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Epson EX5250 Pro Wireless XGA 3LCD Projector

The Epson EX5250 Pro Wireless XGA 3LCD Projector is a lightweight model that offers sharp text and good video quality for a data projector. With a rated brightness of 3,600 lumens, the EX5250 Pro is bright enough for a midsize room, although you may want to add an external sound system if you use much video in your presentations. It lacks most of the bells and whistles of the Epson PowerLite 965H XGA 3LCD Projector, our Editors’ Choice XGA projector for midsize rooms, but it comes in at a substantially lower price.

Design and Features
The EX5250 Pro’s light source, which is based on the 3LCD technology developed by Epson, has a rated brightness of 3,600 lumens, a little above average for a data projector, and brighter than the very similar Epson EX5240 XGA 3LCD Projector. The EX5250 Pro has native XGA (1,024-by-768) resolution, in a 4:3 aspect ratio typical of traditional data presentations.

Measuring 3.2 by 11.6 by 9.2 inches (HWD), including its feet, and weighing 5.3 pounds, the glossy-black EX5250 Pro is easily portable, and it comes with a soft carrying case. Behind the lens are zoom and focus rings, as well as a slider for manual horizontal keystone correction. The 1.2x optical zoom provides some flexibility in how far you can place the projector from the screen for a given image size, although it is modest compared with the 1.6x zoom found in the Epson 965H.

The EX5250 Pro has a solid, albeit basic, set of ports, including a VGA port (which doubles as component video), an HDMI port, three RCA plugs for composite video and audio, an S-video port, a USB Type B port for connecting with a PC, and a USB Type A port that fits a thumb drive or a Wi-Fi adapter. The adapter comes standard with the EX5250 Pro, while for both the Epson 965H and EX5240 it’s a $99 option. The Epson 965H does, however, add a second port for both VGA and HDMI (the latter being MHL-compatible), as well as an Ethernet jack.

The EX5250 Pro has a long lamp life for an LCD projector, up to 10,000 hours when in ECO mode. Even better, replacement bulbs cost a pittance. Epson sells them for just $79, while most vendors sell replacement bulbs for around $200.

As is the case with the vast majority of LCD-based projectors, the EX5250 Pro lacks the ability to project 3D content. DLP projectors such as the BenQ MX723 offer 3D as a matter of course.

Data-Image Testing
From a distance of about 5 feet away, the EX5250 Pro projected a 60-inch image (measured diagonally), which stood up well to the addition of ambient light. In testing using the DisplayMate suite, the EX5250 Pro showed image quality that’s suitable for most business and classroom presentations. Text quality is good, with both white text on black, and black text on white readable at sizes as small as 7.5 points.

Colors are bright and well saturated. With LCD projectors color brightness matches white brightness, and their images tend to look brighter and more colorful than DLP projectors. This is because DLP models frequently have lower color brightness than white brightness.

I did notice a color-balance issue during testing, with some gray backgrounds looking slightly red or green. This was true across multiple color modes, as well as with the lower-brightness ECO (power conservation) setting enabled. The EX5250 Pro’s overall data-image quality was nearly as good as the Epson 965H, and better than the Epson EX5240, with text quality being the deciding factor in each case.

Video and Audio Quality
The EX5250 Pro’s video quality is good for a data projector. It’s suitable for showing mid-length or longer clips as part of a presentation, though the quality isn’t up to that of a basic home-entertainment unit. Because it’s an LCD projector, the EX5250 Pro is free from the rainbow artifacts that often compromise video quality in DLP-based models. On the other hand, color balance was slightly off, with an excess of red in some test scenes. The single 2-watt speaker provides reasonably loud audio, good enough for a small room, and of decent quality. Its volume is modest compared with the sound from the Epson 965H’s 16-watt speaker.

The Epson EX5250 Pro Wireless XGA 3LCD Projector is a versatile data projector for business or classroom use. It’s bright enough to work well in a midsize room, yet light enough to be easily portable, and it offers Wi-Fi connectivity. Overall data-image quality is good, and video quality is above-average for a data projector. The EX5250 Pro costs a little more than the Epson EX5240, but by virtue of its extra brightness, sharper text, and Wi-Fi adapter, is a better choice. Although the EX5250 lacks the powerful audio, zoom, and range of ports, of the Epson PowerLite 965H, it comes in at a substantially lower price than that Editors’ Choice model. If cost is paramount, the EX5250 Pro is a more-than-acceptable alternative.


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