Portable mini projectors have been fast gaining popularity in recent years. Being small and lightweight, they are easy to set up and put away, transport, and store. This makes them a perfect companion for adventures, or just for home use when you don’t want a permanent projector set up.
This all of course comes with a slight compromise on picture and sound quality, when compared to home theatre projectors, but for many, it’s worth the trade-off.
One of the latest portable projector releases is the GS2 from BenQ. Being both drop-proof and splash-proof, it’s marketed as a projector that you can take with you anywhere, even into nature.
We recently spent some time using the GS2 to get an idea for what this little projector has to offer.
The GS2 is powered by a 500 ANSI Lumen Osram Q8A Lamp. We found the brightness and depth of colour more than adequate for the marketed use.
The resolution of 720p means you may be left wanting for extra pixels if you want to use this regularly for home theatre. But for kids, travel, and the occasional home movie it should do the trick.
The throw ratio is 1.3, meaning the display is 35″ when placed at a distance of 1m. There’s no optical zoom function, so it needs to be moved manually to adjust your projection size.
It has an effective auto-focus feature which certainly comes in handy when moving around and using it in different locations.
The GS2 features dual 2W Chamber Speakers. We found these acceptable at max volume in a quiet environment but for a larger group of viewers or in a noisy environment we’d recommend connecting to external speakers.
The build of this projector is one of its main selling points. It’s built to be tough so that it can be suitable for activities like camping and also to be used around kids who may knock the device or spill liquid on it.
It has a water resistant rating of IPX2. This means it can resist water that hits it at a 15° angle or less. It is also drop-proof from 0.5m, which is quite unique for a type of electronic equipment that is traditionally quite delicate.
While we didn’t test the projector with liquid or drops, it does feel tough and durable. It’s certainly not a device that you feel you need to be extra-cautious of damaging when moving it around.
This projector works by connecting to your home WIFI network, from which you can cast to from your PC, Apple, or Android device.
If you don’t have WIFI available you can cast to the projector using a hotspot.
We experienced issues with video and audio stuttering when casting to the projector from a range of devices over our home WIFI network. The issue was mitigated significantly by reducing the number of devices connected to the WIFI, but didn’t fix it completely.
We think the most likely cause is the fact we were testing using 2.4G WIFI. While BenQ does claim the projector works on both 2.4G and 5G WIFI, they highly recommend using 5G for smoother wireless performance.
With a built in-battery with 3-hours of runtime, the GS2 can be used completely wire-free. Combine this with the built in speaker and you have a truly portable entertainment solution.
The projector features an Eye Protection Sensor that shuts down the LED light automatically to prevent the light from entering the eyes if a child looks into the lens. There is also a parental timer allowing parents to limit projector use.
This auto brightness adjustment feature provides suitable brightness on the projected images based on the environment.
The tilting hinge on the base of the projector makes finding the optimal display angle a breeze. This, combined with auto-keystone and auto-focus, make the GS2 exceptionally easy to get up and running.
Overall, this is a handy little projector that would be great for kids and adventures.
As mentioned, we experienced some issues with stuttering due to our WIFI network, but otherwise it was a pleasure to use.