It’s almost camping season, and what better way to entertain yourself and your family and guests in the wild than a show of your favourite movies or may be, those adorable and funny kitten videos. I found the perfect companion for my family camping trips – the BenQ GS2 – a mini, portable projector. The best thing about it is that it’s wireless!
What’s in the box?
The unit we got for review had:
- Projector unit in a convenient and compact carry case.
- Remote Control
- Power cable
- VGA cable
- USB Dongle (which we didn’t receive with our unit)
- Quick Start Guide
- Warrant card
- Wireless & ultra-portable
- Splash and drop resistant
- Doubles as a Bluetooth speaker
- IPX2 and 0.5 meter Drop Proof for Outdoor Care
- LumiExpertTM and Auto Blank Sensor for Eye Care
- Wireless projection* for multiple OS and devices
- 15° Tiling and Auto Focus Lens
- 3 Hours Battery Life
- 2 Wattage Chamber Speakers with BT Speaker Mode
Honestly. We’re all looking to hit the outdoors and enjoy a change in scenery after being trapped indoors during the most part of 2020. The BenQ GS2 makes impromptu movie nights, a welcome experience, whether they be outside in your backyard or the kid’s room before bed. The portability and easy setup makes the GS2 a mini wonder and excellent for casting larger-than-life projections of movies, videos, music, and learning materials. Moreover, the mini projector comes with the Aptoide TV app market for limitless streaming potential.
Versatility & Portability: Both. The GS2 is built for portability. It comes in a convenient soft canvas carry case.
Technical Specs: The GS2 is almost a cube shape, but not quite. The GS2 is 5.7 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches (HxWxD) and weighs just about 3.6 pounds. It comes with a built -in stand that can adjust up to fifteen degrees and has a tripod screw hole to attach a mount plate. It also comes with built-in impact protection – much needed in the outdoors. The exterior is made of a rubberized material – It’s IPX2-rated which means that it is splash-proof and can withstand light rainfall and the backyard sprinkler; We wouldn’t recommend using it in a rain or dust storm!
The top of the projector contains all the navigation and control buttons that are etched into the surface. You also have a remote control. Connections are cleverly hidden on one side of the cube which contains the HDMI input, a USB Type-A slot, a USB Type-C socket and a 3.5mm analogue audio output for plugging in a speaker that is concealed with seamless flap. The GS2 does have two speakers built in, each driven by a two-watt amplifier.
There is also a deep bay with a USB socket inside that allows you to plug in a Wi-Fi dongle, allowing it to disappear completely from sight. The dongle supports dual-band Wi-Fi standards up to 802.11ac. The GS2 supports Bluetooth for connecting speakers and headphones.
There’s no optical zoom function in the projector, so you move the projector align the image with your projection surface.
Ease of use: The GS2 can also be controlled using the BenQ Smart Control app on Android and iOS. Because it runs on Android, you have access to several apps that run on it. You can cast screens to it from your smart devices, including Apple devices using AirPlay.
Build and Appearance: Compact, light and portable, the GS2 look sturdy enough for the outdoors. The body is rubberized and a light camel colour, and the face or the main projection surface is a deep tan.
Performance: We tested the GS2 by simply placing it on a surface within enough distance from our projection screen. For a first-time user, you may have trouble adjusting the focus as there is no ‘focus’ button. But not to worry – when you power it on, the GS2 pulls up a blue test patterns and adjusts its own focus. We’re impressed.
With a native resolution 720p (1280×720) from the 0.3-inch DLP DMD, the GS2 can accept signals up to 1080p. The Osram Q8A LED light engine provides 500 ANSI lumens of rated light output with a life of up to 30,000 hours in Eco mode and 20,000 hours in Normal mode (the brightest lamp setting on the GS2). According to BenQ, the maximum projected image size is 100 inches diagonal, which means you must have the projector placed 9 feet, 5 inches from the screen – which we did. Any further and the brightness starts to suffer, or you need a really dark viewing space.
The BenQ GS2 delivers a decent picture quality and has seven picture modes—Bright, Vivid TV, Cinema, Sport, Camp Fire, Bed Time, and User. It offers only the usual basic controls for picture adjustment. When testing, for best results we used while turning off the LumiExpert.
- Picture – Cinema Mode
- Lighting -Eco mode
- Brightness of 64
- Colour setting at 50
- A sharpness of 5
- Warm colour temperature.
Price & Availability: The BenQ GS2 is available in the UAE and KSA and is priced at approx AED2388 and is available at leading electronics retailers.
The Verdict: We give the GS2 a 4 out of 5 for its ability to deliver crisp and rich colors and for the fact that it withstands the occasional light showers that the UAE’s winters bring.