Review Price £289.20
BenQ GP1 LED Portable Projector - BenQ GP1 LED Portable Projector
Turning the projector on and you're immediately aware of the little fan that keeps the internals cool. Popping the projector into our sound-level chamber, we recorded a noise level of 38dB from a distance of about 30cm. Essentially, this translates to an annoying amount of noise if in a very quiet room but once you've got a movie soundtrack going it should soon be drowned out. More to the point, it's not going to disturb your perfectly-honed sales pitch too much.
Noisy or not, what the GP1 certainly doesn't do is set our hearts aflutter when it comes to picture quality. For a start, the 100 ANSI lumens of brightness do struggle in bright light and you'll be forced to limit picture size to 40 inches or so. In darker environments you can get away with stretching this to around 60 inches. However, at this size the limitations of the mediocre 858 x 600 resolution (up to 1,280 x 1,024 signals can be accepted but are downscaled) are being reached. That said, for simple work presentations there is ample detail and we'd also happily use this for casual movie watching.
The lack of zoom makes setup a little difficult - especially for movie watching - but this is a feature all these mini-projectors seem to lack so is forgivable. Also, given the tripod mount on the bottom, those with a decent tripod will be sorted for a quick projector stand solution. Even better, though, is that automatic keystone correction is available and it works absolutely brilliantly.
Colour accuracy isn't spot on with most of the presets erring towards an oversaturated look but is still well within the bounds of acceptability. Also, the complete lack of the dreaded rainbow effect that often besets DLP projectors will please many (the RGB LED illumination negates the need for a colour wheel - the culprit behind the rainbow effect).
Being a DLP projector, the GP1's black levels are also quite impressive but unfortunately detail in darker areas can get a bit lost. For the majority of subject matters this isn't too much of a problem but dark and moody films can become a bit of a struggle to watch. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for tweaking colours, brightness levels, and contrast in the menus so you should be able to find a happy medium.
A 2W speaker (double the power of the competition) is incorporated into the chassis and it's good enough to provide basic voice-overs for presentations but beyond that you'll probably be best served using an alternative sound system.
BenQ is a little later than some to the LED portable projector market but it would seem the wait has been well worth it. It's among the smallest, has the most features - including USB video playback and photo viewing - and currently is one of the cheapest in its class.
Scores In Detail
- Image Quality
- Sound Quality