Epson EX5280

Home theater projectors are great for movies and video games, but they’re not always the best choice for teachers, managers, event planners, and other professionals. In this Epson EX5280 review, we’ll look at a model that’s built with business users in mind, with a portable build, fast set-up, and image specs ideal for presentations. (>>> Check the current price on Amazon)

Epson EX5280 Review of Main Specs:

Epson EX5280
Resolution 1024x768
Brightness (Lumens) 3,800 ANSI
Contrast Ratio 16,000:1
Throw Distance 3.6' - 29.6'
Screen size 30" - 300"
Speakers 2.0 Watts Mono
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Portability

At a weight of 5.5 pounds, the Epson EX5280 is remarkably lightweight given its performance. It’s just as compact in its dimensions, with a slim profile of only 3.2” high and design features like a front-facing fan and recessed lens that make it more road-worthy. While it’s small enough to carry in many backpacks and briefcases, it also comes with a convenient soft-sided bag that has a pocket on the front for the cables and remote.

The Epson EX5280 has a built-in speaker, so you won’t necessarily need an external speaker to play sound with your presentation. Bear in mind that built-in speaker is very small. It’s loud enough for small to medium rooms but you’ll need another sound source (e.g. soundbar) if you want everyone to hear in spaces like auditoriums or other large meeting spaces—something to keep in mind from both a cost and equipment bulk standpoint.

Installation

The Epson EX5280 is designed for professional use in spaces like conference rooms and classrooms, and its set-up and installation features match this intended purpose. It uses a standard throw distance, producing a 100” image at around 9-11 feet of distance. This does mean using a ceiling mount in many spaces, and may limit its use in smaller spaces.

The good news is, the set-up process for the Epson EX5280 is faster than most projectors, with a plug-and-play interface and an array of image adjustment options. The built-in picture skew sensor automatically adjusts the horizontal keystone to square the image. Manual alignment options include a horizontal slider, a 1.2x zoom, and 2D keystone correction, giving the projector good flexibility in terms of its placement.

Pros

  • 3LCD display eliminates risk of rainbowing
  • Accepts video content up to 4K
  • Bright lamp is usable in any light conditions
  • Picture skew sensor automatically corrects the geometry
  • Lightweight and portable design
  • Includes a carrying and storage bag

Cons

  • Standard resolution for videos
  • Weak sound performance

Connectivity

The rear panel of the Epson EX5280 is surprisingly robust given the small size of the projector. Input options include HDMI, RCA, and VGA, with USB connections for peripherals or wireless dongles.

The EX5280 has one notable lack from a connectivity standpoint: there’s no direct audio output. This isn’t an issue for most business uses since larger spaces where you’ll need more sound often have A/V systems in place to handle the audio. If you don’t have a receiver (or other way to split the sound from the video) you’re stuck with the 2-watt speaker that’s built in.

Display Quality

Epson EX5280 connections

The lamp on the Epson EX5280 is powerful, putting out a consistent 3,800 lumens for both black-and-white and color images. The image stays saturated in even well-lit spaces, perfect for rooms where you can’t control the light or workshops and classes where participants need to read along and take notes.

For the color, the Epson EX5280 uses a 3-chip LCD system similar to what you’ll find in their home theater projectors. This produces a wide, accurate color gamut without the flickering that can be caused by color wheels, allowing your entire audience to watch comfortably.

The Epson EX5280 can accept video signals up to 1080p (full HD), so you can use it to play TV shows or movies if you want to. That said, the native resolution is the lower XGA, which is perfect to keep text legible at all screen sizes but on the low side for videos (especially for viewers accustomed to HD screens). Its real-time video processing makes it a suitable choice for video calls or training videos, it’s just not the best way to watch the latest blockbuster films.

What’s the Bottom Line?

The bright lamp, portable build, and user-friendly design of the Epson EX5280 make it an ideal choice for business and classroom use, and it’s arguably the best business projector you’ll find in the under-$1,000 price point. While the low resolution and weak sound are less than ideal in a home theater context, it does supports 3D and 4K content, so it can be used for movies—they just won’t look or sound as good as they could. (>>> Check on Amazon)