The design of a projector hasn't changed in ages, but the BenQ GV30 will surprise you. This smart projector sports a cute round design with a leather strap and has magnets on a stand to adjust viewing angles. Inside, it runs Android TV, but there are some caveats on which apps will work. While the screen is not the brightest in the day, it works great if the room is dim enough.
- 2.1 audio with Bluetooth
- 720p, 300 ANSI Lumens, Android TV
- 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1x DisplayPort (also serves as power)
- Built-in battery
The GV30 runs Android TV, but it's not baked into the projector. Instead, it's found in a dongle that you need to manually install by prying open the side. There's a puck provided to help you do this. Once installed, the projector turns on straight to Android TV. You can use HDMI or USB-C DisplayPort to output your laptop or phone. The GV30 comes with a stand, which uses magnets to hold the projector in place. Because of the round design, you can slide the projector along the stand, and the magnets keep it in place, so you can adjust the projecting angle, even up to the ceiling.
The included remote works with both Android TV and the projector functions. You can quickly access the keystone and autofocus functions, or hit a button to open Amazon Prime Video. There's only vertical keystone. Out of the box, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube are preinstalled. You can also load Disney+ through the Google Play Store. However, Netflix is not available. The GV30 comes installed with an App Manager, which you can install Aptoide, a third-party app store. However, Aptoide's version of Netflix didn't quite work properly. There are also likely other apps you can use to download Netflix, or side load, but that will require some work. You can use a PC or Mac to mirror Netflix to the projector. However, Android and iOS won't work — the video just won't play. This is due to copyright protection — and it’s the same for other streaming apps, too.
The GV30 can throw up to a 100-inch screen, but it's really only clear if the surroundings are slightly dim. Compared to the Viewsonic M1+, the GV30 is rated brighter at 300 ANSI lumens vs 120 ANSI lumens. However, at its brightest, colours appear washed out. You're better off leaving it at the 50 setting. In a dark room though, the colour pops and it's pretty clear. Sound quality is excellent, and there's quite a bass despite its small size. Battery life is less than two hours at normal, you can turn on a power-saving mode to get it to last longer at the cost of brightness.
At S$869, the BenQ GV30 Projector is a pretty good buy — though slightly expensive — thanks to its nifty form factor and performance (in dimmer areas). Sound is great, too. The projector is also easy to carry around the house and for longer trips, there's a carry bag provided. Get it from Lazada or Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by BenQ.
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