Epson Powerlite S4 Projector Review – Overview

Lamp Life and Replacement

Really good news here. Epson rates the Powerlite S4 projector at 2000 hours under full power, and 3000 hours in low power mode. This is typical for most business projectors. What is not typical, though, is the price of a replacement lamp. Epson has a suggested list price of only $199, in a world where few other projectors even have list prices under $300, and $350 – $400 is most typical, and $500 isn’ t unheard of. As a result, the Epson should have the lowest cost of operation of any projector in its class, and that is, very good news for people buying entry level projectors.

Additional Comments

Audio performance: The S4 has a single 1 watt speaker system. Sound is about what you would expect, not designed for faithful reproduction of music, but definitely more “punch” and volume, and, a a little less tinny than the speakers on most laptops.

The S4 comes with a soft carry case

Hooking up more than one audio source: There is a single pair of audio inputs (typical of most low cost portable projectors). If you want to hook up audio from both a computer, and a video source, you could use one of the inputs for each (it comes out mono, regardless). The better solution, though, is to hit Radio Shack and pick up two, “Y” connector cables – each with two female rca jacks feeding into one rca male. One goes in the left input, the other the right, and you connect your left audio from your computer to one of the “y” cables, and the right to the other. Do the same for your video source, and you’re all set. Remember, though, both sources’ audio will be live at the same time, so be sure to only have audio coming from one source at a time.

Epson Powerlite S4 Projector Review - Warranty

Epson’s reputation for quality and reliability has been pretty much unmatched since the portable projector industry started back in 1994.

To complement their reputation, Epson has always provided an excellent warranty and support package, and the Epson S4 projector is no exception.

While many under $1000 projectors come with just a basic 1 year parts and labor warranty, Epson provides 2 years parts and labor. If that wasn’t enough, you also get Epson’s Road Service overnight replacement program. Should your unit fail under the 2 year warranty, call Epson and they will overnight you a replacement. When it arrives, place your broken projector in the box the replacement came in, and ship it back to Epson at their expense. That’s it, you’re back up and running. Fini!

Like the other manufacturers that do have replacement or loaner programs, there is a mid-afternoon cut-off time. Call them at 5pm Pacific, and your replacement isn’t going out that day. If I recall from the past, their cut-off time is 2pm Pacific. Of course they only ship Monday through Friday.

Also note, that Epson does require a credit card at the time you request the replacement. They hold it, to make sure you return the broken projector. (This too is standard operating procedure for loaner and replacement programs.

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