The new BenQ projector is travel-friendly and comes with smart feature
Rs. 30.990, benq.co.in
Customers now understand the advantage of installing projectors at home versus going with a large-size television. But when it comes to portable projection, there’s still some ground to cover. We have seen some solutions from ViewSonic, Sony and Asus in the past and now BenQ has launched its offering, the GV1.
Off all the portable projectors we have seen recently, GV1 is the most portable. As compact as a small soft drink bottle, the GV1 is tiny and well-designed. Equipped with a travel case, the 708g GV1 goes for a dual-tone design with the top quarter of the device housing the projector essentials like the controls at the top, focus ring at the side and the lamp on the front whereas the remaining three-fourth of the device goes with a mesh grille design that conceals the back-firing speaker and a USB Type-C and power port at the bottom. Overall, the design is slick and premium-looking.
Being a smart projector, GV1 is as easy as setting up an Android smartphone but this is where the similarities end. It runs a custom version of Android and since it does not have a Google certification, there’s no access to Google Play Store and related services. Instead, it comes with Aptoide TV app store. The app store allows downloading popular entertainment apps, but the library is sparse. If you use Netflix, Prime Video or Disney+ Hotstar, the projector can play the content but going through the menu and settings are laggy, given the slow Snapdragon 210 processor and meagre 1GB RAM that powers the forked Android OS. There’s a delay in registering the commands while using the remote control. Connecting an external device is one way to watch content on this projector, but you will have to use the bundled Type-C to HDMI port since the projector does not come with a full-sized HDMI. Another way is to wirelessly project, which works well with PC and Android but was a hit-and-miss with iOS.
GV1 can project images to up to 35-inches from a distance of 1m, which is good enough for such a small projector, but it can project up to 100-inches in size. However, the experience is underwhelming considering the FWVGA (854×480) resolution support and 200 ANSI lumens brightness that goes dimmer if you use the projector with the integrated battery. The 15-degree tilting lens is a nice touch along with the auto keystone that ensures the projection is straight, irrespective of the angle. Users can adjust manually, as well. The 5W back-firing speakers offer good crisp audio, good enough to fill a small room and even has a dedicated Bluetooth mode allowing the GV1 to function as a Bluetooth loudspeaker.
GV1 is an interesting device. While BenQ has nailed the portability factor with its compact and handy design, this same compactness compromises on the picture quality. Adding insult to injury is the laggy user interface.
WE’RE IMPRESSED Design, portability, audio
WE’D IMPROVE Performance
THE LAST WORD A decent attempt by BenQ to appeal to customers looking for portable projection but falls short in terms of its smart features and picture quality.