mapping can be adjusted to fit the owner's taste. Increasing the setting brightens the overall image, but you will lose some highlight detail.

GAMING

  • Benq Gp500 Projector for Gaming - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector for Gaming - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector for Gaming - Projector Reviews - Image
  • Benq Gp500 Projector for Gaming - Projector Reviews - Image

One of the nice surprises I found with the BenQ GP500 was the projector's gaming performance. Users can game at 1080P and 4K at 60 Hz with a 25-millisecond input lag or 1080p at 120 Hz with a 28-millisecond input lag. These numbers are nothing to sneeze at, considering that not long ago, anything below 50 milliseconds of input lag was considered by many to be bordering on a professional level.

SOUND QUALITY

The BenQ GP500 uses a treVolo-tuned 5W x 4 virtual surround system. This set of stereo speakers uses what BenQ describes as "Acoustic and Psychoacoustic sciences" to balance game sound qualities." BenQ uses DPS technology to augment depth, clarity, definition, presence, and stereo-field imaging on other projectors with great results.

The GP500 isn't the first projector that BenQ has treVolo-tuned. Since this projector is a step up from the X1300i I reviewed, I decided to do the same sound tests with the GP500 I did with X1300i. Here is a preview. It's a good onboard sound system.

I started with Star Wars: The Last Jedi and went to the scenes where the force connects Rey and Kylo. All the fantastic Imaging effects from the X1300i are in the GP500. However, the additional two speakers in this new projector provide significant benefits with deeper bass performance and a bigger impact on the surround effects. BenQ's new 360° sound system with four speakers rather than two put me in the middle of the scene, emphasizing all the subtle elements I heard in my X1300i review while adding a cleaner and more pronounced mid-bass.

Next was the opening scene of Marvel's Iron Man. The movie's opening scene is a favorite of mine. Like the previous demo, the GP500 gave me everything I loved about the X1300i's sound performance and added to it with much more dynamic range and an expansion of the sound seeming to come from around the room. Like before, sounds inside the vehicle were subdued and claustrophobic, as you would expect it to be in an enclosed metal vehicle, but now with more rumble from the Humvee engine. Once again, the audio opens from the extreme right and left when the door opens, the world just rushes in but now more dynamically and with just a bit more bass to enhance explosions, bullets ricocheting, and debris flying.

The BenQ GP500 stand-alone sound system is noticeably improved over the already excellent X-Series BenQ projectors.

The fan noise produced by GP500 was about on par with many other BenQ projectors I've reviewed. BenQ lists the noise as 30db in NORMAL and 28db in ECO mode. We don't measure the noise levels of the projector, but in my opinion, the fan noise was not so loud that it became distracting.

SUMMARY

Benq Gp500 Projector Highly Recommended Award - Projector Reviews - Image

Before I started the detailed testing on the GP500, I was concerned about the projector's stated brightness of 1,500 ANSI lumens. More and more LED light source projector manufacturers have moved forward to create light engines that output anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 ANSI lumens. BenQ's 2023 LED light source projector lineup has two models at or above 3,000 ANSI lumens. No matter how good the color is, and the color is good, 1,500 ANSI lumens does limit where this projector can be placed based on the room's uncontrolled ambient light.

The GP500 produces an excellent picture in a completely dark room or with a small amount of uncontrolled ambient light. Unfortunately, as you begin turning up the lights, the picture begins to fade fast compared to other LED projectors that offer more brightness to punch through the uncontrolled ambient light. As I said upfront, to get the best performance, the GP500 is a projector made for light-controlled spaces. If you have a small amount of uncontrolled ambient light, then make sure to use an Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) screen to increase your black levels.

The GP500 is also a short-throw projector, so if you're in a situation where you have limited space between your seating and the screen, this projector can still offer the ability to project an incredibly large image in a small space.

Like many BenQ projectors, the GP500 comes from the factory well-calibrated. BenQ engineers are top-tier in color science, which shows in the GP500's color performance. Like many DLP projectors, this projector's colors are rich without being overly saturated.

90% Of The Dci-P3 Color Gamut And 97% Of The Rec. 709 Color -Gamut - Projector Reviews - Image

The GP500's 4LED light engine covers 90% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and 97% of the Rec.709 color gamut. Most owners of this projector will be extremely satisfied with the BenQ-tuned preset picture modes. Should you wish to have the projector professionally calibrated, then BenQ has provided all the controls needed to do so.

The BenQ GP500 is not your typical projector design. BenQ has managed to shrink the size of the projector and change its shape away from the typical rectangular slab we so often see. The GP500's square design is similar to BenQ X-Series gaming projectors. The company makes use of every inch of space without sacrificing performance.

The Gp500 Has An Impressive Built-In Sound System - Projector Reviews - Image

BenQ has added two additional speakers to the sound system on the bottom half of the projector. Additional speakers combined with BenQ's proprietary 360° sound result in audio that has more bass and fills your room more effectively. BenQ has included a new projector positioning control that allows you to adjust the projector's audio performance for where you sit in the room. This feature allows users to move the "sweet spot" to wherever they are sitting without moving the projector.

