BenQ JoyBee GP2 portable projector

This miniature projector trades brightness for portability

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
BenQ Australia Joybee GP2
  • BenQ Australia Joybee GP2
  • BenQ Australia Joybee GP2
  • BenQ Australia Joybee GP2
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5


  • Small size
  • Comprehensive inputs
  • Detachable battery


  • Low brightness levels
  • Fan can get loud
  • Some contrast shortfalls

Bottom Line

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. Find a dark room and it's able to produce an acceptable picture for casual movie watching, although the integrated speakers aren't great at high volume.

Would you buy this?

BenQ’s Joybee GP2 is an all-round enhancement of the Joybee GP1 that debuted in 2009, with improvements to brightness, contrast and resolution while also introducing a portable battery pack that can provide up to three hours of power.

BenQ Joybee GP2: Design and features

The Joybee GP2 retains the same squarish design of BenQ’s earlier GP1, with a ring of touch-sensitive buttons on the projector’s top that handle everything from power to menu navigation. Around the projector’s front a perforated fan exhaust grille sits next to the lens setup, with fine focus adjustment available through a dial on the left side. Around the back is a solitary SD card port, which acts as mass storage for the BenQ GP2 to play files from.

The projector’s right side houses all the connectors, ranging from power to audio input and output, HDMI, USB 2.0 and a multipurpose port for VGA or composite. If you’re just using an iPhone or iPod for projection, though, all you’ll need is the DC power-pack (or the optional battery) — the top-mounted iPod dock takes care of both audio and video through any compatible iPod’s 30-pin connector.

If you use the host USB port or SD card slot, the BenQ Joybee GP2 can read a variety of file types: AVI, MOV and MP4 videos, MP3, FLAC and M4A audio, PDF and Word documents amongst several others. The other USB 2.0 port means the Joybee GP2 can be connected to a PC and project video via DisplayLink.

BenQ Joybee GP2 projector A look at the iPod dock and controls of the BenQ Joybee GP2.

BenQ Joybee GP2: Picture and sound quality

The BenQ Joybee GP2 has much improved video quality specs compared to the Joybee GP1: it uses a 1280x800pixel DLP system versus a non-standard 858x600pixel one, has a contrast ratio of 2400:1 versus 2000:1, and double the brightness at 200 ANSI lumens versus 100.

Using its fixed-zoom lens, you can use the Joybee GP2 to project an image between 20in and 160in in size, although the larger you go you’ll have a corresponding drop in brightness thanks to that pesky inverse square law of physics. Automatic keystone adjustment means you’ll get a squared-off image within a 40-degree range of tilting.

We tested the BenQ Joybee GP2 in two locations: a near-black small room where we could see the best possible picture and hear the best possible sound from the projector’s speakers, and a boardroom lit by bright fluorescent lights and an overcast sky. The comparatively low brightness level of the GP2 means you’ll have to use it at full brightness unless you’re in a dim or dark environment, and brighter settings quickly begin to take their toll on image contrast and black levels.

In the dark room, the BenQ Joybee GP2 fared well. Even near its maximum screen size, the GP2’s picture is more than watchable and has good visible detail. There is some clipping of highlights and black, with a small amount of detail not visible that can be seen on a more accomplished projector or high-end plasma television. Black levels are good (an advantage of DLP over LCD) and we enjoyed watching a movie or two on it in the darkened room.

BenQ Joybee GP2 projector A front view of the BenQ Joybee GP2.

In brighter environments the BenQ Joybee GP2 struggles somewhat. Images wash out quickly in a fluorescent-lit room and colours can become bland and lifeless. The triple-LED setup of the GP2’s lamp simply isn’t able to produce enough light to create a clear picture in these settings - you’ll have to put up with an image that is somewhat greyed out. If you’re giving a simple presentation — graphs and text — this won’t be an issue, but movies, especially dark ones, don’t look nearly as good as they do in darker viewing environments.

A set of internal stereo speakers at 2W each do a half-decent job of producing audio to accompany whatever video you’re watching on the Joybee GP2, presuming you’re not using a better set of speakers via the audio-out headphone jack. The speakers do struggle at louder volume levels, though — we heard some distortion and crackling, and preferred the slightly better quality of the speakers in the Apple MacBook Pro we used for some of our testing.

We weren’t able to test the battery life of the Joybee GP2’s power pack against the manufacturers’ claims, we’re impressed on paper with the three hour claimed life in the Eco brightness setting. Full brightness drains the battery within a single hour, though — if you’ve got to give a couple of long presentations in a bright room, you’ll need to have a backup battery or the DC power adapter handy.

BenQ Joybee GP2 projector The touch-sensitive controls of the BenQ Joybee GP2.

The fan of the Joybee GP2 can get loud when you’re using the projector at its maximum brightness levels. It is, as fans go, bearable — it’s a hum without any high-pitched whirr — but it does mean you have to raise the volume of the GP2’s internal speakers, potentially into the range that introduces distortion. We’d recommend keeping the GP2 in Eco (low-brightness) mode whenever possible to reduce fan noise and lower power consumption.

BenQ Joybee GP2: Conclusion

The BenQ Joybee GP2 is a small and easily portable projector with a near-comprehensive range of inputs to suit a wide range of business and personal uses. It’s good in dark or dim rooms, but merely OK in brighter ones.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?