Projector Reviews Images


Posted on January 31, 2021 by Jarrod Buckley
Epson-EF12-Award- Projector Reviews Image

The Epson EF12 is part of their EpiqVision series of Smart projectors, which offers all the benefits of a Smart flat panel TV while delivering the immense viewing experience that only a projection system can provide.

“Entertainment at home has never been more important, and streaming movies, TV, gaming, and sports keeps getting bigger and bigger,” said Rodrigo Catalan, Epson America Inc.’s senior product manager. “With Epson EpiqVision, we are bringing streaming directly to our projectors.”
The EpiqVision lineup includes two ultra-short-throw models along with two smaller portable units. Art reviewed the flagship ultra-short-throw model, the EpiqVision LS500. He was so impressed that he gave it a Hot Product award.

Check out the Epson LS500 review

While the LS500 is a great unit, many people need a more portable solution that still offers a good picture and sound, along with Smart features. The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 is targeted to those users.

The Epson EF12 is a Smart, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080), laser-powered home media projector that can deliver 1000 ANSI lumens of brightness. Since it has built-in Android TV, it is packed with all the features of a Smart TV, as well as Wi-Fi.
While the EF12 is compact, it has a custom-designed speaker system built by Yamaha that sounds better than most flat-panel TVs and can rival many small soundbars.

The EF12 is a user-friendly plug-and-play machine with a compact design that makes it suitable for everything from binge-watching your favorite show in any room of the house to hosting an outdoor movie night.

While many DLP-based portable projectors can deliver 4K resolution, the EF12 is a 1080P unit. However, the Epson EF12 delivered more accurate colors, better black levels than most portable smart DLP projectors we have reviewed. While additional resolution would be nice, better color and contrast have a much better impact on image quality.

Its superior picture quality and excellent audio performance make it one of the best compact projectors on the market. For these reasons, we are rewarding it with a Hot Product Award. It is now also on the latest list of best projectors under $1,000.

  • Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image
  • Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image
  • Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image
  • Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image
  • Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image
  • Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image
Epson EqiqVision Mini EF12 Specs
Technology3LCD laser
Native Resolution1920x1080
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)1,000 ANSI lumens
Zoom Lens RatioFixed Lens
Lens ShiftNo
Lamp Life20,000 hours
Warranty1 year



The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12, which has an MSRP of $999.99, is a Smart streaming laser projector with built-in Android TV, sound by Yamaha, Chromecast, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

It offers Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution, and its 1,000-lumen laser light source has a rated life of 20,000 hours in normal/quiet mode. While the EF12 is a 1080P projector, it can accept a 4K signal which is downconverted to HD before it is displayed.

To deliver all the convenience of a Smart TV, the EF12 utilizes an Android TV interface that provides easy access to streaming apps like Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney+. In addition to the pre-loaded streaming apps, there is also a wide variety of other apps available in the app store.

You can also use Chromecast to share content from your tablet, phone, or computer on the screen. If you have a Google Home ecosystem, you can connect the projector and use Google Assistant voice control to control it via the remote or any compatible Google Home device.

The Epson EF12 is one of two new portable projectors – the EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Streaming Laser Projector ($1,000) and the EpiqVision Mini EF11 Laser Projector ($800).

These two models are the smallest 3LCD laser projectors that Epson has ever produced. The EF12 weighs 4.7 lbs, and the EF11 is a featherweight 2.7 lbs.

Both units use Epson MicroLaser™ Array Technology, which Epson says delivers exceptional brightness while significantly enhancing blacks. Their rated brightness of 1000 ANSI lumens allows use with screens up to 150”.

The EF11 and EF12 feature 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.

The Epson EF12 sound system is one of the main reasons it commands a $200 price premium over the EF11. The Yamaha-designed sound system utilizes twin drivers and a custom 3D acoustic enclosure to produce room-filling sound from a compact cube.


 Epson EF12Epson EF11
Price (MSRP)$999.99$799.99
Brightness1000 ANSI lumens1000 ANSI lumens
Light SourceLaserLaser
Smart OSAndroid TV Built-inN/A
Audio SystemYamaha DSPEpson Bass Enclosure
BluetoothBluetooth 5.0N/A
Auto Keystone CorrectionHortizontal / VerticalVertical


  • 1,000 lumens
  • $999.99 list price
  • Lamp life of up to 20,000 hours (normal/quiet mode)
  • Full HD (1920 x1080)
  • Epson 3LCD laser technology (True 3 chip projector)
  • 200,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio
  • Integrated Yamaha audiophile speaker system
  • Built-in Android TV
  • Built-in Chromecast
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Advanced scene adaptive color correction
  • Auto picture skew & focus correction
  • Up to 150” Screen
  • Compact design


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.


Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Laser Projector Review - Hardware: Control Panel, Connections, Lens,Remote Control, Menus

  • Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image
  • Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image
  • Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image
  • Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image
  • Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image

The EF12 is a compact design that is easily portable. Its dimensions are 5.3" x 6.9" x 6.9” and it weighs under 5 lbs. When facing the unit, the projector’s lens is located on the right side of the front panel. There are two sensors to the left of the lens and an air vent underneath them. There is no manual Focus or Zoom. The right side of the projector (when facing the lens) contains the input/connector panel, the power cord and another air vent. On the left side, there are 2 air vents. On all four sides, the top half of the projector is covered with fabric that conceals the audio system. The top panel contains the 5 control buttons.


Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image

The EF12’s control panel is located on the top of the projector, centered and towards the front when facing the lens of the projector. Whether the projector is placed on a table or is ceiling-mounted, the control panel will be easily accessible. There are 5 buttons: Power, Lamp On/Off, Bluetooth, and Volume Up/Down.


Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image
HDMI 2.02
USB with HID2
3.5mm Headphone jack1

All of the connectors for the EF12 are located on the right panel when looking at the lens. There is a stereo mini jack, 2 HDMI inputs, 1 USB type-A, and 1 USB type-B. The power adapter also plugs into the right panel.

Even though the Epson EF12 has a very good built-in audio system, many users may still want to connect it to an AV Receiver to take advantage of the high-quality sound available from many of the projector’s streaming apps. The projector’s HDMI2 supports ARC (Audio Return Channel), so it can deliver multi-channel audio to an external sound system.


Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image

The EF12 has a fixed lens with no optical zoom, a focal length of 13.9mm, and a throw ratio of 1:1. Image size is adjusted by moving the unit either closer to or farther from the projection surface.

Throw Distance for a 16:9 Screen

Screen Size (Diagonal)Minimum Screen Distance
80”70 inches (179 cm)
90”79 inches (202 cm)
100”88 inches (224 cm)
120"106 inches (270cm)


The remote control for the Epson EF12 is about 6 inches long and black in color. It has a directional navigation pad, volume control and several options for accessing various settings and apps. The buttons have a satisfying “click” when pressed, and the overall construction feels solid. Since the remote connects to the EF12 via Bluetooth, it works when pointed in any direction; a convenient feature for someone like me that tends to point it at the projector screen.

Located in the middle of the remote, below the navigation arrows, is a button to activate the Google voice assistant. When pressed, you can use the remote’s built-in microphone for voice control of the projector or compatible 3rd Internet of Things (IoT) devices via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.


When powered on, the EF12 home screen allows the user to access Favorite Apps (customizable), All Apps, Settings, Inputs, as well as various “recommended” movies, videos, and radio broadcasts that are available from various streaming services.

Users can assign their favorite apps for easy access, and under the Apps menu, they can add or remove apps as desired. The Inputs menu gives the option of selecting between HDMI1 or HDMI2. 

  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector picture menu
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector gamma menu
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector installation menu
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector function menu
  • Sony VPL-XW7000ES projector setup menu

The XW7000ES uses the same menu system as previous Sony 4K SXRD models

The Settings sub menu that is accessed from the home screen is different from the one that is accessed via the button on the remote. It allows you to access “general settings” (network, accounts, apps, device preferences, remotes & accessories), while the Settings button on the remote gives you access to “projector settings” (picture, sound, display, settings).


Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Laser Projector Review – Performance: Color Modes, Brightness, Contrast, Video Quality, Audio Quality, Audible Noise


I was impressed with the outstanding picture quality of the XW7000ES right out-of-the-box. I have been blessed with the opportunity to review several good home theater projectors over the past year, but very few could match the XW7000ES.

The REFERENCE and USER picture presets were less than a hundred degrees off my calibrated white balance target of 6500K. The color temperature of the IMAX ENHANCED mode was accurate but the black level was elevated.

The above screenshots are intended to give only a rough idea of each picture mode’s color accuracy. When viewed in person the color accuracy will generally look somewhat better than shown in these photos, but the images show the difference in color and skin tones for the different preset picture modes.

There are five factory color presets. Epson describes each mode as follows:

  • Dynamic Picture Mode: Best for optimizing brightness
  • Vivid Picture Mode: Best for projecting general content in a bright environment
  • Bright Cinema Picture Mode: For projecting movies in a brighter environment
  • Cinema Picture Mode: For projecting movies in a dark environment
  • Natural Picture Mode: Most accurate colors reproduction (this mode also allows manual color adjustment)

The NATURAL picture mode delivered the most accurate color reproduction. DYNAMIC mode produced a cooler image than the other four picture presets, but it was about 30% brighter.

