I am a teacher and am using two versions of this projector currently in my classrooms, the EX7210 and the EX3210. This review includes both general information about the two projectors and describes the differences between them.
General review of the Epson Multimedia Projector: Applicable to both models
The projector itself is smaller than I expected. It is also reasonably light and comes with a carry case for easy transport. As teacher who moves from room to room the portability is handy. The carry case has a strap long enough to throw it over your shoulder, a real plus when you are juggling stuff between classrooms. The case has a front pocket for the power cord and remote as well. The manual and CD (for extra info) are originally packed inside this front pocket of the case.
The projector is absolutely idiot proof when it comes to inputs. You can push the button that says Source Search and it will find where you are trying to input and start displaying the information.
Light output is strong enough that Powerpoint presentations can be seen with the projector 20 feet away from the screen (this is as far back as I can get it in the room in partially lit room. Partially lit in this case is defined as the overhead lights are off but the three windows do not have blinds. The room is bright enough that the students can easily see their papers and take notes (and I can see the students!). These projectors put out 2800 lumens (a lumen is a unit of visible light emitted by a source). The school has 1500 lumen projectors, which I rarely used because the lights had to be all the way off for the student to see the projections, and that leads to trouble.
It has built in speakers and they are loud enough for use in a room with 50 students but just barely. In the smaller room with 25 kids it is great. If you use it with a laptop I would suggest adding some speakers for sound.
Noise and Heat:
They hum. The fan whirs. Not very loud but it is audible. They get hot, and fast. This is one problem because you need to let them sit for a few minutes after using so the fan can cool the bulb down before you unplug it. That means I have to remember to turn them off a few minutes before class ends. If you are leaving it in one place this is not a problem. If you have to run, it might be.
Want to watch movies? You want the EX7210 with the HDMI input.
I see two main difference between the EX7210 and the EX3210 (besides the color) . The first is the inputs. The EX7210 has HDMI inputs and a higher resolution (1280 X 800 for the EX7210 and 800 X 600 for the E3210). The difference is clearly visible. If you are using the projector for video (or showing movies) the EX7210 definitely provides a clearer picture. Projected on a screen from 10 feet away movies are clear, sharp and very little pixilation is visible.
Just want to use it for presentations?
If you are using the projector for business presentations (Powerpoint and such) the lower end EX3210 is plenty good enough. I have often been using it to project a grid onto the classroom chalkboard for graphing. I can then switch to the next image with the answer and the student can see if their solution was correct. This is a godsend, as it is difficult to graph on a chalkboard with any accuracy without a grid. The projector even has a setting for the chalkboard, which takes into account its greenish grey color and counteracts the color change. It is bright enough to project a clear grid. The only small problem is keeping out of the way so you don't block the image.
And other uses
The projector can also be used in science class to project a clear slide of one color of light to show color absorption and reflection. I know this is not what it was designed for at all, but it works very well for this purpose. I simply made an image of the various colors I want to compare and since the projector uses LCD to make the light the wavelengths are very precise. Although this will probably not be useful for most users it does show you how clear a projection the device yields.
I originally tried to use the projectors with really cheap (think less than a cup of high end coffee) 25 foot long HDMI cables. This caused some problems, with the signal dropping out every once in a while. Digital is either all there, or not. With a slightly better (think two fast food dinners) 25 foot cable I did not have this problem.
The replacement lamp is currently just over 160 dollars on Amazon. Since it is rated for 4,000 hours that is a lot of science and math.
I cannot speak to the price/value for these projectors (as I only have these and the school ones but they are a LOT better than the school provided ones. Everybody wants to borrow them, and since they are easy to move around it is simple to loan them out.
Epson has gone the full 9 with this projector. It's compact, comes with most of the cables a majority of users will need, and even a nifty carrying case to fit everything into. I think the part that impressed me the most was the exclusive tech support phone number right on the bottom of the projector itself. Clearly, Epson is aiming for the business class and intend to stand behind their product.
