When data video projectors first made their appearance in the early 90’s, they weighed about 35kg’s and were generally transported around in aluminium flight cases with wheels and retractable handles. They squirted out (then), an astounding 200 to 300 ANSI lumen and along with Power Point, were pretty much revolutionary in the presentation market (no more 35mm slide carousels).
But that was then, and this is now. This means that there are units that can weigh as little as 1kg and punch out as much as 2500 ANSI lumen, which is respectable in almost any presentation or home theatre environment. Which goes to prove the old adage that size counts. Well, at least brightness certainly does.
So if native resolution and brightness are the benchmarks that we measure a projector by, you have to wonder what the point of spending an eye watering US$550 on a projector that only produces 200 ANSI lumens would be?
And then there was (some) light
Well, BenQ seem to think that there is a point and just as importantly, a market for such a beast. To this end they have launched the BenQ Joybee G2 Pocket Projector into the Pocket Projector category, aimed mainly at the iPhone/iPad market. Weighing in at 600grams and with a native resolution of 1200 x 800, this 200 ANSI lumen wannabee is an interesting new addition to the projector spectrum.
I guess that if you are an iPhone fanatic and you just have to see your” phone stored media” on the big screen, this little ray of sunshine is just for you. Its DLP optic engine fires up the LED’s that provide the image, and the unit has a power saving or “eco – mode” which means you can halve the lumens and help to extend the lamp life. Which, interestingly is rated at 20 000 hours, so you’ll probably be collecting your pension before the lamp expires. With an average amount of ambient light in a room, you can work on a 1270mm diagonal image and with light control, about 2000mm diagonal. The really cool thing about the LED’s as well, is that they are instantaneous, so there is no warm up or cool down period when switching on or off.
And it was good
Image quality for data is excellent and saturation and colour temperature are true. Video may require a bit of menu tweaking to get temperatures correct, but flesh tones are liveable and black levels are good. There is a pair of 2-watt onboard speakers, so for quick and easy lower-end quality audio, you have the works. Just be aware that if you crank up the audio too much, you’ll start to get distortion. This feature is complimented by a mini jack audio out function, so you can beef up the decibels to your requirement with external sound blasters or the like. Another feature is the low dB output from the fan, so it doesn’t sound like an angry mosquito on steroids, irritating you while you watch your content.
Source selection is made via the home screen and includes VGA, Composite, Video, HDMI, USB (thumb drive or PC streaming mode), SD card, iPhone/iPad and internal memory.
Talking connectivity, apart from the main feature of the docking port for your Apple, you will also find VGA, HDMI digital, composite video and USB mini cables at your disposal. There is also an SD connector at the back of the unit. File transfers and internal memory Windows people will value the Joybees file streaming from a PC to the projectors internal 1.3GB brain – data, video and audio.
The remote control is wafer thin and is divided into two. Top half is for the projector and lower half is for your iPad/iPhone. The remotes functions for the projector are aped on the units dashboard and are soft–touch responsive.
An new addition to the unit is the purchase option of a battery and although not standard, would most definitely suit those who don’t want to worry about power cable and extension leads. The battery unit sits directly under the projector and is the same size and allows for between one and three hours of run time. If you still need to opt for walled-charging, you can charge the battery and run the projector at the same time.
If you’re an Apple fanatic and love instant gratification, pop the popcorn and grab a seat cause the movies are about to begin. Just don’t forget to darken the room. Read more about the little projector which could, here.
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