I suppose I should start by saying you don’t NEED an outdoor projector in your life, not really NEED, but it is amazing how many times we have used this piece of kit since it arrived – and it arrived right at the end of the Summer. Had we had it at the beginning of the school holidays I think we would have used it a lot lot more.
So why have I got one, and why do you need one?
Back in the Summer I spent 36 hours in Bavaria with BenQ at the launch of their latest projector into the market, the GS1. They invited a few of us over to the launch and to explain to us what this little bit of kit was all about. The GS1 is not only compact and easy to transport but it is designed for outdoor use and their aim is to market it at those who camp and caravan regularly. Whilst this is a great idea, I think they also need to aim it at parents who want to entertain their kids in a fun way without extortionate trips to the cinema. As whilst this product isn’t exactly cheap, it isn’t ludicrously expensive either.
One of the tricky things (for the purpose of this review) is showing you where we have used it as often the camera doesn’t want to take a photo of the light form the projector when it is so dark. However I have managed to include a couple of photos of the GS1 in use! Once on the outside of our house (just because!) and once on the ceiling of the girls bedroom (this is now a regular treat!). We have also used it to project onto a marquee for my Sister in Law’s 40th birthday, onto a wall at a holiday cottage, and in the garden onto the screen that you can buy to accompany it. Next Summer I am also going to use it to put on showings of my favourite films like Dirty Dancing and Grease and introduce the girls to these classics!
So does it work?
Well it turns on and off quickly. It doesn’t need to warm up and cool down like our HD projector we have in the basement. You can use it on the bed, on a chair, pop it on a pile of books in the garden, or as we have done, use a crate of beer to get the projector in the right position.
Others have found it easy to set up although to be honest I have found it quite fiddly and sometimes getting the screen to project in the right position so you can change the settings has dumfounded me, however we do always get it working.
You get a very good picture with a very short ‘drop’ and it produces a screen of 60 inches at just 1 metre.
The projector does have a re-chargeable battery pack, or you can run it from the mains. It is also splash proof/child proof/wine proof!
It has it’s own internal speakers, but these aren’t great. You can however connect it to decent speakers with the bluetooth connection or with cables. We have connected it to our TV’s sound bar too.
We have used this mainly to play DVD’s from the laptop or a DVD player. It can be used to sync films from your phone or tablet but to be honest that hasn’t worked that successfully for us as this relies upon good WIFI or 4g signal and it has felt a little buggy in this regard. This for us though hasn’t hampered it use as if we are taking it with us and traveling about we would simply take the laptop with us to play the films from. Installed Netflix however would be a great idea.
If you want to find out more about the actual technical details (as I am not really one for all that) you can head over to the BenQ website. However if you simply want to know that we think (with a little tinkering) that this is a great projector to buy for all sorts of occasions, then this is the review for you!
NB: We were sent a projector and screen by BenQ in order for us to review but all views and opinions are my own.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.