Epson EF 100W

In an announcement timed to coincide with the start of the 2020 CES in Las Vegas, Epson unveiled today the EF-100 Smart Streaming Laser Projector, the company's first entry into the growing lifestyle projector market.

Priced at $999 MSRP, the EF-100 is a compact projector that measures just 8.3 x 9.1 x 3.6 inches and weighs only 6 pounds. It combines a high-brightness light engine using Epson's newly developed MicroLaser Array Technology to produce 2,000 ANSI lumens from a trio of 1280 x 800 high definition LCD imaging chips. Its proprietary 9-element lens (with seven glass spherical elements) is said to support images up to 150-inches diagonal. WiFi wireless streaming is supported with a supplied Android TV dongle.

The EF-100 is meant to be an easily stored, portable projector solution. It can be placed horizontally to project on a wall, or vertically to project on the ceiling if you want to lie in bed. As with some other lifestyle projectors released recently, the EF-100 will make any necessary keystone adjustments automatically.

For content streaming, the Epson EF-100's supplied Android TV dongle plugs into the projector's HDMI port and uses an onboard USB connection for power. This is all hidden behind the projector's rear grille, which also conceals a small 5W on-board speaker with an enclosure that enhances the bass response. There are four preset EQ settings to customize the sound to your liking. A 3.5 mm analog stereo audio output is provided to feed an external sound system, and the projector is also equipped with Bluetooth aptX support for connecting headphones or a Bluetooth speaker (though with the usual caveats about the potential for lip sync issues when using Bluetooth for video sound).

The Android dongle is said to support popular steaming services including Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, ESPN, and others among the 5,000 apps available. The dongle supports 4K and can be used with any display that has a compatible HDMI connection, so you can also potentially use it with another other projector or TV you have at home.

EF 100 Lifestyle 2

Included with the projector are two remotes, a dedicated Bluetooth-only remote that controls the Android TV and one that controls the projector and Android TV jointly. This latter remote is both Bluetooth and IR, and has a combination of buttons that control either the projector, the Android TV, or both depending on what is displayed on screen. If you want to use a Bluetooth keyboard for easier typing, it can be connected through the Android TV Bluetooth. The remotes are also equipped with a microphone for issuing Google Assistant voice commands.

Epson's design assumes you'll be moving the projector around rather than permanently connecting it to multiple sources, and so provides only a single HDMI input. Viewing any source other than the streaming dongle requires removing it temporarily to free-up the port. Two USB ports provide power for the dongle and access for service or firmware updates, but no built-in media player for displaying or listening to files from a USB stick.

The EF-100 joins similar portable lifestyle projectors that have become popular in recent years, but differs from the competition in that it's a 3LCD projector with a laser light source that is rated at 2,000 white and color ANSI lumens. That's a respectable—even remarkable—amount of light output for a projector of its size and weight. Most similar products to date are LED-driven DLP projectors that don't match the EF-100's brightness, which Epson says sets a new standard in this class of projection and allows an exceptional viewing experience even in high ambient light. On the other hand, several recent entries in this category provide full 4K UHD resolution, while the EF-100's native resolution comes in a touch over 720p HD—a factor that may come into play if the projector is pushed to its specified 150-inch image size limit.

The EF-100 is available in white and silver (EF-100W) or black and copper (EF-100B). It will be available for purchase this month.

Epson EF 100B

Key features include:

  • 1280 x 800 native resolution, accepts signals up to 1080p (1920 x 1080)
  • 2,000 lumens of white and color brightness
  • 3-chip 3LCD design means no rainbows
  • 9-element lens with seven glass elements
  • Laser light source with an extended mode life of 20,000 hours
  • Android TV wireless dongle included
  • Internal speaker and 3.5mm stereo output

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Epson EF-100W projector page.

To buy this projector, use Where to Buy online, or get a price quote by email direct from Projector Central authorized dealers using our E-Z Quote tool.

Comments (9) Post a Comment
Chris Posted Jan 6, 2020 10:12 AM PST
WXGA? Sorry, that killed it for me... What a shame too, considering the lighting system.
Kevin Posted Jan 6, 2020 1:45 PM PST
Raise your hand if you want a $1,000 720p projector in takers? Didn’t think so.
Bryce Posted Jan 6, 2020 6:16 PM PST
Totally agree with Chris and Kevin.

How embarrassing Epson - it’s 2020! Thanks for the laser light source, but It should be at least 1080p at that price point. I won’t be recommending this to clients.
karthik subramanian Posted Jan 6, 2020 6:43 PM PST
What?! Are we going backwards? Ok, where’s the next 480p projector going to come from?

hcd Posted Jan 6, 2020 11:26 PM PST
So, they put a Laser source in a low-end budget 720p projector in 2020 ? But their flagship prosumer home theater is still lamp-based and only "faux-K" ?

<yoda>weird decisions, they make</yoda>
GReviewer Posted Jan 7, 2020 2:36 PM PST
What a waste of light source. Not even 720p but 800, so you have to see the gray bars at the top and bottom. Way to go Epson, cant wait to meet the marketing genius behind this.
Aaron Posted Jan 8, 2020 6:38 PM PST
Man, that is annoying. I am looking for a nice small, durable LCD. I just saw these on sale at a retailer and they are cool little numbers...but I can't consider less than 1080p. If they bring out a new FullHD version I might get one.
Adrian Posted Jan 16, 2020 1:17 PM PST
People comment like the US is the only market Epson should focus on... this projector in Brazil will be a huge succes ... and if you ad up rest of latin america ... well is good market
Jay Posted Feb 7, 2020 9:34 PM PST
I purchased this projector recently and I like it. I project an image about 100 inches, so this projector suits me fine. I was surprised by the quality. Not being 1080p I took a risk, but honestly when you're sitting 3.5 metres away from a 100 inch screen, you'd probably not notice the difference between 1080 and 720 resolution anyway.

I should say that this is my first projector, and so I have nothing to compare with. I will never go back to a TV, that's for sure.

As for the projector itself, it's a very nice compact design. This is a big selling point. And the laser light is awesome, a very clear and bright image, even with ambient light. I keep it on lowest brightness setting.

It's good to know the laser diode will last a long time, and uses less power, and does better job with colour accuracy.

Negatives: only one HDMI input, which is inconvenient; speaker is not great the sound is average quality. Fan is a bit noisy, but I can't compare with other projectors.

I got this on sale. The RRP is a bit high, so if you can negotiate down, it's a great little projector. It probably won't sell very well due to 720p, but hopefully Epson continues this line and brings out a full HD version with additional HDMI input, and maybe better internal speaker, and maybe a bit quieter fan.

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