Optoma EP7155 review

11 Feb 2008

Small, light, with some impressive features and fair running costs, but image quality isn't quite up there with the best.

Price when reviewed 
478
5

If you want a jack-of-all-trades projector - one you can carry around and use for presentations back at base, too - this Optoma fits the bill better than any of the other products we've looked at this month. It's the lightest and most compact by quite a distance at 1.4kg.

You might assume these compact dimensions mean less in the way of features, but the diminutive EP7155 packs plenty in. As well as 2,500 lumens brightness and a contrast ratio of 2,500:1, it's the only projector here to sport an HDMI input.

Those impressive contrast and brightness specifications mean it's fantastic at displaying dark greys and colours against black backgrounds while maintaining intense whites, but sadly image quality elsewhere just doesn't stack up. Clearly, the optics aren't quite up to the level of projectors such as the InFocus IN36, because we found gaining an even focus all across the screen to be difficult. Fine lines and small text appear slightly soft, too, and across all the tests the EP7155 couldn't match the leaders.

And although the chassis feels solid enough to take a few on-the road knocks, there are areas where the EP7155 just doesn't appear very well put together. The focus and zoom controls feel slightly cheap and light, and this makes fine-tuning tricky. We weren't fans of the rather rattly buttons on the top of the projector, either, and we just couldn't get the cheap-feeling lens cap to lock in place.

Running costs aren't too exorbitant, which rescues it from mediocrity. The cost of a replacement bulb is £179, the cheapest of any of the DLP projectors in this Labs, and its cost over 10,000 hours, although not the cheapest, is on a par with those of the InFocus and Dell machines.

Nevertheless, if you absolutely must have a portable projector, the Optoma is well worth a look - there's nothing to rival its size and weight this month, and it isn't weak on the features front, either.