BenQ GV30 and GV11

Portable projectors have been around for a while, and while these devices are easy to take with you camping or out into the backyard, using one used to mean you were tied to power and limited to where you could point it. I just tested out the BenQ GV30 and BenQ GV11 portable projectors and they have put a new spin on the term ‘portable.’ Not only will these little projectors run on battery power so you can take them anywhere, but they tilt 135-degrees on their stand so you can project straight up at the ceiling. Did I mention they also function as a portable Bluetooth speaker so you can stream your playlists?

Here’s how I set up the BenQ GV30 and BenQ GV11 portable projectors, what the battery power is like, and all the different ways you can use them.

Features on the BenQ GV30 and BenQ GV11 portable projectors

BenQ portable projector review

The BenQ GV30 and BenQ GV11 portable projectors have similar designs, but the BenQ GV11 is a bit smaller than the GV30. They are both round and sit on a grey magnetic stand. Both BenQ projectors can rotate their lens 135 degrees and both use Google Android TV as the operating system. They also both connect via HDMI, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, and they use a USB-C power cable to charge. They are quite a few similarities between the two, but there are also a few notable differences.

BenQ GV30 portable projector features

benQ gv30

The BenQ GV30 portable projector measures L x W x H 37.39 cm (14.72 inches)  x 27.99 cm (11.01 inches) x 13.49 cm (5.31 inches) and weighs 1.6 kilograms (3.5 lbs).

  • 1280 x 720 resolution (720p HD)
  • DLP projector with LED and 300 ANSI lumens of brightness
  • 2.1 channel speaker with Extra Bass (uses two 4-watt midrange tweets and one 8-watt woofer)
  • Adjustable 135-degree projection angle with autofocus and vertical keystone
  • Can project 30 inches up to 120 inches
  • 30,000 hours LED lifespan in eco mode and 2.5-hour battery life
  • 60 Hz refresh rate, 16:9 aspect ratio, and 51 milliseconds response time
  • 97% Rec.709 wide colour gamut for a vibrant colour palette, and you can switch between optimized picture modes
  • Includes remote, and you can control it with the BenQ app
  • Google Android TV pre-installed
  • AirPlay and Chromecast wireless casting pairs with iOS, MacOS, Android, and PC
  • Carrying bag stores all of your projector gear and is drop-proof up to 2.3 ft

BenQ GV11 portable projector features

BenQ GV11

The BenQ GV11 portable projector measures L x W x H – 15.2cm (5.98 inches) x 14cm (5.51 inches) x 11.4cm (4.48 inches) and weighs 1 kilograms (2.2 lbs).

  • 854 x 480 resolution (480p)
  • DLP projector with LED and 200 ANSI lumens of brightness
  • 60 Hz refresh rate, 16:9 aspect ratio, and 51 milliseconds response time
  • 2.1 channel surround sound speakers with 270-degree 5-watt speaker with Bass Extensions
  • Adjustable 135-degree projection angle with auto vertical keystone
  • 160 minutes of battery life
  • 30,000 LED lifespan in eco mode
  • Can project 75 cm – 254 cm (30 inches to 100 inches) image size
  • Includes a remote or you can control it with the BenQ app
  • Leather loop on the projector makes it easy to carry with one finger
  • One HDMI 1.4b and USB-A media reader
  • Carrying bag stores all of your projector gear and is drop-proof up to 1.6ft.

Setting up the BenQ GV30 and BenQ GV11 portable projectors

BenQ GV30 projector review

Both the BenQ GV30 and GV11 are very easy to set up. They use a dongle that is placed inside of the projector to access Google Android TV. To install the dongle in the GV30 you’ll need to use the included orange key and rotate the side of the projector until it pops off. With the GV11, you open it by putting two fingers on one side and pushing up, at which point the side slides open.

You should install the dongle before you power up the projector, and I also recommend charging it before using it for the first time so you can have a full charge to play with. You don’t have to run either of these portable projectors just on battery power. If you’d rather have constant power you can keep it plugged into the wall.

Once you insert the dongle and turn the projector on, you’ll be prompted to log into your Google account or just set up the Google Android operating system. It’s the same TV operating system you’ll find on some new TVs. It pre-loads all of your favourite apps so Netflix, Disney+, and Prime are all there when you set it up.

Testing the BenQ GV30 and BenQ GV11

After using these projectors for a few weeks, I love how portable and versatile they are. They are lightweight enough to pick up and carry from room to room or outside if you’d like to host an outdoor movie night.

