Highly Recommended Award
Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.
The Epson EX7200 is a 5.1 lb. portable, 1280x800 resolution, 3-chip LCD projector that nicely balances ease-of-use functionality with an advanced feature set. The EX7200 is great for the mobile presenter who wants to run computer free slideshow presentations. It can also project images from a computer over USB providing a true plug and play setup process. With over 2,400 ANSI-lumens of real world brightness, the EX7200 can support large screen sizes in ambient light and provide a very dynamic image. While it has a few limitations, they do not amount to significant performance issues under normal use scenarios
Brightness/Resolution: Our review sample measured 2,415 ANSI-lumens or 93% of the 2,600-lumen specification. Maximum brightness was found with the lamp on Normal and using the Dynamic image preset. Switching to the ECO lamp mode dropped brightness by 22% to 1,883 ANSI-lumens.
The EX7200 is a 16:10 WXGA (1200x800) resolution projector. WXGA provides 17% additional pixels over a standard XGA projector. The additional resolution allows for larger widescreen images while reducing the screen door effect. The EX7200 features a 1.2x zoom lens with a throw ratio of 1.1 to 1.3. This equates to a throw distance for a 100" diagonal image between 9.25 feet and 11 feet.
Picture Quality: The EX7200 throws a bright and dynamic image and produces its most pleasing picture when there is ambient light in the room. The combination of strong base colors and high lumen output allow the EX7200 to maintain a vibrant image in a normally lit room. While primary colors appear a bit oversaturated compared to video standards, they are not elevated to a distracting neon-level. Flesh tones on digital photographs were acceptable in Dynamic mode, but I would recommend using the more color balanced sRGB mode for critical evaluations.
Picture depth from the EX7200 improves in a dark room, but comes with a tradeoff as other image imperfections become more obvious. The high color saturation is more noticeable with light control, but can be improved by using the sRGB or Theater image presets. Black level performance is acceptable but is not an image strength.
Lens performance on the EX7200 is solid. The focus is consistent across the image and no lens related image defects were identified. Individual pixels were clearly resolved across the entire zoom range.
The ability of the EX7200 to overcome ambient light make it a great fit for a mobile presenter who constantly deals with a different setup location and cannot count on having control over room lighting. Additionally, any well-lit location such as a classroom or corner conference room would benefit from this projector's image strengths.
Auto Iris: The EX7200 contains an 'Auto Iris' feature in Dynamic and Theater modes. The iris will open and close based on the average picture level being displayed. This gives the picture a good degree of pop with peak brightness material and maintains an acceptable black floor when darker content is displayed.
Image Over USB: The EX7200 can connect to and display a computer's desktop when connected by only a USB type-B cable. I have participated in a few meetings that get off to an awkward start due to issues in getting a laptop and projector connected. The USB connection option provides a very easy way for a non-technical user to get the projector up and running. No change to any computer Display Properties or function key manipulation is required. The first time a computer is connected to the EX7200, a software application installation automatically starts. The install completed seamlessly when tested using Windows 7 and Windows XP. The total setup time from the initial USB connection to a projected image was well under 40 seconds.
I compared image quality over USB to a HDMI connection with positive results. From a resolution and color depth perspective, image quality over both connections was identical. However, the USB connection was limited by frequency of the display refresh. Video was a no-go using the USB connection and I noticed that slide animation and transitions suffered a bit of lag. The lag was not overly distracting, but I would recommend using one of the common video inputs for animation or transition heavy presentation material.
Computer-less Presentations: The EX7200 can display image files directly from a USB flash drive giving the ability to conduct a presentation without using a computer. I tested it with digital pictures and with Microsoft PowerPoint presentations that were converted to jpg files using the 'save as' option in PowerPoint.
The EX7200 scales pictures down to the native resolution of the projector. It does not have an option to display pictures at the native resolution (and allow panning) which results in some loss of image detail for high-resolution photographs or technical drawings.
