BenQ JoyBee GP3
Throws large image; Wi-Fi with DLNA support
It’s designed with iPhones in mind, but BenQ’s JoyBee GP3 caters to gadget lovers of all persuasions.
The biggest projector in this group (Optoma PK320 Pico Projector, Aiptek PocketCinema V100 and Acer K135 LED Projector), the BenQ has the footprint of a CD case and tips the scale at 580g. The detachable battery is almost as large again, so you’ll need a shoulder bag to carry it all around along with its carry case and remote control.
The built-in 30-pin iPhone dock is this projector’s surprise inclusion, but it also features mini-HDMI, USB, mini-USB, SD, VGA and component connectors as well as 2GB of onboard storage. Alongside the headphone jack, there are onboard two-watt stereo speakers – offering the best sound of these four projectors.
The 30-pin dock will appeal to owners of older iGadgets, otherwise you might look to a Lightning to Digital AV (HDMI) adaptor. BenQ includes a Wi-Fi adaptor which works with any DLNA streaming app. The projector also supports wireless Mac and PC screen mirroring via BenQ’s EZ QPresenter software.
This projector throws the largest image, sitting only 1.16m from the wall to produce a 1m picture. There’s a tripod thread on the bottom along with a foot to elevate the front, with the projector automatically adjusting the image to compensate for distortion.
Its 16:10, 1280 x 800 native resolution matches the Acer but the 300 lumens brightness (or 150 lumens running on batteries) makes the BenQ a noticeable step down from the Acer. The BenQ’s whites are surprisingly dull and colours are also muted, although certainly more accurate than the tiny Aiptek and Optoma.
The BenQ is louder than the Acer but not as whiny. Put side-by-side you’d be tempted to tolerate the Acer’s noise for its improved picture.
It’s a handy all-rounder but the BenQ lacks punch and doesn’t justify the extra bulk compared to the Acer. The colours are underwhelming for movies, while dull whites are underwhelming for presentations.