Epson EX6220 WXGA 3LCD Projector
Projector Central Highly Recommended Award

Highly Recommended Award

Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.

  • Performance
  • 5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
Price
$499 MSRP Discontinued

If you need an inexpensive 1280x800 data projector for a small to mid-size room, the Epson EX6220 is a strong candidate. Rated at 3000 lumens, and a bit brighter on my tests, it offers excellent data image quality and eminently watchable video, with guaranteed rainbow-free images thanks to the three-chip LCD engine.

While the brightness and image quality make the EX6220 a good fit for permanent installation or room-to-room portability, the light weight makes it a good choice as a portable too. Only about two pounds heavier than some 500-lumen LED projectors, it offers a far brighter image, effectively letting you trade weight for brightness. And given that it's widely available for $599.99, it costs less than some of its lower brightness competition.

 

The Viewing Experience

The EX6220 delivers nicely on image quality. As a three-chip LCD projector, it can't show rainbow artifacts, which can be an important plus for anyone who sees these artifacts easily and finds them annoying. Also, unlike most DLP projectors, it offers the same color brightness as white brightness in all predefined image modes, which means you don't have to worry about a difference between the two potentially affecting color quality and the brightness of color images.

Excellent data image quality. The EX6220 showed only minor issues for data image quality in my tests. Color balance was a touch off in every predefined image mode (Epson calls them Color Modes). Even though some shades of gray showed a slight tint compared to most other shades, however, the tint was minor enough that you're not likely to notice it in real-world use. On the plus side, and easier to see, colors in every predefined mode were suitably bright, vibrant, and nicely saturated.

More important for data images, the projector holds details well. Both black text on white and white text on black, for example, were crisp and readable at sizes as small as 7 points. With an analog (VGA) connection, I saw some barely visible pixel jitter on screens that tend to bring out that problem. However, unless you use patterned fills rather than solid blocks of color, it's unlikely you'll ever see the jitter. Even if you do, its so minor that you're unlikely to find it bothersome. You can also avoid it entirely if you need to. Using a digital (HDMI) connection, the same images were rock solid.

Above par video quality. Although the EX6220's video quality isn't in home theater territory, it's good enough to be watchable for long sessions. It's also at least arguably good enough to use as a home entertainment projector, substituting for or supplementing a TV.

The menus even offer some features that are more appropriate for home entertainment than for data images, most notably two levels of noise reduction and an auto iris for making dark scenes darker. The auto iris earns points for working quickly enough that I only rarely saw a lag as it adjusted to a change in brightness between scenes. And in a nice design touch, choosing the Theater predefined color mode turns auto iris on by default, while choosing Sports makes it unavailable. Tying the settings together makes it easier to get the right combination.

It also helps image quality that the 1280 by 800 native resolution lets the projector show HD video at 720p, although it still has to scale 1080 input down to 720. Beyond that, the projector did an acceptable job with skin tones, and I saw a minor to moderate loss of shadow detail in clips that tend to bring out that problem. In theater dark lighting, colors were a little flat, as expected for a low contrast ratio. And despite the auto-iris, blacks weren't all that black. However, neither issue was as noticeable with the lights on, which tends to both wash out black and eliminate most of the benefit of a high contrast ratio.

Setup

Acceptable connectivity. Like most small projectors, the EX6220 is stingy on connectors, but offers most of what you'll likely need.

  • 1 HDMI
  • 1 VGA IN (for RGB or component)
  • 1 S-video
  • 1 RCA composite
  • 1 USB A (for reading files from USB keys or for an optional Wi-Fi dongle at $99.99 street.)
  • 1 USB B (settable for controlling the projector from the computer or for mouse control from the remote plus direct USB display and audio.)
  • 1 RCA stereo IN Notably missing is an audio out. If you want to use an external sound system, you need to connect it directly to the source.
     

    Setting up

    Setting up the EX6220 is straightforward, with the 1.2x zoom offering some flexibility in how far you can put the projector from the screen for a given size image. For most of my testing, I used a 92-inch diagonal image at the native 16:10 aspect ratio, with the projector 101" from the screen.