I recently got an Epson printer and had nothing but trouble with the software setup right from the get-go -- a tell-tale sign of a piece of junk in my book. Well, it looks like they got their act together this time around, by contrast, the setup for this projector was as uneventful as it should be -- no issues whatsoever installing the software on Win 7 Pro 64bit; just a clean seamless install and use. Silly as it sounds, that's often not the case. Truth be told, there's little to no setup if you're doing slideshow presentations off a USB flash drive; everything can be done on the projected screen right out of the box. The same holds true of your laptop has an HDMI port -- just plug in the cable from laptop to projector and operate your computer as normal. But here's the real kicker...
Android Tablet projection via Toshiba Thrive
Toshiba Thrive is the only tablet, Android or Apple, to offer a full-sized HDMI port -- I just plugged in an HDMI cable (not included) from my tablet to this projector, and voila, my Android tab is being projected onto any surface I want. Now that's forward thinking technology in my book. Tired of all work and no play? How about playing Angry Birds projected on a huge screen? Or maybe you're an app developer wanting to show your latest creation to a room of clients. The possibilities are endless, that is, if you have a Thrive with full-sized HDMI ports.
Speaking of Inputs
This projector has every port I'd ever want -- USB, HDMI, S-Vid, RCA -- even the arcane VGI port if anyone still has the need (eek! I guess the only thing missing as an SD slot, which might have been good for certain slideshow presentations. But with all the other connectivity options, the oversight is no big deal. After all, at the end of the day, it's all just multiple options of doing the same thing.
Image Quality & Brightness
The quality of the projected image is superb -- naturally some environmental factors come into play, such as, the surface being projected on, and lighting environment. But I was able to get clean, crisp images, even in a room with the lights on! I'm quite happy with how everything looked. And yes, even text was crisp and perfectly legible. And it doesn't take much tweaking with the focus and projection angles to find the best settings. Perfect!
The unit itself is fairly quiet. It does have internal fans to dissipate heat, but the sound wasn't distracting or loud by any means. Over time, as the fan blades collect dust, that may change. But most times I can quiet down a noisy fan by just blasting it with a shot of compressed air.
It Gets Hot
The projector does get hot quite fast and blows warm air from its vents almost immediately. It's not scalding hot or anything. And the manual does say you don't have to wait for it to cool off before packing it away. But it's just worth mentioning that it heats up fast.
This projector boots up and is ready to go in less than 30 seconds. So if you're running late and everyone is waiting for you to get going, this Epson won't hold you back at all.
Pretty much everything this projector does can be controlled with the wireless remote, including switching input sources, e-zoom, volume, etc; offering all the flexibility and control I'd want or need. And I don't even have to point the remote directly at the projector to make it work; in fact, I intentionally pointed the remote away form the projector at extreme angles and the IR signals reached the projector with no trouble at all.
The built in speaker is surprisingly loud. It's not HiFi stereo or anything, but people shouldn't have any trouble hearing audio during a presentation.
Light & Compact
This projector isn't overly bulky or heavy, which is great, because I'm disabled and don't need to lug bulky, heavy peripherals around. I have some applications for this in mind which will all occur on the road, so this lightweight projector is a plus for me. It's about the size of one of those big 4" 3-ring binders, only nowhere near as heavy as those get if loaded to the max with paper. Another nice touch is the carrying bag is marked on the inside, reminding me to put the projector inside with the lens facing up (if it were facing down and the bag was accidentally dropped or set down too hard, the lens could shatter.)
Bottom Line -- this is a pretty straight forward projector -- everything works as I expected and was easy to operate. I really didn't need to refer to the instructions for much of anything. This is a great projector, and compared to how expensive these used to be, the price is good for the quality. I don't recall the brand I used to use in the past, but I remember it was 3x the cost of this Epson, and didn't have all the features. But then, rapidly changing tech is just a sign of the times. If you don't need HDMI, Epson even offers a cheaper model than this one; just figure out what inputs you need most, cuz there's no need to break the bank buying features you'll never use. Though IMO, the HDMI is the most indispensable and the port I'll use most. I may even project video off my HD video camera! Kudos!
