The Epson ES1000 portable screen is a great accessory for the mobile presenter. Traveling with a projector is only half of the presentation equation; the projection surface has a huge impact to overall image quality. The Epson ES1000 eliminates any obstacles to a great image by providing an optimal projection surface, up to 50 inches in diagonal, in a highly portable, take-anywhere design. The screen is quick to setup with a button press to unlock the case followed by simply stretching apart the integrated case to fit the screen to the required dimensions. At street prices under $110, the ES1000 is a great value and a highly recommended accessory for anyone who has ever been forced to use a non optimal display surface.
The core attribute of the ES1000 is portability: the case is under 3 feet long, it weighs less than 7 pounds and can literally be setup in seconds. Bringing the ES1000 along for a business presentation provides a consistent and optimal display surface. The true white surface will optimize color performance and the greater than unity gain will help to reduce the impact of ambient light. The ES1000 will allow any projector to display at the best of its ability.
After the work day is complete, the ES1000 makes a great accessory for the hotel room; I found the ES1000 and a portable projector to be a great alternative to the 19 inch, standard definition TV that was located in the room. While the ES1000 will not replace a true home theater experience, I was quite satisfied to use it to watch a Netflix stream (at a reasonable 46" diagonal) from the laptop using a pair of quality in-ear headphones. Business use is not limited to traveling, there are multiple ways the screen can be used around the office. The screen was quite useful during small group meetings held in either a cubical or small conference room. Traditionally, a dry erase white board is used as a projection surface when a dedicated screen is not available, which results in extremely poor image quality due to distracting hot spotting. It was easily to place the screen on the edge of a conference table or on a filling cabinet to create an instant and near perfect display surface.
During a recent NBA playoff game, I setup the ES1000 and a projector on the dining room table as a second display, using a laptop to drive the projector. The combination was highly successful and setup was completed in less than two minutes. The smaller, 46 inch diagonal image size combined with the positive gain from the screen produced an image that was more than bright enough for a normally lit room. The ES1000 combined with a low cost pico or portable projector would make an awesome accessory for a kid's bedroom. This configuration would come with the added benefit that it can be setup and removed easily.
Portability: The screen is designed with an integrated case. When it is closed, the case is 34.5 inches long with a width and depth of about 2.5 x 4.25 inches. The screen looks very similar to a document tube used to transport rolled up artwork or large format documents. The 34 inch length along with the small width and depth allow the screen to easily fit into an airplane's overhead compartment.
I traveled with the screen on a business trip and had no issues going through airport security or finding overhead space even in the smaller overhead compartment of a CRJ700 airplane. The case includes an integrated handle. If I was regularly traveling with this screen, a shoulder strap on the case would be a welcome addition.
When the screen is open, the width is infinitely adjustable by pulling the case sides apart allowing a screen size from only inches wide up to a max width of 40 inches. This equates to a 16x9 diagonal of 46 inches and a 4x3 diagonal of 50 inches.
Image quality: The ES1000 displays an image with no noticeable color shift. Assuming the projector is calibrated for good color balance, you will always get a superior picture projecting onto the ES1000 than you would projecting onto a non-white surface and trying to compensate with one of the projector's image preset modes. Additionally, an image projected on a 'white' wall is in almost all cases significantly duller in both color saturation and contrast as compared to the ES1000.
Most screens have problems maintaining image brightness when the viewer is positioned at an angle to the screen. On the ES1000, image brightness was quite acceptable to about 45 degrees from direct center position. At angles greater than 45 degrees, there was a drop-off in brightness. However, at this viewing angle, the image geometry was more distracting than the drop in brightness.
No Hot Spotting: I tested the ES1000 with projectors that ranged between 30 and 2,600 lumens of output. No hot spotting artifacts were apparent that could be attributed to the screen or the amount of light striking it.
Screen locking: The flexibility in being able to size the ES1000 anywhere between a few and 50 inches is somewhat offset by the lack of a locking mechanism to fix the screen size. The product's design relies on the weight of the screen to generate enough friction between the feet and the surface it is placed on to offset the roll up tension. Any movement of the screen will cause it to retract, which can be a bit of an issue during initial setup. A lock that prevents it from retracting would help to make setup a little easier. The ES1000 is stable once it is put in place. Normal bumps to the table were not enough to cause it to roll up or shift in size.
Weight: At 7 lbs, the ES1000 is heavier than most projectors you would be traveling with. It is also heavier than some of the portable screens it competes with. The frequent traveler will want to consider the trade-off between having a guaranteed pristine projection surface and the extra effort required to include it in the presentation kit.
If you frequently travel with a projector, the ES1000 is an ideal accessory if you want your presentations to look their best. It helps low lumen, pico projectors maintain a viewable image in normal room lighting. With a higher lumen portable projector it produces a crisp image with a ton of pop. The best projector throwing an image on a non-white wall will be easily outperformed by an average projector combined with the ES1000. For under $110, the Epson ES1000 is a great value that can make your presentations look their absolute best.