Optoma EP739H review

Price when reviewed

Optoma’s EP739H might be on the edge of our weight limit of 2.5kg this month, but it offers an amazing specification at a temptingly low price. Despite being the second-cheapest device on test, it offers the highest brightness at 2,300 ANSI lumens. It manages this without causing a terrific racket – we measured 41.9dBA at full brightness, and a quieter 39dBA in economy mode.

Optoma EP739H review

Optoma claims the lamp will last 3,500 hours in standard mode, which equates to only 6p per hour. If you use economy mode permanently, this cost could be reduced to as little as 4p an hour. By contrast, the Plus will cost you as much as 19p an hour in standard mode.

Not only this, but the EP739H also packs both DVI and VGA interfaces, which will please many. In the box you’ll find a scart-to-VGA adaptor, and you can buy an optional component adaptor too. S-Video and composite video round off the video inputs and there’s USB for control as well as a serial port. A single 3.5mm mini-jack takes care of audio input.

With preset PC, movie, sRGB, game and user modes, it’s clear that Optoma sees the EP739H being used as a presentation device as well as for evening and weekend entertainment.

We found that presentation quality was well above average. The extra brightness made whites incredibly bright, and grey text appeared correctly, not as black. Colours weren’t fully accurate, but for this you’d need to switch to sRGB mode.

Uniformity was excellent across the image, while both horizontal and vertical resolution was also top-notch, even using the VGA input. Focus was solid, if never pin-sharp, while contrast was also above average. But, on a black screen, we noticed the Optoma produced more light than with other 12-degree DLP devices, presumably because of the higher lamp rating.

Although the built-in speaker isn’t up to much, the EP739H is reasonably adept when it comes to images and movies. The movie preset wasn’t great, so we tweaked the sRGB setting until we found acceptable colours and contrast. Dark scenes still lacked detail, but in a dark room few will be disappointed.

With well-designed menus, plenty of options for adjusting the image and a decent remote control, the Optoma has few flaws. Some might be disappointed with the three-minute shutdown time, but the three-year exchange warranty should sweeten this slight niggle. There’s no USB flash drive support, no Wi-Fi and it’s a bulky projector, but at this price the EP739H is hard to beat for value.

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