HOME > Road Test: Epson PowerLite 1284
August 30, 2016,
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What the Epson PowerLite 1284 gives you
Connection Panel Inputs:
Physical attributes. The ports are all on the back panel, with the power connector at the extreme left of the back as viewed from behind. The Kensington lock slot is on the left side panel, and the security bar on the right side panel, near the back. The intake vents are on the left side panel near the front, with the exhaust vents on the front panel near the right side. The control panel is on top, near the back, with a horizontal keystone slide adjustment just to the rear of the zoom and focus controls.
Our Lab Tests: What the Meters Say
Brightness. With our PowerLite 1284's 1.2x zoom lens set to its widest-angle position, our test sample actually measured brighter than its 3200 lumen rating in its brightest mode. The readings were as follows:
Low Lamp Mode. Eco mode reduces lumen output by about one third. That's a bit more of a reduction than most eco modes, but it's still bright enough for many classrooms, and it doubles the lamp life to 10,000 hours.
Presentation Optimized Lumens. Thanks to the three-chip LCD design, there's no difference between white and color brightness to affect color quality in any mode--including Dynamic mode, at roughly 3365 lumens. You can pick any mode based strictly on the brightness you need for the screen size and ambient light level and still have high quality color.
Video Optimized Lumens. Cinema mode offers the best quality for video, at about 2040 lumens with some minor adjustments to improve color quality. If you need higher brightness, however, a slightly adjusted Dynamic mode comes in a close second to Cinema for color quality at essentially the same 3365 lumen brightness as with default settings.
Zoom Lens Effect on Brightness. The 1.2x zoom lens is not long enough to have any effect on light output based on where the lens is set.
Brightness Uniformity. The measured 80% brightness uniformity is high enough for the difference to be visible only with a solid white or light-colored image.
Input Lag. With the default settings, we measured the input lag at 53 ms in all preset modes.
On-board Audio. The 2-watt mono speaker delivers more than acceptable audio quality for presentations or spoken dialog and high enough volume to easily fill a small conference room or classroom.
Fan Noise. The fan noise, rated at 37dB in Normal mode and 29dB in Eco mode, is typical for models in this size and brightness class. The same is true of the fan noise in High Altitude mode, which Epson recommends using at altitudes above 4921 feet.
Setting it up
Throw distance. The 1.2x zoom provides some modest variance for throw distance placement. To fill a 120" diagonal 16:10 screen, the unit can be placed anywhere from 11'8" to 14'3" (front of lens to screen). For the screen size you want, see the Projection Calculator for details.
Vertical Offset: The lens offset is designed to work best with the 1284 on a slightly elevated rear shelf, or on a cart or table. With the projector in its native 16:10 aspect ratio and projecting with the lens centerline at 90 degrees to the plane of the screen, the bottom of the image is 9% of the image height below the centerline of the lens. So if the projector is placed on a conference table you will need to elevate the front and correct with keystone if you want the bottom edge of the image above the level of the table. If you plan to ceiling mount the 1284, the top edge of the image may be too close to the ceiling unless you either tilt it downward and correct with keystone, or use an extension drop tube.
At $799, the Epson PowerLite 1284 is an outstanding value. At this writing it is both the lightest weight and the lowest priced 1920x1200 projector on the market. Its WUXGA resolution delivers very sharp, detailed data images and full HD video. And it pumps out more than 100% of its rated 3200 lumens, makes it bright enough for as much as a 145-inch diagonal image in moderate ambient light, with bright, saturated color even in its brightest mode.
The compact size, 5.7 pound weight, 1.2x zoom, and Vertical + Horizontal keystone correction make the 1284 easy to set up, while the supplied carrying case makes it easy to move from room to room or take with you on the road. Extras like built in Wi-Fi; the split-screen feature; and free apps for connecting from PCs, phones, and tablets add versatility.
Beyond its compelling performance for data presentations, its video quality is good enough to challenge low-end home entertainment projectors. So it is truly a multi-use portable projector for business applications, personal entertainment, and even movie nights in the back yard.
In terms of value, the icing on the cake comes in the form of a $79 replacement lamp that you'll only need to bother with every 5,000 hours in full power mode (10,000 hours in eco), and a robust two-year warranty that includes Epson's Road Service Program (overnight shipment of a replacement unit if yours needs service.)
In short, Epson pulled out all the stops on this one. The PowerLite 1284 hits on all cylinders in performance, design, price, and total cost of ownership. It has been on the market since last fall and it continues to be a superb value in today's market. It is easy to give the Epson PowerLite 1284 our Road Test Certified spotlight as a uniquely competitive offering, and our strongest recommendation.