Projector Reviews

EPSON EF12 SMART LASER PROJECTOR REVIEW-SUMMARY

Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Laser Projector Review – Summary: Highlights, Value Proposition, Pros and Cons

HIGHLIGHTS

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12, with an MSRP of $999.99, is a portable Smart media projector with Android TV built-in, sound by Yamaha, Chromecast, and Wi-Fi. It is a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) 1,000-lumen laser projector capable of up to 20,000 hours of operation in normal/quiet mode. The EF12 is bright enough to project a good looking image on a 100” screen.

It is one of the only portable laser / LED projectors to utilize a 3LCD imager. This eliminates the chance of the rainbow effect while delivering vibrant, accurate colors.

The EF12 requires no external input device thanks to the pre-loaded streaming Android TV apps such as Hulu, HBO, and YouTube. They’re also a wide variety of other apps available in the app store.

Its Yamaha designed audio system produces impressive room-filling sound from its dual speaker. You can even use the EF12 as a high-quality standalone Bluetooth speaker.

The EF12 features Epson’s Auto Picture Skew & Focus Correction, which takes the guesswork out of setting up a projector by automatically focusing the image and correcting the picture geometry.

If you are looking for a portable Smart laser projector that can deliver an immersive image and room-filling sound from a very compact package, check out the Epson Epiqvison Mini EF12.

VALUE PROPOSITION

While I have reviewed several lamp-based home entertainment projectors that are brighter and cost the same or less than the EF12, those models do not offer all of the Smart features, and they aren’t equipped with a high-quality sound system.

Most portable Smart projectors in the EF12 price range are DLP units with LED light sources. Most portable Smart models with similar features and performance also retail for over $300 more, like the ViewSonic X10-4KE and Optoma UHL55.

The rated brightness of the Optoma UHL55 is 500 lumens higher than the Epson EF12. However, when both projectors are placed in their most accurate picture modes, they deliver about the same amount of measured brightness.

While the ViewSonic X10-4KE and Optoma UHL55 are 4K-compatible DLP models and the EF12 can only reproduce Full HD, the EF12 picture still looks crisp and detailed. I would have to spend some time doing side-by-side comparisons before I could judge whether it is worth paying a few hundred dollars more for a 4K DLP unit.

So, while you can get a brighter “dumb” lamp-based projector for less, if you want all the Smart features, the upgraded sound system, and the advantage of a laser light source, the Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Streaming Laser Projector is an excellent option.

PROS

  • Sound by Yamaha
  • MicroLaser Array Technology
  • Lamp Life: 20,000 hours (normal/quiet mode)
  • 3LCD
  • Full HD Resolution (1920 x1080)
  • Good Color Reproduction for a portable projector
  • Android TV
  • Google Assistant
  • Built-in Chromecast
  • Built in Wi-Fi
  • Up to 150-inch screen

CONS

  • Fixed Lens (No zoom range)
  • No LAN connection
  • Netflix app is not available in the app store.
  • Minimal manual image adjustments (limited mounting options)
  • Minimal controls on the unit, so the remote is required to navigate the user interface

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