View Powered by Trusted Reviews Projectors are a great alternative to televisions for big-screen entertainment, providing larger viewable pictures for less money. The only major cons are that they usually need a darkened room and require occasional but expensive lamp replacements. LED also allows projectors to be smaller and lighter. At the other end of the scale we have pocket-sized Pico projectors like the Vivitek Qumi Q2 , but those compromise by offering sub-HD resolutions and low maximum brightness. Mini projectors are a good compromise, with HD ready resolutions, decent brightness, and without overly slimming your wallet. Other specs include a 2, contrast ratio and maximum brightness of lumens.

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Another first is the embedded Apple docking connector on the top of the GP2. Just slide your iPod or iPhone onto the connector, and your Apple device sits at a comfortable angle for making selections. As an added convenience, the GP2 has a complete set of Apple device control keys on its remote control. It is a versatile projector that serves both small business meetings and personal entertainment activities.

It is basically square from every viewing angle, and since it flares slightly outward as it rises from its base, it is a non-traditional design to say the least. But that impression quickly fades when you see how many devices the GP2 can accommodate. Since it uses LEDs for illumination, the GP2 fires up quickly and presents its home screen where various sources can be selected for viewing. There is no source selection key on the remote control, so when a source change is needed, the home screen is the only place to do so.

Ambient light is an issue for any lumen projector, and the GP2 is no exception. In a normally lit room, keeping the image size down to about a 50" diagonal assures a bright enough image for a small group. Once the GP2 is up and running, you will find the image quality excellent for data presentations with good saturation and crispness. Video images in the preset modes are not quite spot on, but going to User mode solves that limitation by increasing contrast and decreasing brightness. One of four color temperatures can be selected to complete the image tuning.

With those adjustments made, the video image is very good with excellent flesh tones, well-defined highlights, and good black levels though slightly muddy shadow rendering. It is much quieter that its competitors, and with its pair of 2-watt speakers cranked up, you will be almost unaware of the fan noise.

If you are sensitive to the fan noise, you can always switch to Eco mode where the fan noise is nearly undetectable with any modest audio content. Key Features Connectivity - Virtually all pico and mini-projectors use small connectors to save precious space.

The GP2 follows suit and supplies adapters and cables that expand to full-size connectors. Its mini-sized connectors are located on the right side of the projector, and adapters and cables are supplied that provide full-sized VGA, HDMI digital, composite video, and USB connections.

There is also an SD connector on the rear of the projector. Note that the adapter cables are short typically 15" , so you will have to keep the GP2 close to its source unless you want to carry additional longer cables.

The battery snaps onto the bottom of the GP2 and roughly doubles the size and weight of the projector. The battery automatically charges whenever the power brick is plugged into the GP2. Full charging time is a hefty three hours, but for the convenience of power cable free operation, it may be worth the wait. Once a driver is loaded into the computer and a USB connection is made, data, video, and audio files may be transferred to the 1. An added benefit is that the dock charges the Apple devices connected to it.

The presets look good for data presentations, but they need a little tweaking for video content. Fortunately, there is a User mode where image adjustments can be made, and a few minutes of work with contrast, brightness, and color temperature settings is worthwhile. Menu Selection and Navigation- Some small projectors come with no remote control and force you to make selections on a built-in control panel.

The GP2 supplies a remote that makes adjustments a breeze. There is a built-in touch-sensitive control panel on top of the GP2 in case you misplace the remote, but with the remote in hand, there is no need to deal with the control panel.

In fact, the controls on top of the projector are very sensitive, so care must be taken not to make an inadvertent selection. The Home menu lets you select the source you desire and it also has a Settings option for projector adjustments such as Eco mode, auto keystone correction, etc. This is as complete a source selection as we have seen on a projector in this class.

Minimal layering makes menu navigation very easy. Performance Brightness and Uniformity -The GP2 is not the brightest projector in the mini class, but it is one of the few that meets its published brightness specification. In Bright mode, the GP2 put up lumens, and the other presets performed as follows: Standard and Game - lumens, Cinema - lumens. With a mostly white image, there was a slight background color variation green to red across the image from left to right, but it was unnoticeable in most circumstances.

Image Size and Offset - The GP2 has a throw ratio that puts up large images from relatively short distances from the screen. For example, in a small meeting room, the GP2 can put up a 50" diagonal from just five feet away. The centerline of the lens is aligned with the bottom of the image, so a tabletop mounting works well in this example. Still, it is likely that the GP2 will be in the trash heap long before the LEDs reach their useful life of 20, hours 30, hours in Eco mode.

Keep in mind that if the LEDs do fail for some reason, the projector must be returned to a dealer or the factory for repair or replacement. About 10 seconds after you switch the GP2 on, you have a full brightness image, and shutdown is instantaneous. At about half volume, the bass response got muddy and at slightly more volume, the treble response fell off and developed a bit of a buzz.

It also has an ample internal memory for many applications. It is not the brightest or least expensive mini-projector, but it does redefine the word "versatility" in its class.


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