As expected, the audio produced by the GP2’s 2W stereo speakers is at best negligible. It’s muddy and somewhat distorted even at their low maximum volume, and bass is notable only by its absence. In other words, it’s usable for presentations and maybe casual clips but anything more will require external speakers or headphones.
Speaking of sound, our final complaint about the GP2 is that it gets very audible. Apparently it’s going to quite a lot of effort to stay cool, as even in Eco mode it produces a loud hum that can get very annoying during quiet moments in entertainment. Power consumption is between 45 – 35w, depending on if it’s in Eco mode.
One nice innovation that’s standard on Pico projectors but less common on their bigger brethren is the GP2’s optional battery. Unfortunately we weren’t supplied with one to test, but BenQ claims up to three hours. We estimate that at normal brightness settings the projector should last around two hours, adequate for most movies, and installation is as simple as clipping it on.
Unfortunately, BenQ’s latest mini projector will only be sold through the Apple store, as the two companies have an exclusive contract for distribution. Thankfully, Apple has already discounted the GP2 from its £499 MSRP, and it can be yours for a few pennies short of £450.
There isn’t too much competition in the current-gen, HD Ready, mini LED projector market yet. At Apple’s price the GP2 undercuts the PLED-W500, which doesn’t offer an iPod/iPhone dock or – most crucially – a headphone jack/line out option, rendering its very accomplished media playback virtually useless. However, if you can live with this flaw and its added bulk and weight, the W500 has slightly more accomplished image quality, runs a tad quieter, comes with a better case and has a far superior remote with integrated laser pointer. Which one you choose will depend on your needs (and possibly on whether you own an iPod/Phone).
BenQ’s tiny GP2 is a jack of all trades and master of few, but given the size, price and versatility of this LED mini projector, there’s not much that can compete. Added to the fact that none of its flaws are fatal, it’s a worthy investment whether you want a highly portable home cinema projector or business presentation device. As long as you’re aware of its limitations, we highly recommend it.