The Art of Gaming

Shootout! – Acer H5360 vs Epson 710HD

Hello All!

I’m back after a bit of a break, (recently moved to a new house), but now I’m settled, and I’ve got a budget gaming projector shootout between the Acer H5360 ($499) and the Epson 710HD ($599).  Both of these projectors are 720P native resolution and represent a good value in their price range.  The Acer is a DLP technology based projector and the Epson is 3LCD.  Read on to find out the strengths and weaknesses of each and which projector I would choose.

First off, both of these projectors are portable, both coming with over the shoulder carrying cases.  In a previous review, I dubbed the Optoma GT750 the king of portability.  Both of these projectors give the Optoma a run for its money, with the edge going to the Acer H5360.  I couldn’t believe how small the Acer H5360 was when I took it out of the box.   At first glance, I thought the Acer H5360 didn’t come with a remote, but later found out that the remote was built to slide right into the top of the projector when not in use.  There are some down sides to this cleverly designed remote.  Although it may add some points to portability, it is not the most intuitive interface and could be lost fairly easily in the typical, messy gamer room.

Adding to their portable appeal, both of the projectors have a single 2W speaker.  It’s not much, but it allows you to have some sound without having to worry about lugging some speakers along with the projector if you’re bringing it somewhere.   One valuable feature both projectors were missing is the audio output.  Neither had an audio out, which means you would need to route the audio separately from your source rather than simply connecting your material via HDMI and breaking out the audio from the projector.   I say it’s a tie here.

In placement flexibility, both of these projectors function very similarly.  Neither have any physical lens shift, which kinda limits these projectors to be placed “front and center”.  Both could be very easily table mounted.  Honestly, they are both so small you could keep them in a drawer and pull them out when in use.  Another tie here.

As far as overall picture quality, both the Acer H5360 and the 710HD performed well.  They both have fairly limited image control settings, but the preset modes that ship with the projectors were very playable.  I was impressed by the brightness on both projectors, with the edge given to the Epson.   As stated before, I typically choose best mode over brightest mode, and the Epson’s best mode (theater) seemed a bit brighter to me than the mode I chose on the Acer H5360 (game mode).

Having said this, I think the Acer’s sacrifice in brightness went to a very worthy cause.  I can’t say whether the black levels on the Acer H5360 were a bit darker, or the shadow detail was better, but I felt the image on the Acer H5360 seemed to have a bit more “pop and wow”.   It was tough, because overall the Epson’s seemed brighter and its colors were more natural, but to my eyes, the Acer H5360 had a more impressive image.   The deal breaker for me was the rainbow effect on the Acer H5360.  I haven’t had too many problems with previous DLP projectors, but the rainbow effect was not only visible to me on the Acer H5360, it was distracting.  Any multi-colored scenes were OK, but as soon as any light text on dark background appeared it was game over.

I will still give the Acer H5360 the edge in overall picture quality category, because not everyone will be able to see the rainbow effect on DLP.  It had a great “wow” factor that was fitting for a gaming projector.

Now, input lag!  The Acer H5360 is the winner here hands down.  It measured and impressive 0-10ms input lag, with an average around 5ms.  While the Epson measured 30-50ms and an average around 40ms.   The Epson’s results are right in the grey area of acceptable.  With my recent choice in games, the Epson’s performance would work for me.  If you are looking for a FPS projector, the Epson 710H may not be the best choice.

ACER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EPSON

Unfortunately, I’ve misplaced the Epson’s input lag shots in my recent move.  :(  My notes contained the results, so you’ll have to trust me.  I will keep looking and post them as soon as I find the memory card that contains them!  It’s probably in one of the boxes I need to unpack.

