Epson EMP-732 review

£1080
Price when reviewed

Another LCD-based projector, the EMP-732 weighs far less than Canon’s LV-X4 at 1.7kg. It isn’t particularly attractive, though, and doesn’t feel as well constructed as others – the plastic casing flexes when touched.

In return for the higher-than-average price, you get higher-than-average brightness; the EMP-732 is rated at 2,000 ANSI lumens, and it was noticeably brighter than the Dell. The extra brightness helped overcome the relatively poor contrast, allowing details to be seen in dark photos or video clips that would otherwise have turned black.

Fonts were crisply displayed with no ghosting, and our grey text showed up as grey for once; it became black on most other projectors. In our resolution tests, the Epson showed it could lock onto the analog signal with no problems – distinct white and black lines were visible both vertically and horizontally. Focus was excellent across the entire image.

Other bonuses are that the projector has automatic keystone correction and can shut down in just 20 seconds, letting you pack up and leave a meeting room quickly. There are also sRGB, presentation, dynamic, theatre, living room and blackboard modes, and menus offer decent control over the image, as well as how many hours have been used in standard and economy more. If you want to use audio, the Epson has one of the best quality – and loudest – speakers on test.

Sadly, that’s where the good news ends, as we had several gripes with the EMP-732. Uniformity was one problem – displaying a completely white image showed noticeable impurities on the left-hand side, while other blocks of colour appeared uneven too.

And, despite the menu options, the menus themselves are far too cumbersome to navigate. This isn’t helped by the poorly designed remote, which has an unintuitive button layout that’s hard to use in darkened rooms.

Contrast, like the Canon, leaves visible grey bars when watching a widescreen movie even in the appropriate ‘theatre’ mode. The quality of video playback isn’t great either; we saw tearing during pans and vertical banding in areas of similar colour, such as sky.

In terms of connectivity, the Epson is more basic than the price would suggest. There’s VGA, S-Video, composite video, audio in and USB control. VGA, USB and audio cables are provided along with a soft carry case.

It’s good to see a three-year warranty, but many will be annoyed by the noise – at 52.3dBA, this is the noisiest on test. And, costing £1,080 to buy and 14p per hour to run, the Epson can’t match the Optoma or Dell for value.

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