Movie night

Outdoor Cinema, Any Time, Any Where

Can you remember a little while back I had a fabulous trip to Bavaria with BenQ to check out there latest projector. The GS1. It’s small, easy to use and designed for outdoor use. Perfect for camping and caravanning.

BenQ GS1
BenQ GS1

You may also know that I booked my first ever outdoor cinema trip this year and it was a disaster. With storms, rain and a deflating screen.

Anniversary celebrations in the rain
Anniversary celebrations in the rain

Well I never should have bothered with the outdoor cinema trip because now I’ve got my very own BenQ GS1 and I can have my cinema experience whenever I want. Inside. Outside. Pretty much any time of the day too. In my jammies, with wine, food and without having to queue to have a wee.

In the comfort of our garden
In the comfort of our garden

So what went wrong with our outdoor cinema experience. Well it was chucking it down and half of Norfolk was flooded, but we’d bought tickets so we had to go. We had to wait until it was dark, so we were wet and cold. They couldn’t get the projector level. The picture was only so, so. Oh and then of course there was the power cut. The screen deflated and the projector couldn’t run.

Enjoying our popcorn, thanks Monin
This was as much as we saw, not great

Literally none of these things would have been an issue with the GS1.  So in actual fact we went home, hung a bed sheet over our wardrobe and projected a film to watch in bed. Way more civilised and a lot warmer.

When we do it the GS1 way
When we do it the GS1 way

You see, with the GS1 if it’s raining then you postpone or go inside. If it’s not 5 minutes and you’re good to go. You can project onto a screen, the side of the house, fence or a bed sheet.

It turns on and off quickly. No warming up and cooling down required. It doesn’t get too hot either. You can pop it on a tripod, a stack of books, the floor or a table. It doesn’t matter.

Projecting onto a cat doesn't work though
Projecting onto a cat doesn’t work though

It’s easy to set up, with simple controls. Helpful screens and an automatic keystone function. This is what keeps the picture square. You will get a superb picture with no effort. You can project a screen of 60 inches at just 1 metre and go even larger if you want just by moving the projector further away.

It has a rechargeable battery pack, or you can run it from the mains. So you don’t have to worry about power sources, or power cuts. It is drop tested. Has a splash proof cover so if it does rain you’ve got more than enough time to pack everything away without worrying, or if you knocked a drink over the projector it’s not the end of the world.

Running the GS1 from my laptop
Running the GS1 from my laptop

It has it’s own internal speakers, but if you want something better or louder you can use the Bluetooth connection for additional sound. So you can link it with your cars speakers, a portable speaker or a sound bar with ease.

I can use the HDMI cable to hook it up to my laptop, or my Sky Box I suppose although I’ve only tried it out with my laptop. I can plug my Google Cast straight into and cast whatever I want from my phone and tablet. I can plug in a Memory Stick and use that (it has USB 3.0 and 2.0 slots). I can use the apps within the GS1 itself, so things like Prime and Kodi can be installed.

Good picture in light
You still get a great picture, even when there’s light

It’s really light, a lot lighter than a TV. So if you are using a caravan a lot and weight is of key importance, this is perfect for you. It’s small too. Just a bit bigger than your hand.

This little thing is so versatile it’s crazy.  For all the hard facts you can head to the BenQ website and check it out. But from a users point of view, one who loves a gadget, is fairly tech savvy and has been using the GS1 this is what I think.

Great picture in the dark
It’s an amazing picture in the dark

On initial set up it appears quite complex, but you get the hang of things it’s really not. We haven’t had to turn to the manual so it can’t be that bad. In fact it takes 3 seconds to set it up, then about 20 minutes to have a play, get used to things and really get to grips with what it offers.

The internal speakers are decent but it is a lot better when you Bluetooth to external speakers.

Movie night
Movie night

You should be able to screen mirror your phone or tablet directly with the GS1 but my Google Nexus won’t do that, it only allows you to Cast which is oh so slightly different, but as we have a Google Cast dongle that’s fine. My husband’s Android phone will mirror but it’s not that easy, uses a lot of phone battery and the picture is literally what is on the phone screen, so you cannot turn the screen off or flick to other apps without affecting the playback.

What you get
What you get

I wish the GS1 had full Android capability not just the apps that are installed. This would open up a whole host of possibilities and make it so incredibly user friendly.

I love that it has a standard tripod fitment and that it is so light I can use it with my flexi tripod, so I can mount it anywhere.

Using it indoors
Using it indoors

The picture quality is amazing, even in quite bright light. Just switch the mode your in from daylight, to normal or starlight.

It is super portable, comes with it’s own padded carry case and all the cables you need, even a HDMI are included. It is sturdy and I’m happy using it around the toddler.

The splash proof cover is a really good touch
The splash proof cover is a really good touch

I love that now when the football is on my husband would rather use the projector in another room and cast it from his phone, so I get left to watch whatever I want in peace and quiet. So worth it!

Because I can plug in a memory stick or link the projector to my laptop you don’t need WiFi to use it. You also don’t need a single cable. This makes it ideal for travel.

Compact and light, all in a travel case
Compact and light, all in a travel case

It looks great.

So would I recommend the BenQ GS1 Travel Projector? YES! Especially if you camp or caravan a lot, but also if you just want some large screen flexibility and fun at home.

The BenQ GS1 Projector
The BenQ GS1 Projector

Disclosure – we were gifted our projector and screen in return for an honest review.

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