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As one of BenQ’s first portable projectors, its recent GS2 release arrives with a compelling list of features like 1080p visuals, AirPlay 2, and three-hour battery life despite its compact design. But how does it stack up to other portable offerings in the market? Our latest Tested with 9to5Toys is putting this projector through its paces to see if the BenQ GS2 is a must-have for summer movie nights or not. Head below for all of the details.
BenQ GS2 Wireless Mini Portable Projector
We often feature Anker’s lineup of portable projectors when new ones are released or existing models go on sale. Its Nebula collection certainly provides more budget-conscious options that we’ve found to be quite noteworthy in our reviews, even though they’re from a smartphone accessories maker. By comparison, BenQ’s entire bread and butter is projectors, with its recent GS2 entering as one of the brand’s first models that isn’t tethered to the wall. Now we’re putting it to the test to see if it’s worth the extra cash.
Entering at $599, the BenQ GS2 Projector isn’t the most expensive model on the market, but it’s certainly not as affordable as others out there. So how does it stack up as a mid-range offering? You’re looking as 1080p picture quality with support for AirPlay 2 and built-in 4W speakers all in a compact design. Alongside HDMI, you’re looking at USB-C and USB connectivity, as well as IPX2 splash- and drop-protection that plays nicely with the three-hour battery life for watching content away from an outlet.
Here’s a look at the spec sheet:
- IPX2 splash and drop resistant with adjustable tilt hinge, autofocus, and keystone correction
- GS2 supports content up to 1080p for HD images and has instant on/off
- For best results, connect your FireStick, Roku, or Apple TV via HDMI for instant entertainment. For wireless streaming, it’s recommended to use Chrome browser from your computer to mirror contents wirelessly to GS2.
- Robust 4-watt chambered audio so GS2 doubles as a portable Bluetooth speaker
- HDMI, USB-C, and USB connectivity
I’ve been spending the past month or so with the BenQ GS2 Wireless Mini Portable Projector, using it to occasionally to catch up on shows while in my office, which doesn’t have a TV. While it’s certainly not without some shortcomings, the portable home theater machine is certainly a compelling offering for the price.
What really sold me from the beginning was just how good the picture quality on the BenQ GS2 Projector is. I’ve used quite a few portable offerings in the past, and the projection has never quite been as up to par as I’d like. It’s been the norm for more affordable models to deliver washed-out color and images that just can’t compare to a TV. But that wasn’t even a concern this time around, as everything looked pretty phenomenal.
There’s of course some caveats where darker images won’t look quite as good in bright rooms. Not to mention the actual size of the projection making a difference. Booting up the projector every time has it go through a process to automatically adjust the picture to look its best, which adds another bit of convenience into the mix.
In terms of battery life, BenQ’s claims were pretty spot on, all things considered. Charging is pretty simple with the included MagSafe-like power adapter, although that does bring me to the most annoying aspect of the GS2 Projector. The magnet that holds the cable onto the back of the projector just isn’t strong enough, as picking it up disconnects the cord, even if you’re just trying to move it a few inches here and there to get the right angle. I get the sentiment of having a cord that can easily break free on a portable offering like this, but it seems it’s a little too easy, in my experience.
While that’s my biggest gripe, the most notable aspect of the BenQ GS2 compared to other portable projectors is the inclusion of AirPlay 2 support. While there’s some built-in streaming functionality and the like, being able to just bypass using the remote and built-in controls to fling content from my iPhone has proved to be the most compelling feature.
All said and done, the BenQ GS2 is the best portable projector I’ve gotten to use over the years. Its portability certainly makes it easy to watch content just about anywhere, and all of the other features like crisp 1080p picture quality and AirPlay 2 support make it worth using in the first place. It won’t replace your TV, but if outdoor movie nights are on the itinerary this spring and summer, the BenQ GS2 is certainly worth considering.
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