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Introduction

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The seemingly unstoppable rise of LED as an AV illumination source isn’t just affecting TVs. It’s also ushering in some pretty profound changes to the projection scene.

At one end of the scale you’ve got jaw-droppingly good high-end projectors from the likes of SIM2 and Vivitek using LED lamps to deliver richer colours and the prospect of never having to change a bulb throughout a projector’s lifespan.

At the other end of the scale you’ve got what we’re looking at today: ‘Pico’ projectors so small they can easily fit into a jacket pocket.


We’ve looked at one or two of these before - most notably Optoma’s ground-breaking but ultimately rather useless PK101, the decent LG HS102, and BenQ’s rather handy and splendidly named Joybee GP1.

But their tantalising combination of potentially high utility value and massive gadget-hound appeal means that we’re suddenly finding quite a glut of models flooding the market. So much so that we thought the best way to try and catch up with where things are at was to get hold of three current models we hadn’t seen before and put them through their paces against the still very much available, once benchmark-setting BenQ Joybee GP1.

The last thing to say before looking at each of our models in turn is that in the process of researching this test, we actually found a contender that didn’t use LED lighting. And given its spirit of innovation and the fact that it uses cool-sounding laser technology, we just couldn’t resist making it one of our quartet!

NOTE: The screenshots taken to accompany this group test were taken using the same Panasonic Lumix FZ7 camera with the same settings in the same blacked out room using the same projector screen. Two photos were taken: one with 1/4 shutter speed (brighter), one with a 1/15 shutter speed (darker).

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