    Both the zoom and focus rings combine a tab, which makes them easy to grab, with smooth motion and just the right amount of resistance for precise control. That makes it easy to adjust image size just so and also get crisp focus across the entire screen.

    With the projector sitting on a table, the vertical offset puts the midline of the image roughly 40% of the screen height above the midline of the lens. If you need to, you can move the image up by adjusting a drop-down foot on the front of the projector or down by adjusting the screw-on feet at the back.

    You also have a variety of options for adjusting image shape. For horizontal keystone, you can use button presses, which give precise control, or a slider on the top of the projector, which is faster. For vertical keystone, you can also use button presses, or you can set the adjustment to automatic. Yet another option is a Quick Corner control that adjusts one corner of the image at a time. The point is that you can use whichever approach you like best. You can even turn off the horizontal keystone slider if you find it too easy to hit accidentally and inadvertently change the keystone adjustment.

    Key Features

    Suitably portable. Weighing only 5.3 pounds and measuring 3.1" by 11.6" by 9.0" (HWD), the EX6220 is small and light enough to carry easily. And because it can read image and movie files from a USB key, you can lighten the load by leaving your laptop at home. It also helps that it comes with a soft carrying case complete with a shoulder strap.

    Long lamp life. Epson rates the EX6220's lamp life at a notably long 5,000 hours in Normal mode and 6,000 hours in Eco mode. Combined with a replacement cost of just $99 direct for the lamp, that translates to a lower than typical running cost.

    Test Results

    Bright image with wide brightness range. Epson projectors often deliver a higher brightness than their rating, but the EX6220 did better than most, with a rated 3000 lumens and a measured 3392 lumens. That's more than bright enough for the 92" diagonal image I used for my tests to stand up to ambient light in a typical classroom or conference room.

    For smaller screen sizes or lower ambient light levels, you can chose any of six other presets, which I measured at a range of 1547 to 2642 lumens. You can also switch to Eco mode for the lamp, which drops brightness by about 33 percent, giving the projector a total range of 1023 to 3392 lumens.

    Near-Excellent brightness uniformity. The EX6220's brightness uniformity across the screen came in at 81%. That's just enough so I could see the difference between the brightest and darkest areas on a solid white or color screen. However it's little enough to be impossible to see with the screen broken up by text or graphics.

    Limitations

    No 3D. If you need, or want, 3D, you'll have to look elsewhere. Like most commercial LCD projectors made for business use, the EX6220 lacks 3D support.

    No MHL support. Although you can connect an MHL-enabled phone or tablet to the EX6220's HDMI port to show images, the projector itself lacks MHL support. That means you may need a special cable that can connect to a power source along with the mobile device and the projector.

    Limited audio. The EX6220's 2-watt mono speaker delivers good enough quality to be useful along with a surprisingly high volume that's loud enough for a small to medium-size conference room. With no audio output, however, if you want stereo, better quality, or more volume, you'll need to plug an external sound system directly into the source, rather than connect it to, and be able to control it from, the projector.

    Conclusion

    By any measure, the EX6220 offers a lot for the price. If you're looking for a low cost 1280x800 projector, whether for permanent installation in a small to mid-size room or to use as a portable, it's a more than capable choice. Not only does it deliver a bright, high quality data image, plus the ability to read files from a USB key so you don't have to carry anything else with you, its video quality is good enough to make it worth taking home from the office on weekends to watch a movie or game at large size. If 1280x800 is the resolution you need, the EX6220 should definitively be on your short list.

    For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Epson EX6220 projector page.

    Comments (1) Post a Comment
    M. Dobson Posted May 27, 2014 9:40 AM PST
    I understand that the way of the world is wide-screen, now--heck, we even have widescreen in our office conf. rooms. But, on occasion, we have meetings offsite, and the place where we usually have these meetings only supplies the standard square projector screens. Can this particular projector (Epson EX6220) be toggled back and forth from wide to standard screen as needed???

    Otherwise, this looks like the perfect projector for our needs: cost, lumens, portability.

    Thank you!

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