Whether for the boardroom, meeting room or home office, the Epson Pro EX7280 WXGA Business Projector is a versatile performer, from Amazon for $700. Though NOT designed for movie watching at home, it does this well, too, though not in HD.
Featuring 3-chip, 3LCD technology, it may be used for Zoom video conferencing and it can accept 4K content from streaming devices from the likes of Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast through the HDMI port for sharing a wide range of content. Again, though, the projector is NOT 4K or even High Def, though the image looks great! There is a built-in speaker and a 16,000:1 contrast ratio.
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**WHAT’S IN THE BOX**
- Power cord
- Wireless remote control with batteries (2AA)
- Soft carrying case with outside pocket and shoulder strap
- Documentation, including quick setup guide and warranty
Following the Quick Setup guide, it was up and running in almost no time. Ports on the back of the unit assure virtually universal connectivity. USB (the square end of typical printer cable in, the other end, USB-A, to a computer), HDMI, VGA, composite audio and video. Ceiling mount holes are on the bottom.
The wireless remote buttons are (from the manufacturer): 1 Power button 2 HDMI button (cycles through connected HDMI sources) 3 Computer button (cycles through connected computer sources) 4 Numeric buttons (enter numbers when you hold down the Num button) 5 Auto button (automatically adjusts position, tracking, and sync settings when projecting from a computer using a VGA cable) 6 Num button (when held down, switches numeric buttons to number function) 7 Menu button (accesses projector menu system) 8 Arrow buttons (move through on-screen options) 9 Enter button (selects options) 10 User button (customizable for different functions) 11 Color Mode button (selects display modes) 12 Aspect button (selects the image aspect ratio) 13 E-Zoom +/– buttons (zoom into and out of the image) 14 A/V Mute button (turns off picture and sound) 15 Split button (splits the screen between two image sources) 16 Home button (accesses source selection, projector help information, and other features) 17 Freeze button (stops video action) 18 Volume up/down buttons (adjust speaker volume) 19 Default button (returns a selected setting to its default) 20 Esc button (cancels/exits functions and controls wireless mouse functions) 21 ID button (selects which projector you want to control) 22 LAN button (cycles through connected network sources; no functionality for EX3280/VS260) 23 USB button (cycles through connected USB sources) 24 Source Search button (searches for connected sources) 25 Remote control signal emitter (emits remote control signals) Download and install the Epson iProjection app by pointing a mobile phone camera at the QR Code in the Quick Setup guide. Once downloaded, power up the projector, open the lens guard and aim the projected image at a convenient wall or projection screen. Next, adjust the image size and focus with their respective rings atop the lens housing. Tap the wireless remote Home icon button and navigate to set up the wireless LAN for control by an Android or iPhone/iPad device. Send images from connected devices to the projector. These can include slide shows, videos, spreadsheets and other documents, and much more. Using the smartphone app and the settings in the built-in manual, find and control content on a smartphone sent to the projector.
Projecting up to a 320-inch diagonal image, users can control the content source from the smartphone app and from the wireless remote control. With brightness pegged at 4,000 lumens and native resolution of 1280×800pixels (WXGA), the projected content promises to be a good fit for business meeting environments. A height-adjustable front foot tips the image to the desired place on the wall or screen ahead while keystone adjustment buttons help square off the image from what would otherwise be a trapezoid when the projector is aimed up at an angle or off to one side. The rear feet may be adjusted to compensate for a slightly tilted image. Atop the unit is a control panel with a series of buttons for manual access and navigation through settings and menus. The downloadable information sheet specifies ideal distance and height settings.
**PUT TO THE TEST**
Aimed at a large, blank space high on a living room wall, the image loomed with surprising brightness in daylight. Later, when darkness had set in, the brightness was even more pleasing. Tested with a variety of content in the HDMI port sent by a connected Mac with screen mirroring enabled, we were wowed by the clarity and sharpness of photos, PowerPoint files and videos from online streaming services. Sound sent through the single onboard speaker was loud and clear. I tried the E-Zoom buttons to resize the image as well as the Freeze button. A second press unfreezes the image. An option through the smartphone app may come in handy. It is possible to send the camera’s live image to the projector. What could you do with this? All who watched the demo were pleased, and with the image size of which this projector is capable, we agreed that the results were surprisingly satisfying. Users may experience better audio, stereo or surround sound, by sending the audio from the source through better speakers instead of to the projector’s single speaker. The VGA port was not tested nor was connectivity through composite A/V ports. Put through its paces, I was pleased with the ease of use, the versatility offered in projecting images and in the many options through the menus. Wi-Fi connectivity using the app was a plus, adding to value. Most of all, I am impressed with the quality of whatever was put through the projector and ended up on my impromptu screen that is nothing more than a painted wall with a screen size of about 100-inches diagonal. I can only imagine the improvement if used on a genuine projector screen or on a wall treated with paint used for a projection screen. If you are still not convinced, take a look at the “Epson Pro EX7280 manual” from the Epson Website to see all the settings and specifications. I’m pretty sure you, too, will like what you read.
Well done, Epson! Bright, sharp, 3-LCD technology is a good value.
Epson provides a standard 1-year limited warranty, full-unit replacement, along with free technical phone support for the life of the product.