Epson’s New Portable Laser Projector Doubles As a Streaming Box

Epson’s New Portable Laser Projector Doubles As a Streaming Box
Image: Epson

When a projector works overtime as a portable streaming box, any room can be made into your own personal movie theatre.

That’s what Epson hopes to pull off with its EpiqVision Mini EF12 Streaming Laser Projector, a 2 kg miniature picture box that produces a full-HD HDR picture of up to 150 inches — which likely trumps the largest TV screen in the average person’s home. Specifically targeted to streamers, the Mini EF12 has Android TV and Google Assistant baked directly into the box, supporting most streaming apps and casting with built-in Chromecast.

Now, projectors are generally significantly improved with the addition of separate speakers, as the sound quality produced by on-unit speakers rarely cut it on their own. One of Epson’s big selling points for this TV on-the-go device is that it packs a “custom-designed audiophile speaker system” from Yamaha that can rival even soundbar-quality sound. That is…quite a claim, particularly given the projector’s wee size. However, Epson does seem to think that the quality is good enough that you’ll want to also use it as a standalone Bluetooth speaker, which seems promising.

Photo: EpsonPhoto: Epson

The device does have a number of features to help with orientation and picture quality, including scene-based colour correction and picture skew and focus correction. The latter will help correct the throw of the picture in relation to where the box itself is positioned, a useful tool for a projector that’s meant to be moved quite a bit. The Mini EF12 will retail for $US1,000 ($1,401).

The company also today announced the $US800 ($1,121) EpiqVision Mini EF11 Laser Projector — which produces a full-HD picture of up to 150″ and can be connected to a separate streaming box through its HDMI port, no Yamaha or Android TV included — and the EpiqVision Ultra LS300 Smart Streaming Laser Projector, a premium ultra-short-throw projector that Epson says can produce a picture of up to 3600 lumens. Starting at $US2,000 ($2,802), the Ultra can be purchased with a screen size up to 100 inches for $US3,000 ($4,202) or 120 inches for $US4,000 ($5,603). As with the Mini EF12, the Ultra comes with built-in Android TV and features an on-unit Yamaha speaker system.

All three models will begin shipping in the U.S. in November. Stay tuned for details on local Australian pricing and availability.