benqgp1WHAT: BenQ Joybee GP1 Projector

COMPARE TO: Samsung P400 DLP, InFocus Work Big, ViewSonic PJD5111

PRICE: $499

FUN FACT: BenQ is offering a $50 rebate on Apple's Composite AV cable until 9/31, making it easier to play iPods and iPhones.

WHY COMPLEX IS CO-SIGNING IT: In our 2009 Style and Design package, one of the emerging trends we highlighted was the miniaturization of the video projector. Since most people haven't actually had any experience with a video projector outside of college lecture halls and MTV Cribs, we can see why it may not seem like a big deal to the masses. But let us assure you, it is. With this new crop of mini projectors you're basically able to carry around your own television set. Now, that can be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it—you know those dudes on the subway that play music from their phones without headphones? Yeah, imagine that with video—but we're leaning towards the positive on this one. Especially with models like the BenQ Joybee GP1 on the market. Although it's not the smallest of the bunch—some projectors, referred to as PICO projectors are almost the size of your cell phone—the GP1 offers a well balanced mix of features and ease of use in a package that can still fit in the palm of your hand...

Those that lack space will love the GP1. We're talking to all you collegiate co-eds that barely have enough space in your dorm rooms to fit a desk and a hamper. With the 1.5 lb Joybee all you need is a wall and something to rest the projector on. Despite it's diminutive size, the GP1 can project a picture as large as 80"! Granted, the quality goes down as the screen gets bigger, but we doubt you'll ever need an image that big, unless you're hosting game night for your entire building.


A projector being portable means nothing if you have to lug around a DVD player or your computer to use it. While the Joybee can work with any DVD player or computer, you can also play video and and display photos from your camera, iPod, cell phone or even just a USB flash drive. Plug your flash drive into the USB slot and you can browse through your videos and photo using the on-screen menu and the remote control.

A major concern when it comes to mini projectors is their ability to display bright, vibrant images. The Joybee sidesteps that problem by doing away with a traditional lamp and instead incorporates a LED lighting system called LED3 that not only consumes less energy but projects crisp, clear colors using RGB LEDs. Meaning, no matter where you decide to set up shop, the GP1 will produce awesome images. Unless, of course, you decide to have a viewing on the rooftop in the middle of the day. Also, to help you get the absolute best picture, the Joybee has a Wall Correction Tool allows you to choose from five possible wall colors. Yeah, they thought of everything.


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