Considering how expensive movie tickets and caramel popcorn have become, you might as well give home projectors a thought!
Those who’ve grown up in the 90s will remember the rather dismal state of home entertainment. VCR tapes, which would have the hero’s head superimposed on the heroine’s during a dance routine were the best we could get our hands on back then. Now, we’ve sailed through VCDs & DVDs and are ready to bring the theatre into our homes. That’s exactly what a lot of digital projectors out there in the market promise to do for the consumer. And considering how expensive movie tickets and a tub of caramel popcorn have become, there’s no harm in sitting back in your La-Z-Boy while you enjoy your favourite titles.
The BenQ GP10 is one of the latest in a slew of products that aim to up your home entertainment experience. At 1.5 kgs, the projector is not exactly a pico projector – one of the mobile ones which you can carry around in your pocket wherever you go. But while at home, you don’t even want a projector that you can’t even find when you most need it. The GP10 is decently-sized and setting it up was a breeze with just a single plug-in. It looks quite sleek to with a white body accentuated with grey tones.
The GP10 uses short-throw projection technology, which basically means it can project large images in relatively smaller spaces. And this unit in particular was capable of projecting a 40-inch images from a distance of a meter from the projection screen. So you need not necessarily gather in the living room for movie night. You could have it set up in the kid’s room or even in the kitchen to catch up on cartoons or sitcoms.
The BenQ GP10 is rather generous when it comes to connectivity options. On the back panel you have the classic VGA port, USB port, direct camcorder connectivity and an HDMI to stream high-def content on. You can use the USB port either to stream media from a thumb drive or even use a Wi-Fi dongle and connect it to the internet. As an additional accessory, you also have the option of buying a detachable optical drive for the unit. There’s a in-built memory card slot so you can view your pictures or videos directly through the projector without the need to transfer them on to a thumb drive first.
EASE OF USE
The control panel is neatly laid out on one corner of the projector and makes for easy access. A nine-button grid is all you have to browse through or select any function available on the GP10. Once you switch it on, you have the option of choosing your media source from an exhaustive panel on the home screen. You can browse through the options using the soft keypad. The projector does a good job adjusting itself to fit a proper display ratio. You can even adjust the projections according to the wall colour of the room you’re in.
We plugged in a thumb drive to check the image quality first. When you stream through a storage device which houses a variety of media such as videos, music and documents, you’ll be asked to choose which one you want to project first. We chose Photos and the GP10 by default starts a slideshow of a chosen folder. Both the image quality and colours were excellent reproductions of the original. We checked out some high-res Ferrari pictures and the red was unmistakeable. Although, with each picture being about 5MB, the projector took a couple of seconds between loading each image.
For videos, we wanted to check out an episode of BBC’s Tropic of Cancer series. And the video quality here too gave us no reason to complain. The cooling fan in the GP10 is a quiet one and that’s a good thing considering the device is meant to be used in smaller spaces as well. The two built-in 3W speakers in the BenQ GP10 are powered by SRS surround sound and the volume levels were more than audible in a medium-sized room. The GP10 uses RGB LEDs as the light source and has 550 lumens brightness. Hence, we watched most of our media with the lights switched off as the images seem a bit washed off whenever there was any ambient light.
If you’re looking to set up a home theatre soon, then the GP10 does have a lot to offer in terms of simplicity of use and connectivity options. It’s portable, good-looking and doesn’t disappoint with images either. The only drawbacks are the fact that it scores relatively low on the lumens scale and might not support some popular video formats.