 

Conclusion:

This has been quite the shootout.  Just to recap, both of the projectors are very portable with limited placement flexibility (no lens shift).  They both have a mono 2W speaker.  The Epson 710HD is brighter in best mode, but to my eyes the Acer had a more impressive image overall.  The Acer wins the input lag battle but suffers from the “rainbow effect”.   One last thing not yet mentioned is the Acer H5360′s 3D capabilities.  I was unable to test its performance, because it did not ship with the matching 3D glasses (sold separately), but it is a feature that the Epson 710H does not have.

If I had to choose between these two projectors I would choose the Epson 710H, strictly on the basis that the Acer H5360 had too noticeable of a rainbow effect for me to overlook (and I’m not sold on 3D at this point). If the rainbow effect was not an issue, I would choose the Acer H5360 because I think it throws a better picture for gaming overall (more “pop and wow”), not to mention it has better input lag metrics.

That’s all for now!

-Pete

 

P.S.  I think I have an Epson 3020 coming my way.  Stay tuned!  :)

News And Comments

  • Robert

    Pete, I have a read a bunch of your reviews and am so pleased to find someone who gives information on input lag! There doesn’t seem to be a direct way to contact authors, but I was wondering if you know of any 1080p projectors with very low (<20ms) input lag in the under $1000 range. I play FPSs almost exclusively and am very sensitive to input lag and am afraid of ordering a projector and then being disappointed because of the lag. Thanks!

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Hey Robert,

      The Panasonic AR100U may be just what you are looking for. From what I’ve seen, it tests very well on input lag, is 1080p and happens to fall around your price rage.

      Something to check out, if you haven’t seen it already…

      http://www.projectorreviews.com/game-projector-blog/first-person-shooters.html

      Should give you some food for thought.

      Best,

      Pete

      • Robert

        Thanks, from what I can tell the price of that projector has actually gone up since the reviews were written… perhaps it is no longer being manufactured (it was also somewhat difficult to find, not sold on the sites I usually check). Are at all familiar with the ViewSonic PRO8200? The review on this site does not mention input lag. There’s some sales going on for Black Friday =) Thanks again!

        • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

          Robert,

          Haven’t personally seen the ViewSonic. Doesn’t mean it’s not good… just that I haven’t heard much about it. Sorry.

          -Pete

  • Kurt

    Many thanks for this review (and the previous ones too!). Your blog is without a doubt one of the most important resources for any PC gamer looking to buy a projector. Can’t thank you enough.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Thanks Kurt! Glad you like it!

  • http://www.quaifehobbs.com Adrian

    hello, i stumbled upon your blog whilst looking for a gaming projector and i must say how impressed i am with all the information you give and also the lag times. I am looking at spending up to 4000 and not sure what the best projector would be. It needs to be 1080i resolution and i would be sending a 60hz signal (the max for HDMI) I was looking at the sony hw50es and the panasonic pt-ae8000 i liked the features and quality but im not sure about the lag and also if they are appropriate for gaming.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Adrian,

      I’m glad you like the blog! $4000 is a big chunk of change, so you have a lot of different options. You really need to decide what is important to you personally, to figure out which projector is right for you. From what I have seen, some of the projectors that are zero input lag or very low input lag may not give the best in class overall picture quality. This is not to say they will throw bad images…just that they probably won’t be best in price range for overall picture quality.

      I would take a look at a couple older articles I posted.

      http://www.projectorreviews.com/game-projector-blog/input-lag-a-second-look.html

      http://www.projectorreviews.com/game-projector-blog/best-or-brightest.html

      Hopefully they will help organize some of your thoughts and help narrow down what is important to you. In terms of the two projectors listed, I think the Sony will give the better overall picture quality (~50ms input lag), but the Panasonic will have less input lag (~20ms). Keep in mind, when you get up in the $3500 price range you are looking at projectors designed for serious enthusiasts who primarily focus on movies and the cinematic experience. Many of these projectors make video games look awesome…but input lag times tend to creep up as well. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

  • Craig

    Hello! I love your reviews and think you do a really great job. I saw a couple things on a new projector coming out, the BenQ W1070. It is already out in Europe and should be hitting US anytime now. It uses the new D3 chip from TI and just looks to be an absolute stunning projector for around $1k or less(hopefully). I am hoping the input lag will be manageable as well and I was hoping you would consider reviewing this model when it comes out. Thanks in advance!!!