One of the nice surprises I found with the BenQ GP500 was the projector's gaming performance. Users can game at 1080P and 4K at 60 Hz with a 25-millisecond input lag or 1080p at 120 Hz with a 28-millisecond input lag.

The BENQ GP500 offers enough of everything to be a worthy contender for your home and even transportable needs. Like most BenQ projectors that we have reviewed, we were impressed with the GP500 out 0f the box picture quality. This projector offers a full range of smart capabilities, a great-looking picture, amazing sound, and competitive specifications, all for a $1,799 MSRP.

COMPETITION

BenQ X3000i - $1,999 MSRP

The X3000i is highly recommended for console gamers looking to immerse themselves in open-world games fully. The projector also allows the end-user to hear the distinct actions from all around thanks to the dual built-in 5-watt chamber speakers powered by Bongiovi DPS technology with virtual 3D surround sound. The X3000i, however, is not a one-trick pony. You could easily switch the X3000i to CINEMA mode with HDR10 and enjoy watching your favorite movies and shows. The DMD Texas Instruments DLP chipset imager does an excellent job reproducing 4K content in HDR and SDR.

At only $200 more than the GP500, users get double the brightness at 3,000 ANSI lumens, a contrast ratio at 500,000:1, more than 5X the contrast ratio of the GP500, and a laundry list of gaming-specific features and benefits.

With pricing so close, why not always buy the brighter BenQ X3000i 4K gaming projector? The X3000i is a gaming-focused projector. Yes, it is brighter, but the GP500 is filled with convenience features designed to make it easy to set up, as well as being tuned to provide the best movie and TV content experience. The GP500 also has an upgraded built-in sound system. The extra brightness of the X3000i is great when you are in a room that does not have controlled lighting, but the GP500 does great in a dedicated home theater space. I’m not saying the decision is cut and dry what I am saying is to consider your needs carefully when choosing between the two projectors.

Optoma UHD55 - $1,799 MSRP

The Optoma UHD55 is a 4K DLP projector that retails for $1,799. It utilizes a single DLP (0.47" DMD) chip to reproduce 4K UHD resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels). The UHD55 measured 3,478 ANSI lumens which is 122 lumens less than Optoma's estimated brightness rating of 3,600 ANSI lumens. Although this number is lower, it is not very far off the mark, and in my experience testing the projector, the UHD55 provides more than enough brightness to enjoy movies with the lights on or in the daytime. With a 1,200,000:1 contrast ratio, the UHD55 supports High Dynamic Range (HDR), providing brighter whites and deeper blacks with detail in both picture areas.

The UHD55 can be a compelling option compared to the GP500 when considering brightness and contrast capabilities. The BenQ GP500 uses a state-of-the-art 4LED light source, while the UHD55 utilizes a bulb-based light source. The GP500 also offers a bigger onboard sound system along with features like automatic focus, keystone correction, and object avoidance. which simplify installation. 

PROS

  • 4LED light source for great color and long life
  • 28ms input lag at 1,080p 120 Hz
  • 360-degree 3D sound
  • 4x 5W treVolo-tuned speakers
  • Includes QS01 smart media stick
  • Android TV 10
  • Custom BenQ launcher for Netflix compatibility solution
  • 3x optical zoom
  • Electronic auto and manual focus
  • Auto 2D keystone
  • Auto object avoidance
  • Auto screen fit
  • Sealed light engine
  • Auto color calibration
  • 3D capability
  • 90% DCI-P3 & 97% REC.709 color gamut coverage
  • No color wheel
  • BenQ DPS technology

CONS

  • No remote control backlight
  • Average black-level performance
  • Focus drifts
  • Input switching is slow

BENQ GP500 - SPECIFICATIONS

Benq Gp500 Projector Chassis - Projector Reviews - Image
Full Specifications
Projector ModelBenQ GP500
Price$1799.00
Imager TypeDLP (0.47” DMD)
Displayed Resolution3840 x 2160 pixels
Native Resolution1920 x 1080 x 4 pixels
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)1500 ANSI lumens
Light Source TypeLED
Light Source Life30,000 hours (ECO)
Contrast Ratio100,000:1 (Dynamic)
Zoom Lens Ratio1.3:1
Power Zoom/FocusNo
Lens ShiftNo
Interchangeable LensNo
Ultra-Short ThrowNo
Native Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
HDTV/4K Yes
DVI or HDMIYes
3DNo
Blu-Ray 3DNo
Speakers4 x 5 watt
Noise Level (-db)28 dBA
Low Lag GamingYes
Smart FunctionalityYes
BusinessNo
ClassroomNo
PortableNo
Special FeaturesAndroid TV10, Airplay, Game Mode
NetworkingWireless
Dimensions (HxWxD)10.2 inches x 10.5 inches x 7.2 inches
Weight11.9 lbs.
Warranty3 Years
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