BenQ GS50 Ruggedized Portable 1080P Projector Review - Summary

September 15, 2021 / By Project Reviews Staff
Portable for outdoor adventures.

The GS50 is a 1080p Full HD LED projector that is rated at 500 ANSI lumens. In addition, the LED light source is rated to last up to 20,000 hours on Normal power mode and up to 30,000 hours on Eco mode, giving you years of maintenance-free operation.

The BenQ GS50 is packed with smart Android TV features including casting.

The GS50 is built with the Android TV Operating System with 5000+ native apps. Smart features are seamlessly integrated. The on-screen menus are well laid out and easy to navigate. The GS50 is loaded with popular streaming apps like Amazon Prime Video and YouTube. In addition, the Google Play Store and Google Play Games are only a button press away for streaming and playing video games directly from the Android TV interface.

The BenQ GS50 is ruggedized for the outdoors.

BenQ GS50’s ruggedized chassis is excellent for those always on the move. The IPX2 splash-resistant rating and 2.3-foot drop resistance thanks to its double protection of 1mm-thick water-resistant TPU inner layer and a drop-resistant outer resin are sure to please outdoor enthusiasts and road warriors. I, for one, appreciate the worry-free durable design.

The 2.1 channel sound system is tuned by treVolo.

The built-in 2.1 channel audio system by treVolo features dual 5-watt midrange tweeters and a powerful sounding for its size 10-watt woofer. The extra bass from the woofer adds a little extra boom to music and cinematic sound effects.

VALUE PROPOSITION

Portability is highly sought after for us outdoorsy-type people.

I have tested numerous small projectors, i.e., Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Streaming Laser Projector, XGIMI Halo, Phillips PicoPix Max, BenQ X1300i, XGIMI Horizon series, and the XGIMI Elfin. Out of these projectors, the BenQ GS50 is the only projector ruggedized for the outdoors.

The XGIMI Halo is the only 1080p LED portable smart projector with a built-in battery, and built-in speakers that I have had my hands on that compares with the BenQ GS50.

The XGIMI Halo was awarded “Best in Class” by Projector Reviews. The XGIM Halo has a modern-looking compact chassis with a fit and finish to complement the interior of almost any home. The BenQ GS50’s compact chassis is ruggedized for usage outdoors and it includes a carrying case.

The GS50 comes with a carrying case.

The GS50 has better color accuracy out of the box, whereas the Halo has a higher brightness rating. The GS50 has dual 5-watt speakers and a single 10-watt woofer by treVolo, and the Halo has dual 5-watt speakers by Harman/Kardon. Both of these sound systems sound amazing for how tiny the speakers are. I have used both the BenQ GS50 and XGIMI Halo frequently as a Bluetooth speaker. I give the edge to the BenQ GS50 with its 2.1 channel speaker setup due to the 10-watt woofer.

The BenQ GS50’s built-in battery provided 2 hours and 26 minutes of video playback on the pre-production GS50 I had. The GS50’s Picture Mode was on Cinema, Sound Mode was on Cinema, and the Power Mode was on Normal. The XGIMI Halo built-in battery provided 2 hours, 54 minutes worth of video playback on the pre-production Halo I had. The Halo’s Image Mode was on Standard, and Brightness Mode was set to Customize. Battery times will vary based on factors like image settings and volume level.

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The BenQ GS50 and XGIMI Halo both come in at an MSRP of $799, so it comes down to what is most important to you in a 1080p LED portable smart projector with a built-in battery and built-in speakers. If you are looking for the brightest, smallest, and lightest portable 1080p LED smart projector with a built-in battery and built-in speakers, then perhaps the XGIMI Halo is for you. If you are looking for a 1080p LED portable smart projector with a built-in battery and built-in speakers that are ruggedized, has increased color accuracy and has a 2.1 channel audio system with a 10-watt woofer, then I do believe the BenQ GS50 is for you.

The GS50 packs a lot of features and performance into a chassis small enough to hold in one hand.

If you are looking for a more compact BenQ LED portable smart projector with a built-in battery and built-in speakers, BenQ is releasing their GV30, which is a 720 HD resolution projector, at the end of August 2021.

Pros

  • Ruggedized for outdoor usage
  • Padded carrying case
  • Built-in battery
  • LED light source
  • Up to 30,000-hour light source life
  • Autofocus
  • Auto vertical keystone correction
  • Impressive brightness for the size
  • CinematicColor for color accuracy
  • HDR10/HLG
  • 2.1 Channel treVolo (dual 5-watt midrange tweeters & single 10-watt woofer)
  • Android TV
  • Google Assistant

Cons

  • Remote control lacks a backlight
  • Single side-mounted HDMI input

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