Projector Reviews

Epson Powerlite 97H Projector Review

The Epson Powerlite 97H is the entry-level model of Epson’s Powerlite series of classroom projectors.  This model has a native 1024 x 768 (XGA) resolution with a 4 x 3 aspect ratio.  While this may seem “old school” since many current classroom projectors offer higher resolution along with a 16 x 10 aspect ratio, many classroom currently are equipped with XGA projectors along with a 4 x 3 aspect ratio screen and the 97H provides a very cost effective alternative when such an existing projector needs replacement.

The Powerlite 97H projects a sharp image that is bright, while providing good colors and offering a lot of performance for its modest price.  The Powerlite 97H received out “Hot Product” award for its combination of very good performance, a good feature set, and a very attractive price.  the Powerlite 97H is a great choice for replacing an existing XGA projector.  My only qualification would be for new installations where moving up to a higher resolution WXGA (1280 x 800) projector may be a better choice, especially if your budget for the new projector allows perhaps a couple hundred dollars extra.

Epson offers other models in the Powerlite series that feature higher resolution, such as the model Powerlite 99WH, with WXGA resolution (1280 x 800).  We reviewed the last generation, and very similar, Powerlite 99W (HERE) in March 2014.


The Epson PowerLite 97H is a compact Classroom projector offering a very bright image and features well suited to the typical classroom environment.  It projects a very sharp image, limited only by its native 1024 x 768 resolution, and offers picture modes providing good color accuracy.

While the PowerLite 97H is not a Pico or Pocket class of projector, it is a compact unit making it easy to move between classrooms (or conference rooms), when it has not been permanently mounted.  With a retail price of $549 and a relatively long 5,000 lamp life (in normal mode and 10,000 hours in Eco mode), it provides an economical solution for the education market.   Add to this Epson’s aggressive discounts available to schools, the Powerlite 97H is indeed a very economical alternative.

The PowerLite 97H is the entry-level model within a series Epson’s PowerLite 9x line of classroom projectors that includes more expensive modes with  higher resolution (i.e., WXGA 1280 x 800) and/or higher light output (i.e., up to 3,500 lumens)

We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report.


  • Offers a bright image with 2700 rated lumens, in brightest mode
  • Very sharp image provides excellent text readability for classroom presentations
  • Excellent video scaling performance
  • Picture Modes offered with good color accuracy suitable for displaying video and photos
  • Wired networking built-in and optional wireless networking
  • Can be controlled and managed from networked PC using supplied software
  • 1.2x zoom lens along with vertical and horizontal keystone correction provides mounting flexibility