Epson – EMP-71 Projector review

portable digital projector
Photo of Epson – EMP-71 Projector
£2,149 + VAT

Odd though it may sound, ‘portable’ LCD projectors come in a range of sizes and shapes. The Epson EMP-71, described as ultra-portable, is one of the bigger, bulkier devices to bear the description. It has a similar footprint to a notebook PC, but is around three times as thick and weighs in at 3.1kg.

The projector has a 160W lamp which can project up to 11m and provides 1,000 ANSI Lumens (a measurement of brightness). The LCD panel in front of the lamp is a true XGA 1,024 by 768 pixel device, so most PC and notebook graphics outputs display correctly on the EMP-71.

Controls on the top surface of the projector consist of a power button and several others for help, keystone (trapezoid) adjustment and source selection. There are two more controlling the zoom function. The controls are duplicated on the supplied remote control, which can also be used to highlight items on the screen and has its controls backlit – an intelligent feature for when you’re presenting in a darkened room.

Input selection is largely automatic and the projector is very good at picking up input from PCs, TV and DVD. These sources can be connected through the 9-pin SVGA, S-Video or composite inputs. There are separate sockets for audio in and out, too and a 1W mono speaker built-in.

There’s an internal, thermostatically-controlled fan to keep the lamp cool, but this is quiet in operation and as long as you leave the ventilation ducts free – there are a lot of them – the projector itself runs coolly.

The image produced is clean and well-aligned, with little in the way of colour fringing, thanks to Epson’s Panel-on-Prism technology. This fixes the relative positions of the LCD panels and the optical prism used to direct the projection beam.

As with all digital projectors, you need to bear in mind the cost of a replacement bulb (or lamp, to use the correct terminology). There shouldn’t be much problem in office use, but with an expected life of just 2,000 hours, a family using this projector for home cinema could be needing a new lamp inside two years, at a cost of just under £500. It’s more suited, therefore, to business use.

Company: Epson

Contact: 01442 227227


Verdict
With an asking price of over £2,500 (including VAT) at discount rates, the EMP-71 isn't a cheap projector. While it gives a clear, bright XGA resolution picture and is easy to use, it's not as portable as some and to be truly competitive, it needs to cost around £300 less.