A large amount of tech news is dominated by updates and chatter about televisions. From improvements to size and resolution, they’re getting bigger and cheaper. Televisions are the immediate consideration for your home. Epson has released their EF-100 projector to make you rethink that choice. It wants you to be thinking about impressive display and unit size, portability and clarity with the world’s smallest 3LCD laser projector. It wants you to be dreaming about streaming movies outdoors onto a wall or a sheet hanging from a clothesline, or playing games on the ceiling. But is the EF-100 successful in this?
Size and style
The EF-100 is impressively small and portable (230 x 210 x 92mm), without feeling cheap and basic. The body has a “leather-like” finish, copper edges and rounded corners. It’s certainly a stunning slab of tech that fit well and discreetly into our home media set up. The shape makes it stable on any side, even on it’s back so you can project onto the ceiling for viewing when you are lying down.
Epson said it’s minimal size gives users more flexibility as it can be placed and project in any direction – walls, ceilings and floors This is certainly true. Adjusting the shape and size of the projection was simple and straight forward. Hitting a button on the remote brought up a menu to adjust the vertical and horizontal skew of the image so we were able to project onto blank patches of walls at unique and obscure angles and still create a perfectly rectangle image.
We found setting up any device as simple as plugging in and getting comfortable on the couch. A removable door on the back houses a void big enough to discreetly store an Amazon Fire or Roku streaming stick. This is also where you’ll find access to HDMI, mini-USB and USB Type-A. The HDMI was at times sensitive to slight movements of the cable which caused it to lose connection before refinding it moments later.
Seeing is believing
The laser light source features 3LCD technology, projects at 2,000lm in colour brightness with a dynamic contrast of 2,500,000:1 means it’s bright and vibrant and can project without having to close the curtains. Even with windows open to let a cool breeze into the room, the projection was legible and playing a PlayStation was perfectly doable. Playing games on a display that was up to 150 inches wide gave them a big-event feel where every detail on a pitch or barren-wasteland map was sharp and deserved your attention. Details that would usually go unnoticed on a smaller screen. It is utterly immersive.
The EF-100 also has low fan noise of only 26db so you’ll really have to try and listen out for its fans – they won’t irritate you at all. If the projectors built-in 5W speaker (which is clear and good but a little shallow) isn’t enough for you, the projector is Bluetooth compatible as well as having an audio port.
Epson sells projectors that cost double and three times this amount but it’s hard to see how their specs and image quality can be any better than the EF-100, it’s just that clear and vibrant. The only downside and reason why we can’t see this being in living/media rooms around the country is the price. With an RRP of $1699AUD, it’s a big ask for consumers to take the plunge and move towards this newer, more-portable technology and leave the thought of TV’s behind. But if you do it, it’s worth it.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Highlights: Large display size, able to project at obscure angles, clear image, low fan noise
Lowlights: Cables are sensitive to movement, price
Review based on a EF-100B model supplied by EPSON. This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are that of the writer’s.
The EF-100 is available now from www.epson.com.au/projectors and from all Epson retailers and resellers.