Projector Reviews

BenQ GS50 Ruggedized Portable 1080P Projector Review – Notable Features

The GS50 utilizes many of BenQ’s popular features and proprietary technologies discussed in our BenQ X1300I and BenQ TK700STI projector reviews. However, I will summarize some of the more notable BenQ features found on the GS50.

BUILT-IN BATTERY

The built-in battery gives you the flexibility to use the GS50 nearly anywhere

The GS50 has a built-in battery that is rated to last up to 2.5 hours. I got 2 hours and 26 minutes of video playback on my demo GS50.  The 2 hours and 26 minutes of battery-powered playback time allowed me to watch all of the military science fiction film, The Tomorrow War, and part of the action thriller film Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse.

The Picture Mode was on Cinema, Sound Mode was on Cinema, Power Mode was on Normal, and the sound was set at level 10, which was more than loud enough from my viewing position approximately 6 feet to the rear of the projector.

SMART FEATURES

The GS50 is powered by Android TV with 5000+ native Google Play apps. End-users can stream or play video games directly from the Android TV interface. The GS50 remote control even has one button app access to exclusive Amazon Prime originals and an extensive collection of 4K shows and movies. For example, I used the one-button access to Amazon Prime to watch the new 2021 musical fantasy Cinderella starring Camila Cabello.

Netflix is not natively available on BenQ smart projector. BenQ provides the following notice, “Netflix only supports specific authorized devices and is not natively available on BenQ smart home projectors. Please follow these recommended viewing procedures. If you want to watch Netflix, you need to install the dedicated BenQ “Apps Manager” via Google Play. Most importantly, please be sure to install the “BenQ Smart Control” app for navigation.”

To use the Netflix app, you need to follow the three steps below:

1. Install the dedicated app “Apps Manager” via Google Play.

2. Install “Aptoide.”

3. Install the “Netflix” app within Aptoide.

Netflix was not missed in my household; after all, over 5000 native apps work perfectly on the BenQ GS50. However, if you really want to watch Netflix, I recommend following BenQ’s step-by-step procedures or using a third-party device like an Apple TV for Netflix.

Google Assistant is only a button press away, and it even tells jokes.

The projector can be voice-controlled via Google Assistant and worked great on the GS50. With its built-in microphone, the remote is used to control a wide variety of functions using only your voice. Press and hold down the colored microphone icon button to activate the microphone for Google Assistant. I used voice control for things like, “tell me the weather outside,” “go to the home screen,” and “switch to YouTube.” The GS50 responded appropriately to all of the voice commands I gave it.

Project content wirelessly from an iPhone or Android phone; AirPlay is supported.

For end-users fully immersed into the Apple ecosystem like me, GS50 also allows AirPlay. With AirPlay, the end-user can stream directly to the projector from a Mac, iPhone, or iPad. The projector also has Chromecast built-in. So, feel free to cast your favorite type of entertainment, from movies and videos to music and photos, from an Android or iOS device. Windows-based PCs, Macs, and Chromebooks will all work with Chromecast built-in.

MEDIA PLAYBACK

The GS50 has a built-in media player with 16GB of internal storage. The internal storage could be used to store music or some of your favorite movies on the projector.

A single USB 2.0 input is located on the right side of the chassis (as viewed from the front), which can be used to connect a USB device such as a mouse, keyboard, or USB memory stick. The GS50 worked as advertised with the Razer Naga Trinity gaming mouse I connected to the USB input.

The BenQ GS50 supports USB flash devices up to 128GB.

GS50 supports USB flash drives with capacities up to 128GB; the format needs to be NTFS, FAT, or FAT32. In addition, playing media content is supported with the USB-A input but not with the USB-C input.

My 5TB Windows NTFile System (NTFS) formatted WD My Passport Ultra HDD, and 2TB ExFAT formatted WD My Passport SSD. Unfortunately, both could not use the GS50 to access stored media, files, or view photos. This was because the Ultra HDD was too large, 5TB versus the allowable 128GB, and the SSD was the wrong format and too large at 2TB. I knew the SSD would not work due to the incorrect format, but hey, I thought I would try to see what would happen.

IMAGE CORRECTION TECHNOLOGY

The GS50 has 2D keystone correction; ± 40 degrees auto vertical and ± 40 degrees manual horizontal. In addition to the 2D keystone correction, the GS50 has four corner adjustments and autofocus which allowed me to set up the projector on my screen in mere minutes.

The GS50’s 2D keystone is easy to use.

It is challenging to find a perfectly flat surface for the projector and portable projection screen in the outdoors. The ability to keystone and adjust the corners of my movies was greatly appreciated when I took the GS50 on the road with me. The uneven surfaces stood no chance against me and the GS50.

While reviewing the GS50, I stayed at a Hampton Inn. Like the Ayres Hotel & Spa I previously stayed at during the XGIMI Elfin review, the hotel room walls were a horrible yellowish orange color with a rough texture. Not to mention the yellowish light bulbs in every light.

The BenQ GS50 paired great with the Elite Screens 55-inch Yard Master 2 portable projection screen, even with the yellowish room lights turned on.

Since I always travel with a portable projector screen for my reviews, I set my Elite Screens, 55-inch Yard Master 2 with a CineWhite® UHD-B screen and used it during my stay at the hotel instead of projecting directly onto the yellowish-orange walls.

HDR (HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE)

The GS50 supports HDR10/HLG.

Projectors use one or a combination of the four primary HDR standards – HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG. The most common of them is HDR10.

The BenQ GS50 supports HDR, and while the GS50 is a 1080p projector, it can accept a 4K HDR video signal via the HDMI 2.0b input port. HDR can provide significant improvement in dynamic range as well as color. It contains more detail in the shadows and the bright areas and delivers more saturated lifelike colors.

The GS50 also supports HDR10, which is a commonly used HDR format found on UHD Blu-ray discs (4K movies) and streaming content. By connecting the image source to the GS50’s HDMI 2.0b/HDCP2.2 input, the projector will automatically detect HDR10/HLG and display compatible signals.

HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) is supported by the projector as well. HLG is mainly intended to be used for broadcast cable, satellite, and live TV channels. HLG combines SDR and HDR information into the same signal so it is backward compatible with non-HDR displays.