Just recently, very few people can afford a projector for home use. Now that they are everywhere, even high definition projectors are cheaper than LED or even LCD HDTVs. What is great about projectors? You get a giant screen that you can practically place anywhere as long as you have a wall.
Epson is a well known brand when it comes to projectors. The EX7210 has a WXGA resolution which is 720 x 1280, hmmm... not 1080P, but close. My intent is to use it as a portable home mini theater having just the perfect size walls (in our master bedroom, living room and basement) to project widescreen images at 120 inches or more.
We tried using a white blanket. The problem with a regular blanket is that you can easily see the creases unless it is completely flat. This is more visible if you are projecting in an angle. Not that it will not work, but if you are not planning to spend a fortune for dedicated screens, a white blanket will do.
The best choice is a wall big enough to project the image. Our wall is not completely white but a bit of a beige; still, the colors are rich and you can see the vibrant colors of red, green, or blue. Our master bedroom on the other hand is light mocha, but we really cannot tell the difference. Anyway, there are special paints available that are specially made for projection. Just make sure you don't have objects on your walls like picture frame nails or holes as they can be annoying when you are watching.
2800 lumens is sufficiently bright, the images can be clearly seen even on daytime, as long as you don't have pretty strong lights coming from the windows.
EXTENDING LAMP LIFE TO 5000 HRS:
For home use, one of the first things I did was to change the setup of the projector to ECO mode. This extends the life of the lamp to 5000 hours. The lamp currently sells at Amazon for about 160$. You will need the remote for that - go to Settings/Power Consumption/ECO.
Keystone, zoom and focus ring are all very accessible, they are located just right on top of the projector lens. The permanent lens cover slides to protect the glass so there is no cap to lose. Keystone adjusts the image for a perfect rectangle if you cannot position the projector exactly in the middle of the room. If you are still not satisfied, you can adjust each corner individually using the remote.
UP AND DOWN TILT:
Push the front button and a mini stand will fall and lock into position at the height you choose when you release the button.
If you have multiple sources and cables attached to the projector, a push of this button will automatically cycle to different video inputs and stop where there is a video signal, whether from a DVD player, a setup box, a camera, or a laptop.
2 INFRARED RECEIVERS:
Whether the projector is in front or on your back, the remote control will not have any problem sensing it. It has infrared sensors on the front and at the back.
NOW THE ROKU:
For my purpose, my biggest question is if it will work with the Roku. Roku is as small as a hockey puck. Add that to the EX7210, and you have a super portable entertainment set combination. It took me a few days to get the right answer. I thought it was funny that both Epson and Roku customer service doesn't have a ready answer. I chatted first with a Roku rep and asked if it will work with my projector using HDMI and the analog A/V output to an external powered speaker.
ROKU chat Rep: "It will not run because of HDCP issue".
Email response from Epson: "This should work with the Roku. The projector is HDCP compliant."
Email from Roku: "Normally we recommend the customers to connect the Roku player directly to the TV. We never tested Roku with the projector. However you can try connecting the video via the HDMI to the projector and the audio via the A/V analog to a pair of powered speakers. You may get the output."
- Was a bit surprised there that they have not tried their product on a projector and wasn't sure if the external speakers will work.
The main reason why I have to contact Epson and Roku is that the projector doesn't have an audio output (something more common with HDTVs via an optical output). You'll have to get the audio from your content source device, which in this case is the Roku.
And so, I bought a Roku. Since the projector is not 1080P, I just chose the LT which is the cheapest but still capable of displaying HD contents via Wifi. I hooked them up together and so happy that it worked. Amazon Video on Demand HD and Netflix HD contents are gorgeous.
I also hooked up the projector using my PC computer, my WD TV player and directly to a Flip camera. They all worked.
Finally, although it lacks a little bit of padding, it is nice that they have included a carrying bag.
When looking for a multimedia projector, you have a few choices -- this is definitely one of the better ones, and it's priced reasonably. My main experience is with multiple Optoma HD20 projectors in my office (which cost a few hundred dollars more but support a higher resolution.) Epson has put a lot of thought into the everyday use and have created features that make this my preferred model over the Optoma, despite the resolution difference.
