We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Projectors Reviews
15,670 Reviews

BenQ Joybee GP1 review

£344.74 inc VAT

Manufacturer: BenQ

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The cute BenQ Joybee Q1 looks like a shrunken version of a traditional projector. Updated 11 Apr 2011

The cute-looking BenQ Joybee GP1 looks like a shrunken down version of a traditional projector. It doesn't quite hit the handheld territory of the pico models we've reviewed lately, but weighs a mere 640g. Updated, 11 April 2011

The BenQ Joybee GP1 can be tripod mounted or placed on a desk or shelf, and includes adjustable feet to get your image just right. It didn't quite provide the display size of the other projectors in our test, but offered an adequate 70in, tweaked with the analogue focus control that was a little fiddly but did the job.

At 100 ANSI lumens the BenQ Joybee GP1 projector didn't fare too badly in our daylight conditions, but it's more of a lights-off than a lights-on kind of device. Atop the projector sits a set of touch buttons that illuminate for easy viewing, but are hit-and-miss in terms of sensitivity. The main menu is also a little tricky to navigate at first.

With a VGA and composite input cable, as well as a USB slot and reader, the Joybee GP1 can handle a range of media and provides the best speaker of all the projectors on test, catering for very loud sounds without distortion. A separate iPod dock connector is also available to widen your connection opportunities, but was not provided with our sample.

Some of our videos refused to play on the BenQ Joybee GP1 via USB, claiming a lack of compatibility, so we had to resort to the VGA connection to play them from a computer, negating some of the device's portable traits. Sadly, the BenQ doesn't include a built-in battery either, further limiting its portability. The supplied power brick and cable, while a decent length, are pretty hefty and don't fit in the provided case.

Automatic keystone adjustment is very impressive on the BenQ Joybee GP1, immediately catering for odd angles, and you can also set the colour of the wall you are projecting to so the image can be adjusted accordingly - both very handy touches.

Projector reviews

BenQ Joybee GP1: A micro rather than pico projector

Part of BenQ's Joybee range of portable products, the GP1 is more of a micro than a pico projector - although the official name for the format is 'palm projector'

Unlike the smaller models, there's no battery power option with the BenQ Joybee GP1. This unit is mains only, and is powered by a hefty brick. So some of the more social applications of the pico units, such as displaying your video wares at parties, restaurants and trade shows, just aren't going to be practical.

On the plus side, it puts out 100 ANSI lumens, which makes it far brighter than the truly pocket-sized alternatives. It also makes it possible to double the displayed image size - 1.5m to 2m is a very practical image width, making this a realistic choice for business use.

With a native resolution of 858x600, the BenQ Joybee GP1 can show 720p HD video without interpolation. As with other professional models, there are panel buttons and a remote for setting up and controlling the unit. You'll need this, because there are two input sources. For live projection there's a CEA30 socket. Since you probably don't have a CEA30 video source this comes with an adaptor, which offers a set of combined VGA D-sub, composite and audio connectors at the business end.

You can also buy an optional docking cradle for use with an iPhone or iPod. For pre-recorded video playback, there's a USB socket too. Load up a standard USB memory stick with the content of your choice, plug it in here, and you're ready to display it to the world - although it would have been good to see a memory card option too.

Even with just 100 ANSI lumens the projector is completely convincing in overcast daylight, and looks very good indeed in subdued light. It struggles with ambient sunlight, but then so do many larger professional models.

Next page: Our expert verdict >>

BenQ Joybee GP1 Expert Verdict »

VGA (858 x 600) native resolution
VGA (640 x 480) to SXGA (1280 x 1024) supported
100 ANSI lumens
2000:1 contrast ratio
Analog RGB: D-sub 15 pin x 1 (through CEA 30pin)
Component Video: D-sub 15 pin x 1 (through CEA 30pin / shared with Analog RGB)
Composite Video: RCA x 1 (through CEA 30pin)
USB Reader: USB Type A L/R Audio: RCA x 1 (through CEA 30pin)
0.64 kg
54 x 136 x 120 mm
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Ultimately, the Joybee GP1 aims to be a personal, portable projector and its LED projection does look great at close quarters. For the price, however, it simply doesn't match up to the performance of smaller models we've tested.

  • BenQ JoyBee GP2 review

    BenQ JoyBee GP2

    BenQ's Joybee GP2 has a clear list of positives and a clear list of negatives. If you're the kind of person that can overlook some image quality problems in exchange for portability and connectivity -- a travelling executive or salesperson, maybe -- the GP2 would be a useful tool.

  • BenQ W6000 review

    BenQ W6000

    The BenQ W6000 is a high-end home theatre projector with a 2500 ANSI lumen rating and a 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.

  • Samsung Galaxy Beam preview

    Samsung Galaxy Beam preview

    The Samsung Galaxy Beam is definitely one of the more interesting releases of 2012 so far. It's essentially an average, mid-range Android phone that boasts a built-in HD projector as its key feature.

  • BenQ W1000+

    The BenQ W1000+ is a full-HD home-cinema projector using DLP technology, for under £1000.

  • Acer K330 projector review

    Acer K330 projector

    The Acer K330 projector is a slim and light LED projector, but it has a brighter lamp than most. It's bright enough for presentations or videos in most settings - only bright rooms are a problem.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

LED vs Halogen: Why now could be the right time to invest in LED bulbs

IDG UK Sites

Christmas' best ads: See great festive spots studios have created to promote themselves and clients

IDG UK Sites

Why Apple shouldn't be blamed for exploitation in China and Indonesia