(This is part of a series of articles. For the first page, click here)
Lightweight, compact, excellent video performance
Short lamp life, high lamp cost
With the EP716, Optoma has taken the portable projector to another level. The case dimensions are tiny, and with a weight of only 4.4lbs, the EP716 is truly ultra-portable.
The EP716's small size doesn't stop it from producing 1635 ANSI lumens in data mode, out of a stated spec of 1800. Again, this can be too bright for some rooms, so be sure to adjust accordingly. With that much light being produced, the EP716 has no issues with mild to moderate ambient light. Short of direct sunlight, you should have no problem with room conditions and the EP716.
XGA compression is clean and sharp, with a minimum of fuzziness. There would be no problems using the EP716 for text display at 1024x768, as well as using it for photos or video. Scaling overall is comparable to the MP610 and SD110U, as these three projectors were too close to call.
While the EP716's color was not as good out of the box as the MP610, it has some advantages. First of all, the MP610 lacks any sort of color correction options, while the EP716 has a color adjustment system for red, green, and blue. The Optoma EP716 also has gamma adjustment options, which help it to match the performance of the BenQ MP610 easily. And while neither one measures up to the Microtek MS4, they get awfully close.
Video and business projectors usually do not get along, but the Optoma EP716 did just fine with 480-line interlaced video sources. There were few, if any, deinterlacing artifacts, and colors were reproduced accurately. The image had plenty of shadow detail and was quite enjoyable overall.
At 28dB audible noise, the EP716 is awfully close to silence, and earns the honors of the quietest projector in the shootout. It also shuts down in 30 seconds flat, which is a plus for anyone on a tight schedule.
The menu system and remote should look familiar to anyone who has used Optoma products before; the remote uses the same housing as all other Optoma remotes, and the menu system is reminiscent as well. All in all, the menu system is intuitive and easy to use.
A downside to this little powerhouse is the lamp. Rated at only 2,000 hours standard and 3,000 hours eco-mode, the replacement lamp costs $275. Considering that an entire new projector only costs $700, one would hope that lamp prices would not stay so high.
All in all, the Optoma EP716 is a must for the constant traveler who wants the best picture possible out of the smallest box he can find. The Optoma EP716 does a great job with text, pictures, and video, and fits it all into a petite housing that weighs a mere 4.4 pounds.
Page one: The BenQ MP610
Page two: The EPSON PowerLite S3
Page three: The InFocus X2
Page four: The Microtek MS4
Page five: The Mitsubishi SD110U
Page six: The Optoma EP716
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Optoma EP716 projector page.