Epson are not strangers to the projector market, with projectors ranging from the ultra-portable EMP-765 to the home theatre capable EMP-TW200. The EMP-S3 projector, an entry-level model, sports a native resolution of 800 x 600, a bright but low-power lamp and almost instant power-on/off.
- Inexpensive, includes presentation remote control, high-intensity low-power light source
- Low native resolution, blue predominance in image
The EMP-S3 provides a huge, bright image for a relatively low price.
Price$ 1,699.00 (AUD)
The EMP-S3 has quite a small footprint, and weighing just 2.5kg, it could be considered a portable projector.
The inputs and outputs are located at the back of the unit; they include VGA in/out, S-Video in, composite video in, L/R audio in and a USB port. Connecting the projector to your computer's USB port allows the projector's remote control to act as a mouse. This is convenient for presentations, although the joystick control on the remote is not tactile enough to provide complete mouse support.
Alongside the joystick are the projector controls, which allow adjustment to keystone correction, picture qualities and lamp controls. A zoom control is also accessible through the remote or the on-board controls. To increase or decrease the projected image, users can simply hit the 'zoom' button on the remote.
The projector takes less than 10 seconds after power-up to achieve full brightness. This is amazingly fast when compared to projectors such as the Optoma MovieTime DV-10, which boots up in around 30 seconds. We noticed that the EMP-S3 does not require any cool down period. That is, when you hit the power button, it turns off.
When plugging in a video source, the EMP-S3 immediately recognises the source of video, and optimises the on-screen image. We found the projected image to have over-accentuated tones of blue, although this could be compensated for by altering the colour balance through the Colour Mode menu.
Sound can be routed into the projector, but sound reproduction is poor due to the 1W mono inbuilt speaker. We would only recommend using the internal sound if there was no other option.
The quality of the projected image varied, depending on the input source. From a PC, text was readable but slightly aliased, even when running at the native resolution of 800 x 600.
The Epson supports scaled resolutions of up to 1280 x 1024, although the effects of scaling are evident in text, which suffers escalating aliasing effects as the resolution is increased.
Video, on the other hand, was exceptional. Running through a DVD or TV set top box, video projection was clear and bright. The lamp is rated at 1600 ANSI lumens at its brightest setting, and this was verified by the bright projected image in our tests, viewable in a variety of ambient lighting conditions.
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