BenQ GV30 Review Portable Android TV 10 Projector With Built-in Woofer!

Friday, September 02, 2022

 Portable rechargeable projectors are freed from the shackles of mains power, allowing you to project a screen literary anywhere you want whenever you want, which is super convenient!
The latest battery powered projector on the market it's the BenQ GV30 - an Android TV projector with HD 720p (1280x720) native resolution, single-chip DLP projection technology and led bulb light source with a 25,000 hours lifespan rating. The GV30 projector is entirely made of plastic -  weighs 1.4kg and measures 9cm in diameter and 8.5cm thick. 

Main components include a 4800mAh rechargeable battery and 2.1 sound woofer system that consists of two midrange tweeters (4 watts each) and one 8 watt woofer.  The BenQ GV30 rechargeable battery takes 3 hours to charge from 0% to 100% and provides a battery life of around 2.5 hours in Low Power mode (150 ANSI lumens). By design, you cannot switch to Eco mode or Normal Mode (300 ANSI) without an external power source. 

The BenQ GV30 projector looks elegant and smart anywhere you put it and has a rather quirky design with a short leatherette carry handle, tall round snail-like shell with small square-perforated cutouts and a side lens brow that reminds of an indoor camera. On the sides, there is a short PU leather carry strap, tripod mount and flat on-board physical (clicky) buttons for volume and power. 

The BenQ GV30 features a detachable side panel designed to access the dongle compartment, housing a short micro USB cable and HDMI port for connecting the included BenQ QS01 Bluetooth Android TV dongle. The projector lens and sensor (for auto focus and auto keystone) are tucked (under the brow) behind a recessed glass protective panel (4.5cm x 2cm), which should help protect the lens from damage. There is no lens cover.

BenQ's GV30 second useful feature is a nifty base support with a clever magnetic swivel tilt design that securely holds the GV30 projector upright while allowing you to oscillate the projector around like a ferris wheel up to 90 degrees and down to 45 degrees angle. 
The base support measures 11m in diameter and has an inward concave for the projector to sit on. The base has thick rubber feet on the bottom and it is made of weighted plastic (170 grams), which is reassuring. Speaking of tilt, the GV30 supports manual and auto vertical keystone correction (up to +40 and -40 degrees).

Potential deal breakers
  • 720p native resolution only, which means the projector is forced to upscale (enlarge) the image from a 1080p input source. This naturally, degrades the image quality; hence the higher the native resolution the better.
  • The internal battery does not support quick charge 
  • Cannot output 300 ANSI lumens from battery power - only supports Low Power Mode
  • You can’t airplay or Chromecast Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+ - unless you download the dedicated of the streaming service (e.g. Netflix app, Amazon Prime video app, etc)
  • High latency (~300ms) when connected to external bluetooth speakers (not ideal when watching movies)
  • The GV30 projector does not support Bluetooth and AndroidTV natively without the QS01 HDMI streaming dongle.
  • Nintendo Switch TV mode is not supported via USB-C connection - only via HDMI.
  • Does not support 4k playback from external storage
  • The built-in carry strap is a good idea but on a heavy expensive projector is probably not a good idea
  • Limited on-board button functionality requires the use of the included IR remote 
  • The QS01 dongle does not work connected to the outer HDMI port. You must detach the side panel of the projector, access the dongle compartment and connect it there - a bit like prying open the back panel of a tablet. The side panel easily unclips with the included orange tool but isn't the most user friendly experience.
  • No USB-A port
  • 300 ANSI lumens is a bright as some budget LCD projectors
  • DLP not as bright as LCD
  • No quadrilateral keystone correction
  • Not natively compatible with Netflix but there's a workaround to this via the “Apps Manager” download from Google Play. Then install the "Aptoide" app from the Apps Manager and insstall "Netflix" from Aptoide

Selling points for the GV30 projector
  • Built-in subwoofer with stereo speakers, making it a 2.1 channel rather than a 2.0 channel (stereo speakers only) which is more common
  • Auto focus and auto keystone correction. You can manually adjust focus and keystone via the remote
  • Can accept input from a 4k input source, which many projectors can't. Bear in mind though, that 4k playback will be an up-scaled (degraded) image quality
  • You can wire external speakers via the GV30 projector's 3.5mm audio port 
  • You can connect bluetooth speakers
  • Supports Bluetooth speaker mode, which switches off the led bulb and turns the BenQ GV30 into a bluetooth speaker.
  • Impressive sound -  2.1 channel speaker system - 16 watt RMS total
  • Internal rechargeable battery means you can move it comfortably around anywhere you want
  • 3 years warranty
  • Supports bluetooth AAC + absolute bluetooth volume via the QS01 dongle
  • Tripod mountable
  • You can stream YouTube videos, Netflix and Amazon Prime directly from a computer with Google Chrome browser, Safari (MacOS) or AirPlay (iOS/iPadOS)
  • Runs Android TV software from the dongle, letting you install apps via Google Play Store
  • You can stream from an Android device and iOS device. With an iPhone, you will need a Lightning to HDMI cable (not included)
  • Supports Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Roku and Apple TV via the HDMI port
  • Supports dual band Wifi (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz)
  • Physical IR remote and mobile remote control via the BenQ Smart Control app
  • You can connect bluetooth headphones and even Apple AirPods
  • Compatible with Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox via HDMI connection. The input lag is 51ms (1080p@60Hz).  
  • Supports up to 128GB USB-C flash drives (1080p@60Hz playback) - the flashdrive must be formatted to NTFS, FAT, or FAT32 file system (most flash drives are but be sure to check). 
  • The GV30 can project via HDMI and USB-C connection 
  • Handles heat well without overheating
  • Picture presets and sound presets for quickly adjusting the picture quality and audio quality 
  • The projector menu user interface can be superimposed, allowing you to operate the menu whilst watching content
  • Powerbank mode lets you charge external devices
  • Drop proof from half meter 
  • Cool briefcase form factor carry case
Overall, the BenQ GV30 is adequately priced against to the competition, which includes the Nebula Capsule Max which also has bluetooth and Android TV but built-in, which is a better user experience than having to pry open the GV30 projector to install the dongle! 
The Capsule Max is smaller and lightweight too; hence more portable but the BenQ GV30 has better specs such as 300 ANSI lumens and 16 watt speaker system (vs 200 ANSI and 8 watt for Capsule MAX). The GV30 also comes with a carry case; whereas the Capsule Max projector doesn't. 

 The GV30 projector comes with several accessories: a bluetooth streaming dongle, AAA batteries, IR remote (BenQ branded), 65 watt AC adapter with interchangeable international plugs, a weighted base support (171 grams), hardshell zippered case to carry and safely transport the GV30 projector. 
The zippered carry case measures 31cm long, 24cm wide and 13cm high and weighs 658 grams. It has a rugged cloth fabric outershell, soft fabric inner liner, dual metal zippers with rubberized pull tabs, a comfortable grab handle (lightly padded) and suitcase style opening. The pre-shaped foam insert is glued and cannot be removed.

The AC adapter (19V/3.42A) has a fixed DC barrel cable (1.7 meters) and a detachable figure8 power cord (1 meters), which is useful if you want to connect a different cable. The AC adapter measures 6.5cm long, 6.5cm wide and 3cm thick and weighs 333 grams. 
The BenQ IR remote is made of plastic with clicky and responsive rubber buttons. It measures 15.5cm long, 4.5cm wide and 1.5cm thick and weighs 56 grams. Total weight including the GV30 projector, zippered case, dongle and cables is 2.7kg. You can buy the BenQ GV30 projector from amazon.

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