Epson Mini EF11 Review: Compact Full HD Laser Projector
Epson EpiqVision Mini EF11 Review: The Epson EF-11 Full HD Compact Projector is a great example of how miniaturization should work. Here you get full a Full HD, which, despite the relatively low brightness on paper, looks good in reality, guaranteeing us a projected image with excellent quality.
Together with the EF-11, you get a full-fledged Compact Laser Projector, the widest side of which is only 175 mm. The small weight of the device is also important – 1.2 kg, which makes it easy to take the projector with one hand and carry it from one room to another.
Epson EF-11 Specifications
- Technology: 3LCD
- Resolution: 1920 × 1080 (Full HD)
- Picture Aspect Ratio: 16: 9
- Brightness: 1000 Lumens, 500 Lumens (Eco Mode)
- Picture diagonal: 30-150 inches
- Audio system: 2W speaker
- Wireless connection: Miracast
- Ports: HDMI, 3.5mm audio, USB-A and USB-B 2.0
- Estimated lamp life: 12,000 hours, 20,000 hours (eco mode)
- Dimensions and weight: 175 × 65 × 175 mm, 1.2 kg
Epson EpiqVision EF-11: Design and Connections
Holding the Epson EF-11 in my hand, I got the impression that such compactness and portability is not an easy foundation. This is proved by the very durable, small square case, covered with plastic, with a leather-like texture. All control buttons were removed from the case, in favor of one – power. There is a focusing wheel and LED on the top.
The front side is made of glossy plastic, there is also a lens (this time without a diaphragm), and at the bottom, there is an adjustable foot and a button that releases the lock. Of course, there is the manufacturer’s logo and the air intake grille.
All connectors, i.e. 3.5mm headphone output, USB 2.0 Type-A, USB 2.0 Type-B, and HDMI 1.4 are located on the left side. On the opposite side, there are only air intake grilles. On the other side at the bottom, we have two additional legs without adjustment, one mounting hole, and a removable cover with an air filter.
At the back, the manufacturer decided to place only a 2W speaker, so that the equipment can be easily installed vertically. However, in this case, the sound is slightly muffled, although the ability to watch any TV series on the ceiling makes up for the compromise.
Epson EpiqVision EF-11: Remote Control
The absence of buttons on the Epson EF-11 body means that only the remote control is used for the operation. This is not bad until we run out of batteries and we are not restricted in access to advanced features.
It is worth remembering that the equipment is designed in such a way that even when the position changes, it adapts to the new projection surface. Therefore, even a temporary lack of control should not be a big problem for the EF-11.
However, going back to the control panel, I will say that its design has also been simplified compared to the classic Epson projectors. There are only 16 buttons here, which is an advantage for me. Why? Learning the layout of the keys took only a few seconds, and after a few sessions, I reached master level by operating the projector without looking at the icons on the buttons. However, I must point out the lack of backlighting.
Read More: LG CineBeam 4K UHD laser projector
Epson EF-11: Functions and customization
As I said, the Epson EF-11 is devoid of all the sliders and buttons on the body, which are usually found in home projectors. And that’s not bad, because the main idea is the ease of use and the ability to project in any conditions, without the need (sometimes time-consuming) to correct the image.
So, after connecting the power supply, the vertical correction is set automatically. The only parameter that remains to be adjusted is the sharpness, for which the slider on the body is responsible. On the other hand, if we want to project the image at an angle to the projection screen (that is, the wall), we have a function for adjusting the geometry (vertically and horizontally). The second method offers Quick Corner – an option that allows you to accurately (without distortion) adjust the corners to the projection screen.
The ability to display the image upside down is also a useful feature. Although I wasn’t able to test it in the beginning, when I started watching the show on the ceiling, it came in handy. Interestingly, the orientation of the control menu can be changed independently of the screen itself.
Also, we get a standard set of settings, including color, brightness, or sharpness modes. The equipment also allows you to set the operating hours or change the light output, switch to economy mode (500 lumens), or return to normal mode (1000 lumens).
Epson EpiqVision EF-11: Audio and sound quality
The Epson EF-11 received a single 2W speaker, which is (as expected) not the loudest but generates clear sound overall. The bass is not enough, so it does not suit your favorite music videos in the best way, although it is quite enough for watching movies.
The EF-12 has a more advanced stereo system and is slightly better in this regard. However, as I mentioned in the beginning, there is a 3.5mm input here, although we won’t find the popular RCA or HDMI with ARC jacks.
Epson EF-11: Wireless Connection
To connect your smartphone and start streaming, you need to find the screen sharing function in the Android settings, while switching the source from HDMI to Miracast in advance in the projector. After a while, we will see a copy of the screen of our smartphone in a slightly larger format.
Of course, slight delays are noticeable, therefore, in my opinion, such a solution can be mainly useful, for example, for displaying presentations or photographs. It’s a pity that the manufacturer did not install a Wi-Fi module here.
Epson EF-11: Image Quality
I already knew that Epson projectors offer very good image quality. However, this time, mainly due to the low brightness, I didn’t expect much. And completely in vain, because, as it turned out, in the case of EF-11, the numbers on paper do not represent in reality what we get in practice.
The maximum brightness is 1000 lumens, which in the case of DLP devices usually results in a dark image. However, here we have a 3LCD system that provides the same intensity of white and color light. The advantage is that we can freely use the projector on a sunny day, and the colors will still be saturated.
The high contrast ratio of 2,500,000: 1 contributes to this positive effect, thanks to which the Epson EF-11 performs well in games. Of course, the 60Hz refresh rate does not guarantee smooth playback, but with less dynamic games, everything is fine.
During my tests, I didn’t notice any artifacts like rainbow effects or afterimages. It is also worth noting that the projector reproduces blacks very well, which until now has not been obvious with other 3LCD devices.
In terms of resolution, here we get the standard Full HD quality. Few? In my opinion, this is quite enough. Even with a maximum projection screen size of 150 inches, we cannot see individual pixels from a convenient distance. The lens is also worth praising, which from a distance of 2 meters allows you to project a picture with a length of 195 cm, so the EF-11 is perfect even for small rooms.
When buying a projector, always pay attention to the component life of the light source, which in traditional lamp designs averages 12,000 hours. Here we have a laser light source capable of continuously working up to 20 thousand hours, in economical mode, which is a really good indicator.
Pros & Cons
- Robust case
- Compact and lightweight
- Long lamp life
- Good image quality
- No Wi-Fi
- No RCA or HDMI with ARC
Should you buy it?
Of course, the Epson EF-11 lacks features like Wi-Fi connectivity or a split-screen. However, if someone is looking for a compact projector that will actually offer the capabilities of their larger counterparts while requiring little or no maintenance, the EF-11 is worth considering.
Price & Availability: The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF11 Laser Projector is available on Amazon at a price tag of $699.
See Also: Best Mini Stepper Machines of 2021