Projector Reviews

Optoma EP1690 : Summary, Pros, Cons2

Cons

  • As a business projector, higher cost per lumen than non-widescreen models
  • Zoom lens has only a 1.2:1 zoom ratio – translates to minimal placement flexibility
  • No variable lens shift (typical for DLP projectors in this price range, but most home theater LCD models in this price range have it.
  • A large portable and 7 pounds, a little bigger and heavier than most frequent travelers prefer
  • Control Panel’s horizontal layout, – not bad, but not as easy, nor intuitive as the usual 4 arrow key, center Enter button configuration found on most projectors
  • Black levels and shadow detail (compared to home theater projectors)
  • 2X color wheel, means some may see the “rainbow effect”

Typical Capabilities

  • Warranty
  • Compression technology
  • Build quality
  • Noise levels (compared with home theater projectors

Optoma EP1690 Widescreen Projector: Summary

There’s very little not to like about the EP1690. As a business widescreen projector (an idea whose time has definitely come – look for a big shift to widescreen over the next 2 years or so), it offers exceptional price performance compared to the competition. It curently sells for about $500 below the similar Mitsubishi, and about half the price of Sanyo’s new PLV75 a slightly brighter (maybe) widescreen LCD projector. It’s low cost relative to other widescreen projectors should make it a huge success in terms of sales.

 

As an alternative to a dedicated home theater projector, again, the Optoma looks like a top choice. True, jumping to about 2000 lumens is not enough to deal with very bright rooms, but it should be enough to make the projector experience viable for many with modestly lit rooms, who would not be happy with dimmer dedicated home theater projectors. The good news, too, is that when the room can be darkened, the EP1690 can be put into its best video viewing modes and produce a home theater quality image, rivaling some dedicated HT projectors, although many will outperform it. (Remember, though, even in it’s best and dimmest mode, it is a bit brighter than most HT projectors.)

Thanks to the EP1690, the large numbers of people buying business projectors for the home, no longer have to sacrifice resolution to get sufficient lumens, and the cost difference is not so great, that many who, in the past would have bought a 4:3 projector for the home, will instead choose the EP1690, and end up with a much, much better solution.

Projector Reviews is pleased to award the EP1690 our Hot Product Award, in this case, as both a widescreen business projector, and as a quality, bright alternative in the home to dedicated home theater projectors. In both cases, the projector offers exceptional price performance compared to its closest competition.