BenQ Joybee GP1 review

The low price and amazing portability of the GP1 make it the best mini projector to date, but it's still far from perfect.

20 Oct 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT


858x600 resolution, 100 ANSI lumens, 54x136x120mm, 640g

BenQ's Joybee GP1 is tiny - it literally fits in your hand - and weighs just 640g. This DLP projector achieves this feat by replacing the usual lamp and colour wheel with coloured LEDs.

We've seen similar mini projectors before, such as Dell's M109S and LG's HS102, with the GP1 being similar to the latter. It's not as bright, but is smaller and lighter. Just as importantly, it has a smaller and lighter power supply, too. It's also about £100 cheaper. The GP1's fixed zoom ratio projects a 65in image at a range of 10ft, down to a 12?in image at 2ft.

As far as connections go, there's a proprietary port with a breakout cable supporting VGA, composite and stereo audio inputs. The GP1 has a native resolution of only 858x600 pixels, but it can accept an input resolution of up to 1,280x1,024. Such downscaling reduces image quality considerably, though - text became fuzzy and we lost most of the fine detail in pictures and movies - so you're better off limiting yourself to 800x600. It's also tricky to get an even focus across the whole image. Still, it does have wall colour and auto-keystone correction, which helps you set up quickly.

The GP1 contains a media player that can play movies straight from USB mass storage devices, but it's limited to MPEG1 and MJPEG formats. While there's a copy of ArcSoft MediaConverter 3 in the box, converting to these older formats is tedious and often produces files larger than the originals. As well as the USB input, there's a 3.5mm audio output that bypasses the 2W mono speaker.

Touch-sensitive controls on top of the GP1 let you navigate the comprehensive menu system, and these are duplicated on the credit-card-sized remote, which also has controls for the USB media player. Sadly, these lack feedback, making them fiddly to use, and the remote doesn't have backlit buttons either.

Picture quality falls far below that of a standard DLP projector, with images lacking both brightness and contrast, while turning up the brightness quickly results in a washed-out image. We preferred the Photo preset, which had the most accurate colours, but we still felt the image was too dark. Presentations look acceptable on the GP1, though you'll need a darkened room. Its colours seemed a bit artificial, and blues were hard to pin down, which might affect graphs.

Despite its fussy image controls and colours, we liked the GP1. It's ideal for travelling business people who don't rely on fine detail in their presentations, and with its optional iPod dock it's great for presenting short video clips, too. The GP1 is around £100 cheaper than the HS102 and it's more portable, but its poor colour accuracy and the media player's lack of format support both hold it back from a higher score.


Price £402
Rating ****


Projector technology DLP
Lamp brightness 100 ANSI lumens
Lamp life 20
Lamp life in economy mode N/A
Contrast ratio 2,000:1


Native resolution 858x600
Max compressed resolution 1,280x1,024
Aspect ratio 1.43
Other aspect ratios 16:9, 4:3
Max diagonal at 7ft 44in
Throw ratio 1.92
Projection distance 0.6m to 3.1m
Mirror image no
Invert image yes
HD Ready no
Special view modes Brightest, PC, Movie, Photo, User


VGA input yes
DVI input No
Sound inputs none
Composite input yes
S-video input no
HDMI input no
Component input via VGA
PAL support yes
SECAM support yes
NTSC support yes
Audio output 3.5mm
Others inputs/outputs USB mass storage port


Noise (in normal use) 28dB(A)
Size 54x136x120mm
Weight 640g
Internal speakers yes (2W mono)
Extras remote, VGA/Composite docking cable, mains adaptor, pouch
Remote special features USB reader controls
Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption on 69W


Lamp cost (inc VAT) N/A
Lamp supplier N/A
Lamp cost per hour of use N/A
Lamp cost per hour of use (economy) N/A

Buying Information

Price £402

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