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BenQ GV31 Review: Compact Projector Tech

Pros

  • Eye-catching, unique round design.
  • Improved Full HD resolution and support for 4K and HDR input.
  • Versatile connectivity options, including Wi-Fi and Android TV.
  • Enhanced image and sound quality compared to its predecessor.

Cons

  • Additional cost for the transport case.
  • Manual installation of the HDMI dongle required.
  • Contrast and brightness not on par with larger projectors.
  • Optimal performance requires a dark environment.

The BenQ GV31 projector immediately stands out with its distinctive round shape, offering an eye-catching design, impressive technical capabilities, and unrestricted mobility, thanks to its built-in battery.

BenQ GV31 1080p LED Portable Ceiling Projector 3

As the successor to the now-unavailable GV30, the BenQ GV31 is slightly larger than its predecessor and projects in Full HD resolution, a significant upgrade from the GV30’s 1280 x 720 pixels. The GV31 also supports 4K input and can handle High Dynamic Range (HDR) content, but it should be noted that while it processes these high-quality inputs, its contrast ratio does not rival that of larger, full-scale projectors.

The GV31 retains the unique round housing of its predecessor, which can be mounted on a tripod or placed on the included dish-shaped base. The projector is stable on its base and can be easily adjusted to direct the lens optimally towards the screen. However, there are some cost-saving measures: the GV31 lacks the practical transport case and HDMI cable that were included with the GV30, now available only at an additional cost.

The projector determines the image size by its distance from the screen, with automatic keystone correction and focus adjustment. Although there is a slight increase in brightness compared to its predecessor, it’s advisable to keep the projector close to the screen to prevent the image from becoming too dim. We have measured and noted the brightness and contrast values for a one-meter image diagonal in the product table.

The GV31 supports 4K resolution with HDR at the input, but it downscales to Full HD. The HDR signal is also processed according to the projector’s capabilities, so expectations for contrast levels akin to those of a home cinema projector should be tempered.

For optimal performance, especially in battery mode where the projector switches to eco mode for longer battery life, it’s recommended to use the projector in a dark room or during the evening. In our tests, the projector lasted almost three hours on battery.

BenQ GV31 1080p LED Portable Ceiling Projector 4

Connectivity Options

The GV31 is versatile, supporting standard inputs like HDMI and USB, and is ideal for streaming from the internet thanks to the included Wi-Fi dongle, which may already be pre-installed. The Android TV interface further facilitates streaming, with a wide range of apps from various streaming services readily available.

To fully utilise the Play Store and Google Assistant, user account registration is required. Despite being labelled as a television in the system, this should not cause confusion. The projector does not necessarily need to be registered, as content can also be transmitted through standard connections like HDMI, USB, and smartphone mirroring. The projector menu has been significantly updated, making installation and settings more user-friendly.

Image and Sound Quality

The GV31 handles HDR content effectively. While it only projects in Full HD natively, it can accept heavier content like UHD and HDR. The colour reproduction is noteworthy, nearly covering the HDTV standard colour space, especially in “Cinema” mode. The energy mode can be adjusted in three levels: Normal, Eco, and power-saving Battery mode.

The audio quality of the GV31 is commendable. Three speakers, including two broadband and one bass speaker, provide a room-filling sound that is suitable for smaller spaces. External speakers can be connected for enhanced sound quality, either wired or via Bluetooth.

BenQ GV31 1080p LED Portable Ceiling Projector 2

Conclusion

The BenQ GV31 is a visually striking, technically adept projector offering a blend of style and functionality. Its enhanced resolution, versatile connectivity, and improved image and sound quality make it a compelling choice for those seeking a compact and stylish projector. While it excels in design and user-friendly features, the GV31’s performance in contrast and brightness is more suited for darker environments and does not match larger projectors. The need for additional purchases and manual installation of components are minor drawbacks. Overall, the GV31 is well-suited for users looking for a portable, easy-to-use projector with good connectivity and streaming capabilities, especially for casual viewing and presentations.

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Richard Garrett

Richard Garrett

As an expert on the latest techy stuff, the primary focus is PCs and laptops. Much of his time is split between smartphones, tablets and audio, focusing on the latest devices.
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