All the standard ports are there -- HDMI, USB (for PC/Mac connection, and storage device), VGA, Composite, and S-Video. DVI and component are available with the necessary converters. Power, USB, and VGA cables are included -- the rest you'll have to provide on your own. HDMI is my primary connector (for both my MacBook Pro and iPad, with appropriate Apple adapters) but am disappointed that the sound in the projector is subpar (and probably monaural), but no real surprise there. Buying a projector with only VGA is a terrible investment -- while still standard today, the manufacturers have indicated that VGA (analog) ports will be less common in just a few years. Best to output your sound to another speaker system -- you can't output the sound from the projector to another source directly, so you'll have to do it from its origination point.
The projector more or less provides 720p resolution, for those who prefer that jargon. The Optoma I referenced in comparison is a 1080p projector, but unless you need really detailed text resolution or are an A/V purist who wants the best Blu-ray has to offer, it's generally not worth the extra cost. The resolution provided here is sufficient for the vast majority of personal and business uses.
USB options: I didn't try outputting an image from a computer directly to the projector this way; due to USB speed limitations, the image would definitely be subpar -- and it requires another (useless) application to be installed. Plugging in a USB mass storage device (e.g. digital camera, USB thumb drive) provides for direct access with the processing power in the projector for certain file formats (images, mostly.)
Useful functions: There is no lens cap to lose -- it's an integrated slider (that also mutes audio, if applicable, when closed.) There is a keystone adjustment right by the lens -- a great slider that gets the image straight on the wall, no matter your projector's angled position. This is normally the main reason to fumble through a projector's OSD menus, and this feature gives you one less reason to do so. Once the projector is off (yes, it's still hot) you can unplug immediately -- no waiting two minutes for the fan to cool it down. Might want to wait a bit still to put it back in the included (cheap, but serviceable) carrying case, but at least you can work on cleaning up the wiring while you wait. The included remote control, which I haven't needed much, but also lets you control your computer's mouse cursor, works well no matter where the projector is, since there are infrared sensors on BOTH sides of the projector. These "special features" really do make this Epson unique.
The bulb: The projector boots up relatively quickly to full brightness, perhaps in about 30 seconds. I've turned on ECO mode, which is supposed to eek up to 1,000 extra hours to the bulb (5,000 vs. standard 4,000) -- with my use of a few hours a week, I'm hoping the bulb will last me a while. The replacement bulb is a couple hundred dollars -- not bad, not great, but par for the course with LCD projectors. I haven't done any scientific brightness studies, but the image seems totally readable even in a moderately sunny living room with windows all open. Of course blacks (and colors) in general look better in a darker room, but it's totally passable. All my tests were on a semi-glossy wall, not even on a dedicated projector screen.
All the standard mounting options are available, if you're looking for a (semi)-permanent installation somewhere like a ceiling, rear screen mount, etc. -- the projector will happily adjust the image as necessary with just a few selections in the menus.
Bottom line: If you need 1080p, look elsewhere, but for most uses, this ~720p projector will suffice for you -- whether it is watching the latest Transformers movie (which I did and looked great), viewing photos, or a "bland" PowerPoint presentation. The price seems about right for the feature set, and definitely less than these cost just a few years ago.
on September 26, 2012
This projector was purchased for use by our service club to make presentations at our weekly meetings. I spent some time with it going through the menus and getting familiar with it so that I can provide "tech support" to various presenters who may or may not be club members. The first thing that I noticed is that this projector has no trouble identifying and connecting to the video source, whether it be HDMI, VGA, or USB. (How many times have you been to a presentation that started with, "Well it was working a little while ago!" while everyone sits and looks at a screen that says "searching ... searching ...".) In addition, it is possible to connect multiple video sources and easily switch among them with the remote. Speaking of the remote, you can aim it at the front of the projector, the back, or bounce the signal off the screen. Speaking of the screen, this projector supports normal, inverted (for ceiling mount), reverse (for rear projection) and reverse inverted modes. I like the fact that it can do a slide show directly from a USB thumb drive, although be advised that the only file format supported for that function is JPG. That's not a severe limitation, however, since PowerPoint can export an entire presentation as a series of JPG images. One issue that you must be aware of is that the projector reads files exactly like any other (dumb) computer. So, if you number your image files, it will read them in the following order: 1, 10, 100, 101, 102, ... 2, 20, 200 .... The fix for this is to use a scheme such as 001, 002 ... 010, 011, ... 100, etc. No big deal, just confusing at first.
