Projector Reviews

Epson PowerLite 680 Projector Review

The Epson PowerLite 680 is an ultra-short throw installation projector for classrooms and conference rooms, with 3LCD projection technology, XGA resolution, and 3,500 lumens. This is a lamp-based projector, with a rated lamp life of 5,000 hours at full power, 10,000 in ECO and 9,000 in ECO2. For business and education purposes, this will get you through several years of continuous use before having to replace the lamp.

The PowerLite 680 is 12.6 pounds and can either be table or wall mounted. I would suggest wall mounting above the projector screen, as when I tested this projector, I had to have it sit a foot above the floor to fill my screen, which is two feet and nine inches from the ground. This would be a disaster in a classroom setting, where there’s a lot of foot traffic and rowdy kids who could knock the projector – by accident, of course.

Epson’s PowerLite line is beyond extensive. In this family alone, you’ve got both business/education and home theater projectors ranging from very affordable to highly expensive. Ready for the numbers? The PowerLite family has over three hundred and fifty projectors! That’s a lot to choose from, and that’s only talking about the PowerLite series. With such a wide range of projectors and multiple families, Epson is bound to have one that will fit your needs.

This particular projector has an MSRP of $1,160. It’s not the cheapest, nor does it have the best resolution, but what you’re paying for is that 3LCD technology and more features than other, similarly priced projectors. It also handles ambient light extremely well, so count that a major plus for the PowerLite 680. My first thought when I powered this guy on was, “This projector is BRIGHT.” The projector lit up the entire room, which was mostly darkened to measure lumens. I was blown away.

Epson PowerLite 680 Overview

The MSRP on the Epson PowerLite 680, as mentioned, is $1,160 – but I found it online for $1,000. That’s not a huge discount, but I would still count this and its MSRP as a good value for the feature set. Details about that are available in the Highlights section below, with more in-depth discussion on the following Special Features page.

This projector has more than enough inputs and connectors for all your business or education needs. Three HDMI inputs, wired LAN, audio ports, a VGA connector, RS-232C port, and more. It has a 16-watt speaker that is plenty loud for medium to medium-large conference rooms and classrooms.

The PowerLite 680 features XGA resolution (1024 x 768), which is not the best but is acceptable for business and education applications such as presentations. Only those in the front rows would really be able to distinguish between XGA, WXGA (1280 x 800), or HD (1920 x 1080), so that lower resolution isn’t really a big deal. Unless, perhaps, you are a film professor or will be using the projector primarily to show movies and videos.

If that is the case, you should probably opt for a home entertainment or home theater projector, or just a business/education projector with higher resolution as you will be disappointed in the picture quality. XGA resolution has bigger pixels than the others mentioned, but, again, they should only be truly visible to those in the front rows.

PowerLite 680 Highlights

  • 3,500-lumen claim, more than enough for conference rooms and classrooms with a lot of ambient light
  • 3LCD projection technology produces excellent color
  • XGA Resolution (1024 x 768)
  • 16-Watt Speaker
  • Compatible with interactive whiteboards
  • Can easily be wall mounted
  • Low maintenance and long-life lamp
  • Ultra-short throw projection
  • Plug-and-Play USB projection, audio and mouse control
  • Can be used simultaneously by multiple presenters
  • Local Area Networking port, and wireless network support
  • Crestron RoomView ready and Control4 compatible
  • Projector monitoring and control via remote network computer
  • Digital Zoom
  • 14,000:1 Contrast Ratio and Auto-Iris
  • Instant Off, Direct Power On
  • Manual Keystone Correction (horizontal and vertical)
  • 2 Year Limited Warranty, 90-Day Lamp Limited Warranty

Time to explore the Epson PowerLite 680’s special features.