Looking for a projector that can be used for both homes and work? The Epson EB-U04 could be the answer. It’s pretty portable, fairly priced and its image quality output is great. While its design isn’t as attractive as others on the market, it does what it is meant to do by delivering a bright image across the board.
Epson EB-U04 Tech Specs
- Resolution: 1920×1080 (16:10 native)
- Lamp 200 W, 5,000h normal, 10,000h economy
- White Light Output: 3,000 Lumen
- Zoom: Manual 1.2
- Ports: USB 2.0 Type A + Type B, Wireless LAN 802.11b/g/n, VGA, 2x HDMI, Composite, MHL
It is ugly, there is no doubt about it. The projector is not something you want to keep out during movie nights. It looks like a portal from the 80s opened and spat the thing out. It is designed very much in an old-school way. Overall look aside, it still packs some great features inside.The compactness of the device gives it some sort of level of portability and with the included bag it is easy to carry around. The Two HDMI ports make it a multi-device projector and its USB port lets you plug movies into it to watch them off a stick. There is even an option to use the iProjection app to stream content from your phone directly to the device.The overall design of the projector includes everything you will need to run it. The zoom dial feels great, and the buttons on top of the device let you navigate the UI while it is standing on a table projecting onto the wall in front of you. There is a leg that drops out of the front of it to allow for a slanted mounting option, as well as screws on each leg to further customize the position of the device. Then there is also an optical zoom dial that lets you finely adjust the picture to your liking.
Where the Espon shines is in its display performance. Its ports and connectivity allow the device to be more than just a lens. Its resolution might say full HD but it is actually higher than that. Instead of 1920×1080, it is actually a 1200p device with an output of 1920×1200. That, together with its brightness of 3,000 lumens delivers a good picture quality. PC content, gaming, even work things like presentations looked great on it. Its dynamic contrast ratio of 15,000:1 also makes for a cool combination.
Supporting both 16:9 and 16:10 sources, it is extremely versatile too. With its 10,000 hour lens it makes for an impressive device with a decent lifespan, probably one of the best devices on the market. However, the extended lifespan is targeted at the Eco Mode which may not be achievable due to its decreased brightness over the standard mode.There are various picture presets that you can choose from but we recommend fine tuning one to your liking. Our only issue with the device is that it struggled to deliver deep black levels. Everything we tested resulted in a white-washed look making it something that could push you away from it if you are looking for an entertainment projector. While this was not a huge issue, we came from a QLED TV with HDR and near-perfect black levels so it was for sure a step-down. We just had to keep in mind that this was indeed a projector.
In terms of picture quality, the device delivers a high-leveled picture for such an affordable projector. The text was crisp, and there was little blur while experiencing fast-moving images on the screen. It seems that it adapts very quickly to the demand on screen at that time and it was impressive. Overall the experience was cool when it came to gaming and movies, two things we spend our lives doing. Colour was vibrant and besides the grey blacks, we had no issues at all with image quality.As for the sound, well it was sub-standard. The mono speaker at the back is poor and crackles and distorts when you hit a certain volume which causes it to lose clarity. It also does not get very loud so there is that too and we tried to keep it soft so we did not have the distortion of the sound while using the device.
Then we have the remote which is another standard piece of tech. There are a few buttons on it that we had to get used to. It is better than using the buttons on the top to navigate the UI so we kept this nearby in use.
Lastly, we have the noise of the device itself which was either very loud or very soft depending on the settings we used. General use of the device produces a very loud fan noise that does get a bit irritating especially for movies, but this again is something you would expect because it is a projector. To turn down the sound we had to switch to Eco Mode but even then there was a noticeable fan noise. If you don’t get irritated by these sort of things then this should not worry you but if you are like us and OCD about the little sounds around you then the dynamic iris adjustment constantly happening and the fan noise might drive you crazy.
The Epson EB-U04 is a solid projector that has the tech specs to boast. While it struggles with contrast and has a big and ugly design to it, it still makes for a good work and entertainment projector that can be used for just about anything. It adapts to almost every light situation too so even if you don’t have a dedicated darkroom then it will work for you to some degree. You can pick the Epson EB-U04 up for around R9,999 in SA.