    Here is a link for more info: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1435626/benq-w1070-dlp-full-hd-3d-ready-with-lens-shift-for-1000/150

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Hey Craig,

      Thanks! We usually take a look at the BenQs so with any luck I’ll be able to take a look!

      Edit: I contacted Art and he is going to ship me one on Friday to take a look. :) Stay Tuned!

      Regards,

      Pete

      • Brian Miller

        This is very exciting! There is a growing legion of folks over on AVS that are very interested in the W1070, but there is precious little review material out there. You may be the very first person in the US to review it! The things we are really excited to learn more about: RBE, lag times, black level (there is no iris), brightness (especially in 3D), motion handling (there is no CFI), and whether 3D depth is good (there was one French review that complained about lack of depth). So looking forward to your comments! Thanks Pete!

        • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

          Brian,

          Art wrote me last night to tell me he is going to send me ViewSonic Pro9000 laser projector instead. I’m going to try to convince him to send me the BenQ as well. I’ll see what I can do….

          -Pete

          • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

            Update: He is sending the BenQ as well.

          • Craig

            That is great! Totally looking forward to your review and thoughts! Thank you!

  • http://www.quaifehobbs.com Adrian

    Hi pete thanks for the reply. What do you think would be the best projector for me wanting a full HD resolution and low lag times? You said the sony hw50es had 50ms lag time but when i read your review it was not in game mode, do you know what the lag time would be for that projector using the game mode? I was thinking the Sony would be good because of the LCOS technology to reduce the screen door effect as i will sit quite close to the screen, but i am open to your suggestions! Thank you.

  • Ignatius

    Hi Pete
    Just wondering if you have had the chance to have a look at the Epson 3020 yet. I’m on the market for a living room projector in its price range for 2/3 Movie & TV watching and 1/3 gaming. Bit torn over this whole lag issue. I live in rural Australia so I don’t have the possibility of seeing these projectors in action myself so I have to take the word of others. The lag numbers that have been quoted for the 3020 range from 50-100ms which doesn’t mean much unless you can see it in action and decide whether it’s a deal breaker for you. I’m really keen to get on the 3D bandwagon as well and thus have been looking at the Optoma HD33 and the Epson 3010/3020. As a casual average joe user the Epson sounds as if its the best choice in terms of features and movie watching over the Optoma. I play games to have fun so as long as the lag doesn’t stop me from doing that I am fine with it. I play a bit of everything – shooters, sports, platformers and racers on my Wii and PS3 and waiting for my Wii U in the mail. So I’m hoping that your review can give me a better idea on whether to definitely go for the 3020 (or 6100 as its known in Australia). I guess another option would be to forgo the 3D (wait a couple more years for the tech to mature and develop the content volume to match) and get a BenQ W1060 which seems to be the best reviewed and best value 1080 multi-purpose home video projector around or alternatively the panasonic AR100U. Looking forward to your review.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Ignatius,

      I am trying to finish the 5020 review today and tomorrow. The lag numbers with all processing OFF are ~50ms. This was as fast as I could measure. When you enable CFI and other processing the lag number jumped to 100ms+. All around, I would imagine the 3020 would be about the same. I believe Art did some measurements to and confirmed this.

      Overall, the 5020 was probably the best projector I’ve had in my theater. It threw a fabulously detailed image with great colors and shadow detail. (It really made me want to upgrade) Personally, I think 50ms is good enough to enjoy playing video games in a casually competitive environment. If you are going pro, you may want to look elsewhere, but I think it is just under the “acceptable” category.

      Hope this helps. Stay tuned for the full review!

      Regards,

      Pete