Design and features
Tiny usually translates to cute, and the Joybee GP2 doesn't go against the grain in this regard. Despite its petite dimensions (140.3x52.5x129.8mm) and being rather lightweight (560g), the GP2 packs quite a lot in.
On its piano-black noggin' there's an iPod/iPhone dock and a set of touch-sensitive controls. Unfortunately, the latter becomes rather warm as its sitting right atop the projector's lighting array and fan. The bundled remote control saves you from heated fingers, but sometimes, both parties aren't interested in communicating, entailing a lot of wasted (and frustrated) button bashing.
Oddly, there's no button to be able to flick easily between different sources. It's a good thing, then, that the home menu — laid out like a carousel — is easily mastered by even the most technophobic user.
On the back, there's a covered slot for reading SD cards. The other inputs (USB, mini-HDMI, multi-input adapter, mini-USB and auxiliary), output (headphone) and power supply jack are all loaded on one side. A weighty connection, such as a chunky HDMI connector plugged into the supplied mini-HDMI to HDMI converter, tips the GP2 off its feet a little bit, requiring a counterbalancing weight to be placed on top, or awkward fiddling with the adjustable third foot.
The supplied paper manual borders on the useless, as it's just a (long) series of pictograms. For some real help, you'll need to find the manual stored on the included CD.
The GP2 uses digital light processing (DLP) technology and has 200 lumens at its disposal. As such. it requires a room that's almost set to pitch black, otherwise the image seen is quite washed out. Under optimum conditions the projector does a stellar job, but if you're expecting images sharp enough to give through pumpkins, you're looking at the wrong end of Projector Town.
So, what do you get for AU$700? An output of 1280x800, digital vertical keystone adjustment, wall colour selection, a slightly soft image with quite obvious blowouts in high contrast zones and factory settings that favour punchy colours. In User mode, settings, like brightness, contrast, tint and sharpness, can all be adjusted.
The throw distance goes from a conveniently short 50cm to 3.9m, producing an image between 20 and 160.3 inches across, diagonally. On balance, it works well as a compact, highly portable, business projector that can also be used by families on-the-go.
On the sound front, the 2x2W speakers are tinny and struggle in their battle against the unit's fan — the noise decreases quite markedly when the GP2 is switched to the power-saving Eco mode.
The iPod dock works well playing music, videos and photos, and the movie player supports MKV and XviD files. There's 1GB of available on-board storage as well, but, viewing photos, especially via a USB stick, is a sluggish affair.
For those that are on the go and without access to a power point, the GP2 can be fitted with an optional battery pack, which, according to BenQ, is good for three hours of projection work.
The Joybee GP2 makes a good case for itself, if you need a projector that's affordable, has a good mind for business and is acceptable for casual use.