Project on your ceiling

BenQ GV30 Review

Having a projector that can pivot 135-degrees eliminates the need for a projector screen, and I absolutely love how you can rotate these projectors straight up and focus above you. You can lie in bed and watch movies anywhere, and you don’t need to add a big screen to your wall. I have high ceilings too, so I can watch a decently sized screen because the throw distance is far enough away. The possibilities are endless when you can pivot in multiple directions. I watched a lot of ambient videos with the GV30 and GV11, with most of them streaming at night before I was about to go to sleep. It’s so peaceful watching a stream of stars as you go to sleep, and I liked how I could use the remote to turn the volume down when I was falling asleep.

Brightness and picture quality on the BenQ GV30 and BenQ GV11

BenQ GV30 and GV11 projector review

The GV30 has 720p HD resolution and the GV11 has 480p. Given that the standard in most projectors is 1080p, I really thought the picture quality would be a bit washed out when projecting larger images. That’s not the case at all.

BenQ GV11

I set up the BenQ GV11 and watched a few episodes of Ted Lasso. It’s 480p, but you couldn’t tell that from the images on my ceiling. I was projecting a 60 or so inch screen and colours were bright and the picture was sharp. It was honestly hard to believe it was 480p. Standard TV shows look great, as do movies. The only time I noticed blur or washed-out colour was when I projected a very large screen size on my house wall at night. The colour wasn’t as sharp in large sizes, but that’s to be expected.

As for brightness, the GV11 has 200 ANSI lumens. This is definitely enough for a room with the curtains drawn, and it’s perfect for night viewing. It’s a bit too light for daytime, but it improves if you close the curtains. This projector doesn’t have auto focus, but it is easy to focus it. You can use the dial on the side of the projector to sharpen details.

BenQ GV30

The BenQ GV30 is a bit bigger, a bit brighter with 300 lumens, and it has 720p resolution. This projector has auto focus, and I really like how you can just turn it on, project it on any surface, and it will automatically focus the picture. The GV30 also has 97% Rec.709 wide colour gamut so colours are very bright on this projector, especially when you’re watching at night in a dark room. The picture quality is very sharp, and I was impressed with the contrast when watching dark video. I used AirPlay to stream my phone’s videos to the projector and watched them at 100-inch projection size. It’s not as sharp as smaller sizes but the picture quality is still impressive at larger sizes. I was connected to Wi-Fi but you can also stream via Bluetooth if you aren’t in range of Wi-Fi.

I took it outside and spent a few hours streaming videos with my kids while we made smores by the fire. It’s the perfect projector for movie nights, and I was able to rotate it up to a spot on my house’s back wall. I like how you can switch between picture modes depending on what you’re watching, and it was easy to adjust the brightness to compensate for any ambient light. I switched to the brightest mode to watch Avengers, and I actually preferred the picture quality at 50% brightness.

Battery life on BenQ GV30 and BenQ GV11

outdoor movie nights benq projector

I had a full charge when I began using the GV30 and GV11. The GV30 has a battery life of 2 to 2 1/2 hours when using eco-mode, but the battery life will depend on what you’re watching too. I was streaming movies on Disney+ using Wi-Fi and the battery was low at about one hour and 45 minutes. With the GV11 I ran through the battery in an hour and a half while streaming multiple YouTube videos, but I was also using the remote to search for content.

To save on battery you can reduce the brightness of the projector and keep it in eco-mode. I ran both projectors at 50% brightness and I thought that was more than bright enough for most viewing, so you can keep it at that level if you don’t want to run through battery too quickly.

Sound quality on BenQ GV30 and GV11

BenQ GV11

The sound quality on these portable projectors is one of my favourite features. It’s seriously impressive. You can stream music to the projectors and use them just as a speaker, and both could go head to head with the sound quality of most portable speakers I’ve tested out. Both BenQ projectors have 2.1 surround sound, and the BenQ GV30 has Bass Boost. I streamed a few Marvel movies and the GV30 can definitely dip into the low tones for movie soundtracks. If it’s too low for your movie, you can adjust the audio by turning Bass Boost off in the projector settings.

The GV11 doesn’t have Bass Boost but it does have Bass Extensions and 270-degree 5 watt speaker. It’s very clear, and the only time I found it was a bit off was when I turned it up to almost max volume. It wasn’t distorted at that level, but the audio did have a bit of an echo.

Should you choose BenQ portable projectors?

I thought the BenQ GV30 and BenQ GV11 are great examples of how much portable projectors have changed. They are multi-purpose pieces of tech that project onto anything, run on battery power, and have numerous ways to connect to your phone. They always have the best sound quality I’ve heard from a portable projector. They are bright enough for outdoor movie nights, and you can dim them with the remote to use as a night light in your child’s bedroom or to stream ambient videos.

I love how both can tilt up to the ceiling. If I had to choose between the two I’d pick the GV30, but that’s only because of the brighter colour palette and the bigger speaker. No matter which you choose, I think you’ll be happy this was the summer you picked up a portable projector. You can find the BenQ GV30 and BenQ GV11 at Best Buy.

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag