I Bought a Portable Projector for My Family, and It’s Even Better than I Expected

published Jun 27, 2024
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Child watching projection on ceiling.
Credit: Stephanie Ganz

When I was a kid, I grew up with a TV in practically every room of the house — and they were almost always on. Don’t get me wrong: I love TV, but when I started growing my own family, we decided to stick with just one TV in a main living area. And for the most part, that choice has served us well. 

But as my kids are growing older, we’re finding more challenges with having just one TV. Sometimes my 12-year-old wants to play Dreamlight Valley while my 6-year-old wants to watch YouTube. Other times, my husband and I want to entertain our friends in the living room, while our kids want to watch movies or play video games with our friends’ kids. 

Rather than proliferating the house with more permanent screens, we opted to invest in a portable projector, and it’s been absolutely perfect for our family’s evolving screen time needs.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

The BenQ GV31 Projector Meets All of Our Family’s Needs

A few years ago, we picked up an outdoor projector for screening movies and concerts in our backyard, and we were really pleased with it, so when we decided to add an indoor projector, we went back to BenQ and selected the GV31 Portable Smart Projector. Like our outdoor projector, the GV31 has incredible picture quality (pretty sure it’s better than our actual TV) and excellent sound quality, thanks to the built-in speakers. 

Because it’s portable by design, the GV31 is a great choice for moving from bedroom to bedroom upstairs. It can go in my tween’s room when they have friends over for a nonstop afternoon of gaming, which is exactly what we did for their 12th birthday. It can also go in my 6-year-old’s room for the millionth viewing of Descendants, and it can go in my room when I’m too tired to watch Rock the Block from the sofa and need it to be projected onto the ceiling above my bed. Yes, this device can project directly onto the ceiling with no loss of quality, so if you don’t have a big blank wall or a screen, you can just lie back and watch it on the ceiling. The kids, especially, love that feature.

The BenQ GV31 Is Easy to Use

Fortunately, the GV31 is extremely easy to use. As I followed the instructions for setup, it almost felt like the projector was setting itself up. I found a flat surface about 7 to 8 feet away from the wall, and then just followed the steps to get the projector ready to do its thing. The first time I did it, it took about 10 minutes. There’s also a remote so you can control the projector from your seat, which is quite handy. 

The projector comes with Netflix built in, so as soon as you set up the device, you can start streaming movies and shows, but if you prefer to watch another platform, you can use Apple AirPlay and Google Chromecast to stream directly from your phone.

The Projector Goes Where We Go

One of the things I love the most about this projector is how easy it is to pack up and take with us on vacation. I opted for the carrying case add-on, and it’s been super useful for keeping the projector safe during travel. We take the GV31 with us on family trips to the beach so the kids can have movie nights in their room while we enjoy the living room. If there’s a rainy day, we set up the projector in one of the kids’ rooms like a movie theater, with candy and popcorn, and project their favorite movies on a blank wall for hours of entertainment. And because the speaker quality is so great, we can also use this as a portable speaker for when my 6-year-old just has to have an impromptu Taylor Swift dance party.

Buy: BenQ GV31 Portable Projector, $599 from BenQ