Presentations converted into pictures worked perfectly with the caveat of giving up builds or animation within individual slides. The projector does have the ability to use a variety of built-in transitions when advancing from one slide (or picture) to the next.
The presenter has the ability to control the presentation directly from the remote control and easily transition between slides. Additionally, a slide show function is provided with options for switching to the next picture automatically after a duration of 15 to 60 seconds. The slide show function can be set to repeat continuously which is a great feature for a communication focused or passive display setup.
Input panel: The EX7200 has inputs well covered starting with a HDMI input for digital audio and video. Analog composite, S-video and a D-sub style VGA computer or component video input are included. Analog audio can be input to the projector over the single 3.5mm headphone jack and output over the corresponding 3.5mm audio out. USB type-A and type-B inputs are included. Security features include a Kensington lock port and universal security bar for use with other locking cables.
Design Features: The EX7200 includes a few thoughtful design features that add to the overall positive experience and usability of the projector. The projector case features an integrated, manual lens cover that functions as an 'AV mute'. Sliding the cover physically blocks out all light output and mutes any audio the projector is playing.
It includes a quality nylon carrying case - a nice design feature of this case is a Velcro retaining strap that secures the projector into the case even if the top flap is open. This could easily prevent a disaster by a traveler trying to juggle a few different bags.
The instant-off function allows power to be removed from the projector immediately, eliminating the need to wait for a lamp cool down process. The EX7200 powers up quickly taking just seconds to display an image and only slightly longer to reach full brightness.
Maintenance: Like all LCD projectors, the EX7200 requires occasional cleaning of the air filter to prevent overheating caused by dust accumulation. Cleaning is accomplished with a quick vacuum of the air filter over the intake vent. Removing the filter from the projector is only required in case the filter is clogged or damaged and needs to be replaced.
Lamp Life: Lamp life is longer than average; it is expected to be 4,000 hours in normal mode or 5,000 hours in eco mode. Replacement lamps are currently under $200.
Warranty: The EX7200 has the Epson Road Service Program warranty for one year from date of purchase. Under the Road Service Program, Epson will ship a replacement projector anywhere in the US or Canada without waiting to receive the projector with the warranty issue. Bulb warranty is 90 days.
Image Offset: The EX7200 has a negative image offset. For a tabletop mount, the image will start about 14% of image height below the centerline of the lens. Thus, you may need to tilt it upward so the table does not interfere with the projected image. The EX7200 includes a quick release front foot and automatic keystone function that helps to make quick work of any required adjustment. The keystone adjustment performed well even at extreme settings; text was clear and readable and across the entire screen. Additional adjustment feet are included on the rear of the projector for horizontal fine-tuning of the image position.
Video Black Level Detail: When testing video performance in a dark room I had to choose between setting Brightness at the darkest black level possible and crushing low-level detail, or maintaining shadow detail with an elevated black level. This is typical for a business class portable presentation projector. The EX7200 is not a home theater projector and will likely be used in ambient light situations. The black level issues were most noticeable in a dark room - in a normally lit room where black level will be limited by ambient light, I found video performance to be above expectations for projectors in this class.
Convergence: I noted an above average degree of misconvergence on the review sample I received. While, theoretically, any amount of misconvergence will have some impact to overall image sharpness, the degree of misconvergence present on our test sample was not noticeable from standard viewing distances.
The Epson EX7200 is a portable, widescreen plug and play projector with high light output and thoughtful design features. It is quick to set up and has above average image quality compared to similar projectors when used in settings with normal room lighting. USB Plug and Play based video output helps to simplify the mobile presenter's life by allowing for a quick, fail-safe computer to projector connection. Alternatively, presentations can be conducted without a computer by displaying image files from a USB flash drive. If you are looking for a feature rich, portable projector with a picture that excels with ambient light, I would highly recommend a close look at the EX7200.
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Epson EX7200 projector page.