BenQ Joybee GP1 LED Projector Review



Audioholics Robot
Staff member
Projectors have gone through several iterations in the time I've been around. From old, clunky CRT systems to DLP and LCD systems, projectors have gotten brighter, smaller and more feature-rich. But with the introduction of the BenQ Joybee GP1, LED lighting is now taking front projectors where they have never been. With LED lighting, even a DLP projector can be smaller, lighter and more versatile than its UHP or similarly lighted counterparts. The projector is literally smaller than a stack of CDs, smaller than a Mac Mini, and smaller than my outstretched hand. Yet this incredibly tiny projector puts out 100 lumens from its single LED lamp, making it bright enough to light up an 80 inch screen in a darkened room.

Discuss "BenQ Joybee GP1 LED Projector Review" here. Read the article.


Full Audioholic
led heat

led's do make heat. A nice 3 watt led flashlight powered from a couple AA's will soon generate enough heat to burn the hand, so I'm not surprised that this unit would use its fan a bit.


Audioholic Ninja
I definitely like the considerably longer lamp life. I am on the fence just waiting to upgrade to a PJ. Hoping to get a good deal on the Panny AE3000U...and see how the long term cost of ownership pans out for a LED vs traditional PJ.


Audioholic Warlord
I'm gonna nitpick a bit here and just say that I think the rating is way to high for this projector, or that the review under-states just how important the specific usability of this projector is.

VGA OR composite OR iPod - It's an extremely portable projector - but it is NOT a home theater projector. It's basically a $500 decent toy.

If people are looking for a home theater projector, there are commercial projectors which are cheap SVGA or XGA models right around $500 with more connectivity and enough lumens to easily handle a 100"+ screen.

Moreso, for just a couple hundred bucks more, you start hitting the cheapest 720p home theater proejctors which can output about 10x the lumens at their brightest levels, easily filling 100+ inch screens with true HD glory and with the connectivity which is proper, and required, for HD viewing.

DETAIL AND RESOLUTION: 2 or 3 stars - this is an extremely low resolution projector by todays standards, it may be sharp and produce those pixels (at 40") nicely, but it is extremely subpar.

CONTRAST AND BLACK LEVELS: 4 stars, or better - DLP tends to be excellent at this.

COLOR REPRODUCTION: 4 stars - DLP is also great with this when properly implemented. No suprise.

BUILD QUALITY: 4 stars? Sure, maybe more even. I haven't seen many projectors which have been shoddily built.

ERGONOMICS/USABILITY: I'm not sure what this means exactly. It's a box, just like most projectors are boxes. It's not extremely bright, so it is limited there. It has no lens shfit, no zoom... Not sure why projectors have this category overall, but this projector certainly fails in ways which other projectors do not, but it gets major props for doing what it does at the size it works in.

Ease of Setup: 2 stars - Sorry, this is not a five star ease of setup projector. Ease of setup needs to allow for exactly what was discussed above and on a projector it is easy to setup when you can zoom in/out, have multiple connections at once, and use lens shift instead of keystone correction. This is about as bad as a projector can be for 'ease of setup' on the market. It is more reminiscent of an old CRT, but it weighs less and doesn't have as many inputs.

Features: 3 stars - Once again, this is a projector, and compared to other projectors it fails at every level EXCEPT FOR SIZE! Correct that, size and lamp life.

Fit and Finish: 3 or 4 stars - Not sure how many ugly projectors there are on the market, but part of the fit/finish is the requirement for that big ugly power supply which most projectors don't need.

This is a 2-3 star projector in my opinion when compared to the field of projectors which are out there. Most notably, the lack of a HDMI input and extremely limited versatility in setup.


When compared to similar PICO projectors, I think it is exceptional! This is an incredible travel projector and with it's super small size, ability to run straight from USB, and iPod connectivity with small speakers included, as well as VGA connectivity, you do get something which is great for the traveller to use in their hotel room, the family to take on vacation, or to show the emergency business presentation when people don't want to gather around the laptop screen.

But, I do consider it a projector first - and for that, it's a long way from a 4 or 5 star product in most regards.
Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

This projector wasn't rated against home theater projectors.


Audioholic Warlord
This projector wasn't rated against home theater projectors.
Clint, you know how I am about projectors - just being over critical on things and putting my opinion out there. :) I really do appreciate the review.

I guess my question is... or maybe my point.

If it isn't a home theater projector and it isn't a business projector then what is it? Most people see things as falling into two categories - home theater or business.

In the realm of the 'crazy portables' I think this one is better than any of the Pico models I have been looking at.

But it is part of an entirely new type of projector which has a very questionable market appeal and will to often be considered for home theater or even business presentation use which it is incredibly ill suited for.

If it is ill suited to the current traditional projector categories which exist, then I don't know what else to compare it against except for toy projectors, which is generally what I call it. For a toy projector, it's well built and great. But, compared to any 'real' projector on the market, this thing doesn't come close, and there are far better options for the same money or less.


Audioholic Intern
Agree with BMXTRIX. The size of the projector is very small. Its very portable. It really suites for business personals where teams are on move and good toy as BMXtirx said.


Junior Audioholic
The projector seems good. Do you suggest that i should go for it as a home theater PJ?


Great info, TY! Too bad all tech writers are not equally clear, straightforward, and thorough. I just bookmarked it.


Sival has another LED 720p Mini porjector

check under projectors/mini-projector-mp720b1. support HDMI and 1080p, impressive.


I see these smaller projectors as an alternative to the bigger ones. It's like sometimes you just want a cup of coffee instead of the whole coffee brewing machine. One is small, cheap and portable, the other isn't so portable but has a lot more uses. Both give you the same thing. Hope this analogy makes :p


Audioholic Warlord
I see these smaller projectors as an alternative to the bigger ones. It's like sometimes you just want a cup of coffee instead of the whole coffee brewing machine. One is small, cheap and portable, the other isn't so portable but has a lot more uses. Both give you the same thing. Hope this analogy makes :p
I've got another one...

It's like a motorcycle.

On the one hand, you need your car to get around to your office in the rain with all your files, laptop, and picking up clients and getting around. So, the motorcyle doesn't work for you. (business projector)

On the other hand, you need the mini-van to take the kids out, go to the grocery store, get to PTA meetings, and to go on the family vacation. (home theater projector) So, the motorcyle won't work for you.

It doesn't mean that the motorcycle doesn't get used, and isn't fun. It just is used for very limited, and very specific purposes which only are useful for a handful of people.

As long as people are fully aware of the limitations which the motorcycle has, then there isn't a problem. The problem comes in when people try to put the 12 bags of groceries, or the three people they are picking up for a meeting onto the back of the motorcycle... and then are suprised when they don't fit.


I bought the AAXA P2 Pico Projector. This pocket projector is pretty good, 33 lumen output at 800x600 resolution. For this I paid $319, i think its not expensive.

Check it out under products/p2_pico_projector.

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