Posted on April 5, 2018 By Lyle Silverman
Epson PowerLite 108 Projector Review – Performance: Brightness, Contrast, Audible Noise
The Epson PowerLite 108 brings with it Epson’s excellent 3LCD technology that enables its colors to perform very well even in the projector’s brightest modes, and thus typically outperforms your standard single chip DLP projectors that tend to suffer color distortions when using its brightest settings.
Of note for teachers, in testing the PowerLite 108 during the day time with lots of ambient light from outside and the lights in the room fully on, I tried a couple different modes to make sure it could handle typical classroom conditions. Eco setting with Dynamic mode, was a clear picture. You could see with no issue and there would be no complaint from your audience about the picture being too dim and being outshined by the light in the room. Naturally, you’ll lose some brightness if you go into presentation or cinema mode in these conditions, but my experience was you would still have little issue seeing what’s on the screen.
So you can feel comfortable staying in the Eco setting for most of your needs even when in the presence of lots of light so you can extend that lamp life as long as possible. Of course, when needed, as you’ll soon learn the fan noise when in Normal mode should rarely be a deterrent for your presentation, so when you need the brightness, go ahead and switch to Normal mode and utilize max brightness whenever the situation calls for it.
Epson Powerlite 108 Lamp Life:
The Epson PowerLite 108, just like the rest of the PowerLite 1xx series, claims to get 6,000 hours in Normal mode, an impressive amount of lamp life in full power mode! In Eco mode, Epson claims to double the life of the bulb, giving you 12,000 hours. You may never hit those total hours, but that’s OK! Of course we only have a projector for perhaps 50-100 hours when we’re reviewing, so we have no way of verifying how long the lamps really do last. Still, most of these major companies have proved credible over the years. And regardless, even being tough and assuming you only get 8-10,000 hours on Eco mode, that’s plenty of years of usage before you even have to replace the lamp. That’s a pretty good deal again at this cost for this quality a projector.
In Normal lamp setting, and in the brightest mode, dynamic mode, the Epson PowerLite 108 clocked in at 3510 lumens, just a 5% reduction from the manufacturer’s claim of 3700 lumens. On presentation mode, that dropped down to about 2686 lumens, a 23% from my dynamic mode measurement. In cinema mode, the mode with the hands down best color and overall picture, the PowerLite 108 put out 2350 lumens, a 33% reduction from the dynamic mode reading. In addition, sRGB mode measured about 2100 lumens and blackboard, if you for some reason need it, put out 1679 lumens.
In the Eco lamp setting, the Epson 108 clocked in at 2045 lumens, a 42% reduction from the Normal setting dynamic lumens of 3510. The picture still looked very bright and it seemed clear to me that most classrooms should be able to save that lamp life and operate the projector on Eco mode the majority of the time and have no viewing issues.
The Epson PowerLite 108, like the rest of these new PowerLites, has a high native contrast ratio of 15,000:1 which, only means so much in technical terms, but for our reviews, we judge our contrast based on what we see.
The performance of the Epson 108 was very good. Bright and dark scenes looked good, not stellar by any means but providing a good detail.
Considering you’ll likely be using this in the classroom, on the go, or in the office, you can be your audience will be plenty impressed with the detailed, bright and colorful images. As long as your text is coming in clear and sharp, to go along with the image quality mentioned above, it is unlikely you’ll need more than that to successfully pull off your presentation!
Again, this Epson PowerLite 108 performs nearly identical to this family of PowerLite projectors. At 37 db in Normal mode, the 108’s fan makes a reasonable amount of noise and in reality, is not at all distracting to the majority of viewers, and most will barely notice it given how many people are typically in a room with a presentation.
If however for some reason that 37 db is too much for some, 28 db in Eco mode make for a very quiet experience and you won’t see anyone complaining about fan noise at that point.
Of course, you must make sure you can sacrifice the decrease in brightness if you need to be in Eco mode to make the projector quieter. All in all, the fan is not loud in normal mode and in Eco it is pretty quiet so choose what is best for your setting.
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