Overall we are very pleased with this projector. It has good brightness and good color. We have not made use of the internal speaker except for a brief test, but I believe it will be adequate for our group, which runs about 20 to 30 people.
Review on Epson EX 7210
The box has a small footprint. It is smaller than I had expected.
The cardboard box opened up to a nicely protected unit.
It's light weight. And it has a slide to open lens cover.
There is no bulky AC power adapter; only the power cable.
There is no HDMI cabl included. Most people don't use VGA now (at least for me).
There'a USB cable included but I thought both the VGA cable and the USB cable are too short.
Source Auto Detection
I immediately connected my tablet which has a HDMI port to the projector.
It immediately found the input source and displayed properly without tweaking.
There's no need to adjust any resolution setting because it just displays the best resolution possible for any source you throw at it.
Powerful Remote Control
The remote is not complicated and it is powerful. I walked 30 feet away and it stil detected the remote command. This is a great feature if you plan to mout this on ceiling.
(unfortunately, this one doesn't come with any ceiling mount kit (most of them don't anyway))
USB Video Display
I have yet to try the USB to display feature but since I am pretty happy with the HDMI, I don't think I will ever use the USB display option.
I won't go into small details about most basic features we come to expect from 90% of all of the projectors on the markt.
Let me just highlight som of the "surprise" features:
1. close captioning available-this means you can hook up a HD antenna and have this thing as a TV. I love this feature.
2. The speaker sound is "about the same" compared to other projectors I've tried. I was hoping for a better and louder sound but it was kind of disappointing. I guess most people expect high video quality from Epson but not sound quality. If Epson had worked with Bose, maybe together they can come up with a nice well rounded projector with great video and great sound so I don't have to bring a speaker box to do presentation. It's not like the current technology won't allow this to happen.
3. The horizontal skew adjustment is just beautiful. I tried adjusting the projector so it is not directly facing the screen. As I sit slanted to the right side of the room and the projector just in front of me, the audiences are looking at a straight, nice rectangular screen without distortion. This skew adjustment, which is just above the lense housing unit, can be easily adjusted to almost any angle. It is a great optical engineering result. I love it. This is a state of the art projector.
Rich Vibrant Colors
The light, colors are full, vibrant, nicely balanced and saturated.
The blue is mesmorizing and the red is astonishing. I hooked up the computer and visited many sites and viewed many different pictures, movies, slide shows, YouTube, HD movies, even hook up Blu-ray to play Avatar. It is gorgeous and breath taking. (mind you I am projecting this onto a 10 feet pull up projector screen big enough to show a nice movie for 150 people.)
This is no ordinary powerpoint presentation projector for regular static pictures.
This is your ultra thin 60" LED TV replacement. (is the projection screen thinner than the LED TV? I think so..) Use this and a nice set of THD speakers to watch Transformer III, it will be just like the theater experience if not better. (bring your pop corn machine too)
The fan is very quiet, compared to other units I've used.
The 2800 lumen is pure bright sunshine. It is BRIGHT .(period).
The screen adjustments are all there so it satisfies any placement position.
The colors are vivid, vibrant, rich and simply beautiful.
So, it's time to dish out your American Express platinum card and make sure you have a nice screen to show what a nice projector you are buying.
Simply pointing this to a white wall with nail holes doesn't do justice to this machine.
4.5 stars (point deduction on sound quality)
on January 12, 2012
- Display: Even with my room lights on, the display is visible, though clearly less than ideal. It's very bright and crisp in dim rooms, total darkness not required. Also, I LOVE the throw ratio, adjustable zoom, and quick corner feature. You can projector onto a wall at all sorts of odd angles and still get a perfectly square image, though the overthrow of light is a bit distracting.
