Posted on September 14, 2021 By Kam Valentine
BenQ has announced another exciting round of portable projectors. The BenQ GS50 and GS30 will be launched at the end of Aug 2021. The GS50 is the second generation of BenQ’s GS lineup. BenQ sent me a pre-production demo GS50 for this review.
The GS50 is a 1080p Full High Definition (FHD) portable LED projector that is rated at 500 ANSI lumens. BenQ stated the GS50 and GV30 are the first portable projectors to have a 2.1 channel Bluetooth speaker with “Extra Bass.” I cannot over-emphasize the importance of both video quality and audio quality in a portable projector, and BenQ has delivered on both fronts. Now that’s truly a portable all-in-one smart projector.
Technical Reviewer Paul Wilkie has an article on five unique ways to use portable projectors like the BenQ GS50; click here to see Paul’s full article.
BenQ GS50 SpecsPrice799TechnologyDLP with LED light sourceNative Resolution1080p (1920x1080)Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)500Contrast100,000:1Zoom Lens RatioFixed lensLens ShiftNoLamp Life20.000 hours Weight5.07lbsWarranty3 year
The GS50 is a smart all-in-one Full HD (1920 x 1080p) portable DLP projector. BenQ rates the brightness of the GS50 at 500 ANSI lumens. The LED light source is rated to last up to 20,000 hours on Normal Mode and 30,000 hours on ECO Mode. In addition, the GS50 has a built-in battery that is rated to last up to 2.5 hours.
The GS50 has a worry-free durable design that is ergonomically designed for a rugged and active lifestyle. The GS50 is IPX2 splash-resistant, with light splashes being channeled out of the projector and splash-resistant film protecting the speakers. An IPX2 rating means the GS50 can resist water that hits the projector at a 15° angle or less. The testing for an IPX2 rating includes a test duration of 10 minutes and a water equivalent to 3mm rainfall per minute. The projector is also 2.3-foot drop-resistant thanks to its double protection of a 1mm-thick water-resistant TPU inner layer and a drop-resistant outer resin. The BenQ GS50 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $799.
The built-in battery that is rated to last 2.5 hours makes the GS50’s climb into the ranks of ultimate portable smart projectors because an outlet is not needed to enjoy the projector. A flat viewing surface or a projector screen is all that is required for cord-free entertainment. The portability and ruggedness of the GS50 make it easy to bring outdoors on overlanding or camping trips, neighborhood block parties, or even an outdoor gym like I recently suggested to one of my neighborhood friends.
The GS50 and GV30 are BenQ’s second generation of GS and GV portable projectors. The GS50 is a more robust and heavier projector; with it comes the best sound and image resolution out of the two. The GV30 offers a more compact form factor than the GS50 and a lighter weight, making it easier to take outside of the home.
The BenQ GS50 uses a single 0.23-inch Pico DMD Texas Instruments DLP chipset to deliver FHD (1920x 1080p) displayed resolution. While the GS50 is an HD projector it can accept 4K HDR signals. The GV30 utilizes a single 0.23-inch Pico DMD Texas Instruments (TI) DLP chipset to deliver HD (1280 x 720p) displayed resolution.
Both projectors offer a built-in battery with up to 2.5 hours of battery life. The GS50 and GV30 both come with BenQ’s QS01 Android TV (ATV) Dongle for HDMI media streaming. The QS0I Android TV Dongle is easily installed into the second HDMI input port, which is concealed under a dongle cover. The BenQ GS50 and GV30 both come with an attractive Heather Grey padded carrying case.
The GS50 has increased ruggedness with its water and drop resistance ratings. The GS50 has an HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel), while the GV30 does not.
If you follow my reviews, you know that I tend to bring small projectors on the road with me. Bringing small projectors on the road allows me to review portable projectors like the GS50 in their natural habitat. That habitat is outside of the home. Small and portable projectors like the GS50 are not intended to be a home theater projector, so testing them out on the road when I have travel plans makes sense.
The GS50 did not find its way into my regular traveling backpack due to it coming with its own carrying case. The Heather Grey carrying case sports a nice green zipper that operated smoothly. Projector placement was made even easier than it already was once I attached the GS50 to a tripod utilizing the threaded tripod socket located on the bottom of the projector.
BenQ states, “Projection screen size can reach from 30” to 110” depending on viewing distances. For ideal viewing enjoyment, we recommend a screen size between 80” and 100” when seated 6.9ft to 8.9ft (2.1m to 2.7m) away.” I projected onto a 55-inch and 75-inch Elite Screens Yard Master 2 with a CineWhite® UHD-B screen for the majority of this review. The Yard Master 2 is a fast folding-frame outdoor projection screen. Its lightweight aluminum frame allows it to be set up in minutes, making the Yard Master 2 perfect for my traveling lifestyle.
The CineWhite® UHD-B (Tensioned Matte White) screen on the Yard Master 2 is a 1.3 gain flexible front projection screen that is ISF certified to achieve accurate color reproduction and image fidelity. I also used my 110-inch Screen Innovations Solo Pro 2 Unity AT screen for this review to see how the projector performed on a larger screen. Unity AT screen is a completely neutral, 1.0 gain screen material that is acoustically transparent. Bigger is better for me and considering it is a small portable projector, I was pleased with the image that the GS50 projected onto the 110-inch screen.
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