What the Benq GS50 portable projector gets right is that its easy to carry around, is a superb beamer especially in. dark environments with image quality that remains sharp and readable. Throw in great sound with strong bass profile and you’ve got a real winner of a projector.
- Superb build quality
- Very portable
- Sharp image
- Great, bassy sound
- Relatively pricey
How much should the best portable projector cost? Well, there are lots of cheap projectors in the market and expensive ones like the Optoma CinemaX P2, but when you narrow choices down to portability, oprice isn’t a factor anymore. BenQ recently released a pair of portable projectors: the BenQ GV30 and the BenQ GS50 – both with unique and quality image offerings.
In this review, we look at the higher-end model — the BenQ GS50 portable projector, to see how it stacks against the competition in the portable projectors category.
For starters, the BenQ GS50 comes with a different design from that of the GV30, also with a higher resolution, a larger image, and there’s more to it. Like the GV30, it also emphasizes great audio — meaning that you actually do not necessarily need any more speakers.
BenQ GS50 Specs
|Native Resolution||1080P (1920×1080)|
|Native Aspect Ratio||16:9|
|Brightness (ANSI lumens)||500|
|Built-in OS||Yes, Android 9.0|
BenQ GS50 projector design
The BenQ GS50 is essentially a cube, but BenQ has still made an effort to make the projector unique and appealing to the eye. The projector offers a green-and-white color scheme with orange highlights and a brown leather strap on the right.
On the top of the projector, you find some physical controls, including a power button, a Bluetooth connect button, and volume buttons. On the left is a door that hides the ports, including audio output, USB-C port, HDMI port, USB port, and a switch to lock the settings. And, on the front there’s a button to adjust the height of the stand, so you can change the projector’s angle.
The projector is pretty light and small, measuring in at 6.06 inches wide, 5.75 inches tall, and 7.32 inches deep. Without forgetting it weighs 2.3kg, this means that, the projector is very portable.
Additionally, the projector comes with a well-designed remote which is similar as that of the GV30, and it has software controls, a Google Assistant button, a quick-access button for Amazon Prime, and buttons to control the image.
To use Android TV on the projector, you have to plug in the included QS01 Android TV dongle. BenQ says that it included a dongle for easier firmware updates. In fact, it’s quite easy to permanently install it behind a door at the back of the device.
BenQ GS50 projector features and software
The BenQ GS50 is designed to offer a range of connectivity options for those that might not be in an area with standard Wi-Fi. That means you can connect both wirelessly, and through the HDMI port.
The GS50 comes with Android TV built in, as long as you have the dongle installed. Generally, Android TV is a pretty heavy operating system, and the QS01. Hence it works fine but might skip or freeze for just a second, especially when using features like Google Assistant. Again, it works fine, and you’ll soon get used to using it.
If you use the projector within Wi-Fi range, you’ll interact with Android TV to access your favorite streaming services and content. You may have to jump through some hoops to access some services. For example, Netflix isn’t primarily supported, so to use it, you’ll need third-party stores and apps. But the point is you can still use it.
You can choose not to use Android TV, instead, you could utilize the projector’s HDMI and USB-C Display Port, but you can also Cast to the projector. And, the projector can create its own Wi-Fi network for you to stream to it directly. So, you don’t need an internet connection, as long as you have content installed on your device.
BenQ has Smart Control app that you can use too, but it’s a little limited, and basically just works like a remote.
Not only the mentioned features, it also has an in-built OS, Android9.0 and OSD language; ROM/RAM-16GB/2GB; Bluetooth4.2 and a standard WI-FI.
BenQ GS50 projector performance and battery
The GV30 has a 720p resolution, but the GS50 is a notable step up with its 1080p resolution. Along with that 1080p resolution, you’ll get a brightness of 500 ANSI lumens.
The projector has the ability to display an image size of between 30 inches and 110 inches, however, BenQ says that for an optimal image, a screen size of 80 inches and 100 inches is recommended. There are various picture modes namely: Picture Mode, Bright, Living Room, Sports, Cinema, Day Time and Camp Fire.
With its good resolution (1080P) favorable to most users, it is definitely bright for a portable projector. Just remember that LED projectors do appear brighter than their measured ANSI lumens would indicate. Although, the projector easily displays an image that’s bright enough in darker environments, you may not want to use it with much ambient light.
The BenQ GS50 comes with a standard battery, with battery life of up to 2.5 hours. Also, it has a USB-A/C charging /display port. Of course, battery life will vary widely depending on how you use the projector, brightness, and so on. It is good enough.
BenQ GS50 projector audio
BenQ has a great audio without any need for external speakers. Thankfully, the projector can double as a standalone Bluetooth speaker, which is a super nice touch. The speakers deliver deep, powerful bass and Mids. are well-tuned too, while highs are crisp and detailed.
The speakers are (x2), 5W; the woofer 10W Chamber; audio out (3.5mm Mini Jack) (x1); audio WQ- yes; HDMI audio return- yes RAC,2 Chanel.
If all you need is a reliable projector that you can use on the go, the Benq GS50 is among the best choices available in the market right now. Like all other portable projectors, it doesn’t get as bright as I might have liked, but it still does a nice job, especially watching night sessions. Again, for the price, it can’t get any better.
Of course, there are plenty of portable projectors, most a bit cheaper, only that they don’t quite offer an image that’s as bright as our review unit. If you’re shopping on a tight budget, the Anker Nebula Cosmos is worth a look.
Otherwise, the BenQ GS50 remains a top pick for anyone looking for a portable projector with solid image quality and enough brightness for most dark environments.