This article was taken from The Sydney Morning Herald
Setting up a shoddy old projector next to the Hills Hoist for a backyard movie night with a white sheet as a screen is a part of Aussie culture. The catchily-named EF-100, Epson’s new portable laser projector, is here to make that experience a bit fancier.
At 210mm x 270mm x 88mm and 2.7kg it’s extremely portable. As long as you have access to a power point, and the courage to transport your projector there, you can use this thing anywhere.
It’s also extremely easy to set up. Once it’s plugged in it just needs some kind of HMDI video source, and it’s even got a USB port built in to power a device such as a Google Chromecast. It has a built-in 5W speaker, but if you’ve spent $1699 on a projector you can probably also spring for quality speakers or headphones (there’s a 3.5mm jack and Bluetooth).
The throw distance is reasonable; to get a 60-inch (1.5-metre) display you’ll need to set the unit 1.8-metres from the screen. The WXGA resolution is comparable to HD, so you probably don’t want to sit closer than 2.5m to that 60-inch screen anyway. The maximum screen size is 150 inches (3.8 metres), but you’ll need a lot of room to make it work.
What I was really impressed with was the brightness of the screen. In a reasonably dark room, with some daylight coming through the side of the curtains, I could enjoy Supergirl perfectly. But it was watching Legends of Tomorrow with the curtains open, on an admittedly cloudy winter’s day, that made this projector seem completely worth its high price; the show still looked great. At 2000 lumens, this thing is bright. Bright enough to make me concerned about the cleanliness of the wardrobe door I was projecting it on.
Even the colours looked great in the bright room. Sure, there was definitely a lot details missing from darker scenes, but it was still far better than you’d ever expect from a portable projector. Epson claims a dynamic contrast ratio in excess of 2,500,000:1.
Because this is a laser projector there’s no expensive bulb to replace, just an air filter every few years, which significantly lowers the barrier to entry.
It also runs really quietly, with a quoted max fan volume of 29db, which falls somewhere between “rustling leaves” and “quiet rural area” on the comparable noise scale. Or, if you find it hard to picture quiet rustling leaves, it’s about one 16th as loud as a vacuum cleaner, which is not very loud at all.
If money is just enough of an object that 4K projectors aren’t an option, but not so much of an object that you can afford having a good TV and a portable projector, this is absolutely the one to buy.