- Fan noise: The projector still gets hot, and the air blowing out of the fans is quite warm, but the noise from the fans themselves are not terribly loud. If you plan on using the speaker in the projector, it might be an issue. However, if you have speakers of any sort, then they should easily drown out the fan noise.
- Speaker: Handy to have, but useless if you plan on using this for movies or games. The lack of an audio out is annoying, and the reason I knocked off a star.
- Inputs: HDMI, VGA, Composite. Lack of component is disappointing, but HDMI is much easier to deal with anyway. Note that they projector does NOT come with an HDMI cable.
- Extras: The included carrying case is handy. The remote is pretty nice, though I wish the power would operate the lens cover as well.
on August 15, 2012
There are other excellent reviews of this projector's ability to function in a business setting. However, its decent 1280x800 resolution (approx 720p) and its HDMI input allow it to support movie projection. In this review, I'll focus on whether it can anchor a home theater system.
[I'm using it to project a 135" diagonal, with a throw distance of about 16 feet, mounted on the ceiling, in a completely light controlled room.]
The EX7210 actually turned out to be a very capable performer in terms of its brightness, color reproduction, and sharpness.
However, where it's price point becomes apparent is in its inability to achieve decent blacks. The best I could manage were grays. Also, its fan is loud, and kicks in early. (The fan can be turned off in ECO mode, but that sacrifices brightness.)
This results in a movie experience that is definitely enjoyable, but not completely immersive.
Overall, this is a very thoughtfully designed unit. Its menu layout is logical, it provides a wealth of control options, and its competent remote can not only control every function, but also can work from every conceivable angle - great for use in the dark.
This is definitely a 5-star business projector due to interesting features such as the ability to store a logo, to drive slide shows from a USB drive, and to use the remote control as a mouse. However, its home theater performance is closer to 3-star territory. I've averaged these scores to rate it at 4 stars.
Happy movie watching!
on August 19, 2013
This product was working wonderfully and at the level of quality for which it was advertised, until suddenly just a few months past warranty it had a sensor issue which requires certified Epson technical repair. I have not overworked the product as it was used to watch a movie at home on average maybe 3-4 times a month. Being that it is out of warranty Epson said I would have to send it to a certified repair center at my own cost and it so happens that there are none in my state. My only other option is to buy a new product from Epson directly, at a small discount. I gave the negative rating because I feel frustrated that the product essentially only lasted long enough to survive warranty and then Epson left me pretty much stuck with an expensive projector that does not work. Perhaps check for certified service centers in your area before buying and have awareness that the product may not have the longevity that one might expect from a device costing this much.
on February 27, 2012
I bought this to use in my home gym while running on the treadmill. I used the VideoSecu Universal LCD/DLP Projector Vaulted Ceiling Mount Bracket Black with 25.6" extension pole PJ2B 1C9 to easily mount it from the ceiling and hooked it to the Onkyo HT-S3400 5.1-Channel Home Theater System. The video goes directly to the projector by way of HDMI from the Sony DVP-SR500H 1080p Upscaling DVD Player and the sound goes straight to the Onkyo. I hooked up the Wii the same way except with a VGA cable to the projector. I got the whole system here and it works great together. The sound covers the noise from the treadmill and the picture is bright enough to see on the 80 inch gray screen (for better contrast) even with the lights on or the blinds open. My wife uses the Wii fitness and loves it on the big screen. The picture quality is good for both movies and video games and the gray screen added to the contrast and makes the blacks blacker. I run it on the economy mode which uses less power and is less bright but still plenty bright because I'm only 18 feet from the screen. I don't think you can beat the picture quality for the price and even if you spent twice as much I think you would be hard pressed to tell the difference without both of them showing side by side. If you wanted to improve this system I would spend the extra money on the sound. This is good for what I use it for but there is a much bigger difference in sound quality than picture quality between this one and the one in my home theater.