BenQ Joybee GP1 Palm-sized Projector
We want to tell you about a sweet little projector called the Joybee GP1. It’s a palm-sized LED projector that can be used to project from a computer, a DVD player, a TV Tuner, a video camera, a game console (like Wii) or just pictures on a USB drive. With an optional docking unit, you can also attach an iPod. First, you might want to check out the manufacturer’s promotional video on the Joybee.
We use an LCD projector and screen in the motorhome. It connects to a digital TV tuner for our TV as well as computers, DVD players, and now our Wii. The screen we use is a simple white roll-up window shade.
We’ve written about this in several past blog posts, which is why the folks at BenQ sent us one of these cute little GP1s to evaluate. They think this little projector is perfect for the RV crowd. We agree. Around our home, it’s Jim who is the A/V guy! Here’s what he says about the Joybee GP1:
Setting up the GP1
The Joybee GP1 is very easy to set up. One cable for either VGA or RCA analog video and stereo. One cable for power. The power supply is separate from the unit, saving weight. And this thing is light! Not quite a pound and a half.
LEDs instead of Bulbs
This is a new breed of personal projectors. It uses long-life LEDs instead of expensive bulbs and is rated to 20,000 hours. This means you won’t ever have to replace expensive bulbs like in traditional projectors.
This projector will not replace my projector used to present seminars to large crowds. You need a darkened room for best results, it is not powerful (bright) enough to be used in a big room during the day.
It is meant to be used at home and it is exceptional for its intended purpose. I have been using the GP1 for a couple of weeks and continue to be impressed. It has a tripod mount. I attached it to a small tripod for table top use.
This picture was taken when we were visiting friends (at a house) and we wanted to show a slideshow of some pictures. All the photos are on the USB thumb drive. Just plug the thumb drive into the GP1, plug the GP1 into the wall, and get out the popcorn!
Operating the GP1
The GP1 has a height adjustment foot, but a tripod is much more flexible. Projection size tops out at 80 inches. That is a big picture. There is no zoom, only a manual focus. There is an automatic keystone correction feature that does a pretty good job of keeping the picture square. The touch panel on top of the Joybee has no tactile feedback and I was not always sure I pressed the button when powering on and off. The remote is my preferred control.
Complete Presentations on a Thumb Drive
I really like the feature that allows pictures and video on a USB thumb drive to be projected. You can make a presentation complete with slides, video *and* sound. No need for a laptop, speakers, programs and cables. You can do the whole thing with just the Joybee. It is compatible with popular picture and video formats. I was told it will ship with a conversion program to help with incompatible files. The built-in speaker, while fine for games or a quick presentation, is a bit wimpy but you can plug in external speakers or headphones using the standard 3.5mm jack.
RVers will especially like the features of the GP1. We live full time in an RV, traveling around the country presenting seminars on technology. Many RVs are size and weight constrained. You can easily replace a heavy TV with the GP1. I use a retractable window shade in the RV as a projection screen. It works quite well. There are settings to project on various colored surfaces, even on a blackboard.
Uses for the Joybee GP1
- Connect the Joybee to a DVD recorder with digital tuner and you have a big screen TV, videos and more.
- Connect the Wii or other game console and let the fun begin.
- Download a movie on the computer and have movie night in the RV campground.
- It will easily connect to a video camera as well.
- A special cable is available for the video iPod.
Joybee GP1 Mini Projector
- DLP® Technology
- 3LED Light source
- SVGA 858X600
- USB Reader
- 100 Lumens + 120% NTSC
- 20,000 hours of light life
- 1.4 lbs & 5.3 X 2.1 X 4.7 inches
- MSRP: $499
If anyone reading this already uses a Joybee GP1 – please leave a comment with your experiences. You can also see other RV.net articles about projectors and TVs for RVs: Interesting new Product, and Replacing your TV in your RV, and Digital TV for the RV.
If you’re interested in the Joybee GP1, check out their contest – you could win one.