Posted on January 31, 2021 By Jarrod Buckley
Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Laser Projector Review – Special Features: Sound by Yamaha, Epson MicroLaser Array, 3LCD, Android TV, Compact Design
Epson partnered with Yamaha to develop an enhanced audio system that is unique to the EF12. The system is composed of a custom 3D Acoustic Enclosure and two high-end 5W Stereo drivers powered by an amplifier and tuned using Yamaha’s AudioEngine DSP technology.
AudioEngine technology is designed to reduce any distortion that might have occurred during the recording and reproduction process. Drawing from their experience designing concert halls worldwide, Yamaha has designed and built the EF12 audio system to accurately reproduce a clear full-range listening in most environments. To optimize the sound quality of a wide variety of content, six sound modes are available: Theater, TV, Studio, Stadium, Concert, and Karaoke. You can also connect a mobile device to the EF12 via Bluetooth and use it as a standalone speaker.
Most compact portable projectors in the EF12 price range utilize an LED light source. The EF12 has a multi-array laser diode light source that can deliver 1000 ANSI lumens from a very compact package. The light source has a rated life of 20,000 hours, which ensures years of maintenance-free operation. When the laser light source is combined with the 3LCD imagers, the result is more accurate colors and better blacks than most of the competition.
While most portable projectors are single-chip DLP models, the Epson EF12 is a three-chip LCD unit. The EF12 and its little brother, the EF11, are the smallest 3LCD laser projectors that Epson has ever produced.
Due to the spinning color wheel used in most single-chip DLP projectors, they can only display one color element (red, green, or blue) at a time. This sometimes causes the rainbow effect (color breakup), momentary flashes of blue, green, and red shadows. The rainbow effect is an absolute deal-breaker for someone who is highly discerning because it is distracting when watching movies, TV, and playing video games.
3LCD projectors like the EF12 project the red, green, and blue elements of the image simultaneously, so the rainbow effect to wholly eliminated. Another benefit of 3LCD is its ability to produce accurate colors while maintaining excellent color brightness.
Android TV is a Smart TV platform that allows users to stream via apps like HBO, Hulu, and YouTube.The EF12 comes pre-loaded with several popular streaming apps, ready to play as soon as the projector is connected to Wi-Fi. The Android TV operating system also allows you to download various additional apps and games from the Google Play store.
While the Android TV OS supports a wide range of content options, there are a few notable streaming services that are currently not available on the platform.
In addition to Android TV, the EF12 has Google Assistant built-in. The remote control has a built-in microphone to voice-control a wide variety of compatible Smart devices via Google Assistant. To activate the voice assistant, just press the mic button in the center of the remote control and use your voice to operate the EF12. In addition to the projector, Google Assistant also allows voice control for several 3rd party items like a set-top box, lights, door locks, curtains, etc.
The EF12 is equipped with Wi-Fi as well. This is great for users who want to move the projector from room to room while still accessing the unit’s internal apps and services. You can also wirelessly stream videos, photos, and music from a compatible Android mobile device using Chromecast.
The projector has a built-in media player that can access files via its USB inputs. There are two USB inputs that can be used to play all types of media (Videos, MP3, Photos, etc.).
Weighing just under 5lbs, and with a footprint smaller than 7” x 7”, the EF12 is a fun-size, fully self-contained unit that requires no additional or external devices to function. It can very easily be moved from room to room, or to the back yard, or packed to take on a trip to anywhere in the world with a power source and a projection surface.
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