All five color modes deliver a pleasant viewing experience. The Epson EF12 reproduced more accurate looking colors than most of the portable LED Based DLP projectors I have seen.


The Epson EF12 has a rated brightness of 1,000 lumens. I took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the lens center, which usually gives a pretty good approximation of ANSI lumens. I measured the EF12 in its brightest picture mode: Dynamic.

Brightness: 1161 Lumens

The EF12 measured 1161 lumens, which is slightly above Epson’s brightness claim. This is enough brightness to deliver a pleasing picture on an 80-100” screen in a room with lower ambient light.

Brightness Per Picture Mode

Color ModeLumens
Bright Cinema695


While there are several brighter home entertainment projectors in the same price range, most still utilize a lamp-based light source. They also do not offer the Smart features and upgraded audio system found in the EF12.

The EF12 still produced about 700 lumens in its most accurate picture mode (Natural), which is far more than most similar-sized portable LED projectors can deliver in their best picture modes.


The EF12 has a claimed dynamic contrast ratio of 200,000:1. The EF12 might not quite produce a true black (I’d call it an extra dark grey), but you can tell what is meant to be black, and there is a pleasing contrast between the highs and lows of the image. The EF12 black levels were better than most DLP based portable LED projectors that I have seen. Most targeted users won’t likely have an issue with the black levels.


  • Epson EF12 Projector Reviews Image

The EF12 offers a couple of picture modes that have good picture quality. I primarily used “Cinema” and “Bright Cinema”, as they were most appropriate for my content and viewing space. The screenshots above were taken with the EF12 in “Dynamic” mode to achieve the highest brightness. Since the EF12 includes multiple user adjustments, I am sure it could be fine-tuned to produce a more accurate picture.

Above are screenshots of a variety of HD videos and photos. Like all our photos, they remain unadjusted for color, so they do not look quite as good as what the projector produced.

The native Full HD (1,920 x1,080) resolution of the Epson EF12 results in good text clarity. While gaming, I could easily read everything I needed/wanted to and had no issues reading small text while streaming to the projector from my phone or tablet.

While the EF12 is a Full HD unit, it can accept 4K content, and it also supports both HDR10 and HLG. Even though the EF12 can play HDR content, like most lower brightness home entertainment projectors, I prefer watching shows in SDR instead of HDR.

Overall, the video picture quality was good for a home media projector at this price point. While not perfect, the overall color accuracy was very good, with natural-looking skin tones and reasonable image contrast.


Part of the appeal of the Epson EF12 is the specially designed Yamaha audio system that includes a custom 3D acoustic enclosure and two high-end 5W stereo drivers powered by an amplifier and tuned using Yamaha’s AudioEngine DSP technology.
This system produces impressive bass levels and pleasing mids and highs. I would consider it to be better audio quality than my TV, and comparable to most soundbars. At mid volume, the sound could easily be heard throughout my entire media room, and I did not struggle to compete with talking or other ambient noise.
For a more immersive experience, I would probably opt for a true multi-speaker surround sound system, but the EF12 easily holds its own against TV sets of comparable price range in the sound department.


After several hours of use, I didn’t once notice any sort of distracting noises from the EF12. The only way I could hear anything not coming from the speakers was to shut them off, and even then, the fan noise was impressively low. The initial start-up of the unit seemed to produce the most noise, but I didn’t notice anything after that.

After several hours of use, I didn’t once notice any sort of distracting noises from the EF12. The only way I could hear anything not coming from the speakers was to shut them off, and even then, the fan noise was impressively low. The initial start-up of the unit seemed to produce the most noise, but I didn’t notice anything after that.


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


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.


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.


  • 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


  • 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



Epson EqiqVision Mini EF12 Specs

Projector ModelV11HA14020
Technology3LCD laser
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)1,000 ANSI lumens
Brightness DescriptionLaser (Multi-Channel)
Contrast Ratio2000000:1
Native Resolution1920x1080
Max Resolution1920 x 1080
Blue RayNo
Ultra Short ThrowNo
Native Aspect Ratio18
Video Compatiblity 
HDTV720p, 1080i, 1080P
Lamp Life20,000 hours
Noise Level (-db)27 dB /22 dB (eco)
Audio5 Watt x 2
Power Zoom FocusNo
Lens ShiftNo
LAN NetworkingYes
Zoom Lens RatioFixed Lens
Optional LensNo
Special FeaturesAndroid TV, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Wireless NetworkingYes
Dimensions5.3” X 6.9” x 6.9”
Warranty1 year

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