In case you’ve forgotten, projectors are cool. They were cool ten years ago, when they cost an arm, weren’t very bright, had poor resolutions and the bulb ran out after 16 seconds, requiring an expensive replacement. Now that the Epson TW450 has fixed four out of five of these issues, however, projectors are very cool indeed.
The TW450 throws 2500 lumens (brightness) to a size of 33″ to 318″. It’s good in day-light conditions, and great in darkness. We pumped the size up to 140″ before we ran out of house and the picture was stunning.
The beautiful image quality is in part due to the brightness (you’d expect 2000 lumens for the RRP £600 pricetag), and part due to the 720p resolution. Standard quality DVDs look great, but throw on some HD footage (we tried Life) and you’ll be awe-struck.
The Epson has loads of input ports, including composite, S-video, component, VGA RGB, USB type B, USB type A, RCA and an HDMI. There’s no pass-through, however, so you’ll need to plug it into your computer everytime you use it.
The lamp will last 3000 hours in normal operation, and 4000 hours in eco mode. We really like the eco-mode: the brightness only dims a lit, power consumption falls and the noise level drops right down.
We noticed a bit of noise on the 29dB fan in quiet scenes, but in eco it fades right into the background. Whatever mode you’re in, however, you’ll likely be too engrossed in the outstanding picture to notice any noise.
There’s a built-in 1 watt speaker for no-hassle set-up, but you’ll be wasting an excellent cinematic experience if you play your sound through it.
Aside for its notable performance, the TW450 is extremely practical. It turns off instantly (no need for the fan to keep running), while the small size (228 x 295 x 77 mm) and light weight (2.3kg) mean it’s a cinch to move around.
Overall, we were blown away by the Epson. We never expected such performance from such a slight – and affordable – projector. Some might argue that for a perfect cinema experience, the fan is a little loud (in silent scenes) and the blacks aren’t as dark as they could be. We’d counter that no sub-£1000 projector could fix those issues, and you should stop being a pedant.
When you take into account that you can get one for £498 at Pixmania (you’ll need this discount code), it really is a fantastic deal. We try a lot of electronics at Latest Gadgets, and we’ve never been so tempted to convert a review into a purchase as right now.