Epson Pro EX9220 Review: Top Performance at Bargain Price

Epson Pro EX9220 Review: Top Performance at Bargain Price

Epson is among the key players when it comes to projectors. Among the company’s best assortments is the Epson Pro EX9220, a wireless portable projector that can go toe-to-toe with the best of them. Featuring 3600 lumens of brightness and 1080p+ WUXGA resolution, it achieves exceptional color reproduction and image quality. What separates this sleek black projector from its peers is its ability to function exceptionally well in highly illuminated rooms, an unattainable feat even for the highly ranked BenQ HT2050A. Consequently, it is priced a bit higher than most of its peers.

The Pro EX9220 is primarily a presentation projector. It is portable, bright and produces the best text of all the projectors in that price range. Spreadsheets, word docs, PDFs, graphs, photos­­ – you name it – this is the go to projector if you want crystal clear images for a stress-free presentation in classrooms and conference rooms. It also supports various multimedia devices like PCs and Smartphones, which means that it can be used for home entertainment also.

Unfortunately, it is not the best projector for gaming and movies. Therefore, if you want a projector for presentations with entertainment as a secondary option, then the Epson EX9220 will work perfectly for you. However, if your main consideration is entertainment, then you probably want to consider other viable options like the Epson Home Cinema 2150 or the BenQ HT2050A. Also, the Pro EX9220 is a short throw projector, which works well in small to medium rooms. It is therefore not suitable for projection in large rooms.

Specs

  • Projection System: 3LCD, 3-Chip Technology
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1200 (1080p+/ WUXGA)
  • Resolution Support: 800 x 600 (SVGA) – 1920 x 1200 (WUXGA)
  • Color Brightness: 3600 ANSI Lumens
  • White Brightness: 3600 ANSI Lumens
  • Contrast: 15000: 1
  • Maximum Lamp Life: Normal Mode- 6,000 Hours; ECO Mode- 10,000 Hours
  • Throw Ratio: 1.38: 1- 1.68: 1
  • Zoom Ratio: 1.2x
  • Speaker: 2.0W Mono
  • Weight: 6.2 lb.
  • Native Aspect Ratio: 16:10; Supports 16:9, 4:3
  • Screen Size Projection: 30” – 300” (0.9 – 9m)
  • Displayable Colors: 1.07 Billion Colors
  • Noise Level: Eco Mode- 28dB, Normal Mode- 37dB
  • Keystone Adjustment: Vertical +/-30 degrees (Automatic); Horizontal +/-30 degrees (Manual)
  • Dimensions: 11.9 x 9.8 x 3.4 inches

Key Features

1080p+ WUXGA resolution

The Epson Pro EX9220 is among the few projectors under $1000 that can offer 1080p+ WUXGA resolution (1920 x 1200), which is 4.5x clearer than the SVGA (800 x 600). Most projectors at that price range really struggle at 1080p. Therefore, this projector produces outstanding image quality- crisp, detailed and crystal clear. Unfortunately, the resolution ceiling for this device is 1080p+, which means that it does not support 4k. However, that’s not a major issue since the 1080p+ performs beyond expectations in small to medium sized rooms.

Furthermore, no projector at that price range offers 4k resolution. The 1080p+ WUXGA offered by the Pro EX9220 is maybe the closest you will get to 4k resolution at this price. In addition, it also supports SVGA, XGA, SXGA, WXGA, SXGA2, SXGA3, WXGA+, SXGA+, WXGA++ and WSXGA+ resolutions.

3600 ANSI lumens of brightness

This projector produces up to 3600 lumens of color and white brightness, which makes it one of the brightest projectors at this price range. Although it works exceptionally well in the dark, the highlight of the Pro EX9220 is its ability to project extraordinarily in a well-lit room, making it the perfect projector for presentations. In fact, you can use this projector outdoors without any problem, that’s how effective it is.

Furthermore, it features 15,000: 1 contrast ratio, which is not much compared to many projectors. However, the clarity of the image does not depend much on the contrast ratio. A good example of this is the highly rated BenQ HT2050A, which also features 15,000: 1 contrast ratio but produces the best image quality of all the projectors below $1000.

1.07 billion colors

One of the requirements of a highly rated projector is the ability to generate as many colors as possible. The EX9220 Pro satisfies this requirement by generating more than 1.07 billion colors in each pixel. As a result, it produces colorful and radiant images, delivering the truest reproduction of images even in brightly lit conditions. It produces rich shades of white and black, an important requirement for presentations. Whether it is black text on white background or white text on black background or any other colored text and background, trust this projector to always deliver. Small texts and lines are easily made eligible by the rich colors and they do not fade or become blurry when you zoom in. It also comes with the 3-chip LCD engine that guarantees no rainbow artifacts, a common problem with many DLP projectors.

The 3-chip technology also ensures the color and white brightness match. A difference in either brightness levels could impact the quality of color or brightness of the images. Furthermore, it features five picture modes: Presentation, Cinema, Dynamic, sRGB and Blackboard. As you would expect, the Presentation mode is the right mode for documents and presentations, as it produces the best contrast between the background and text even in its default setting. Aside from presentations, the Cinema mode is the best for other uses. You can therefore use this projector for your home theatre entertainment, such as watching movies, sports and playing games.

It should be noted however that the EX9220 is not the best choice when it comes to gaming and watching movies and sports. It struggles with dark blacks and dark scenes appear washed up, especially in a well-lit room. Also, it tends to produce a reddish tint on colors and skin tones, which affects the quality output. Another letdown is that it does not support 3D, which can be discouraging if you are into 3D gaming and movies. Therefore, if entertainment is your primary goal, then you are better off with another highly rated model.

Short throw projection

The Pro EX9220 is designed to cater to small to medium sized rooms. With a maximum throw ratio of 1.68:1, this projector can produce up to 300 inches of screen size. For more visual clarity, it also features 1.2x zoom function and 2D keystone correction to get rid of trapezoidal effect when the projector is not correctly in-line with the screen. The vertical keystone correction is automatic and kicks into gear as soon as you turn on the projector, while the horizontal keystone is manually adjusted with easy to operate buttons on the projector.

In addition, there are three screen sizes that you can toggle between for your different needs. The 16:10 native aspect ratio is especially useful in spreadsheet presentations as it provides more columns than a typical 16:9 ratio. The other two sizes 4:3 and 16:9 are more convenient for movies and gaming.

Unfortunately, the EX9220 does not feature a lens shift like most projectors in that price range. However, it comes with an adjustable front leg that can be used to rectify the problem of a fixed lens.

Multiple connectivity options

One of the highlights of this projector is that it is among the very few projectors that features wireless connectivity. It is Wi-Fi enabled, which allows you to connect it with your PC or smartphone. The process is as simple as downloading the Epson app and scanning the QR code on the screen using your phone or tablet. It is fast and easy and even gives you the option of using your phone/tablet as a remote controller, which is very convenient during presentations. In addition, it includes various connection options. The two HDMI ports open up this projector to virtually all types of latest PCs and media players.

You also have the option of using Miracast, a wireless screen mirroring protocol that allows you to mirror photos and videos from your phone directly to the large screen. Miracast is only compatible with Android and windows 8.1+ operating systems. For iOS, you will need Airplay. It also features MHL connectivity, which works exactly like Miracast but requires a cable. The MHL connectivity also allows you to charge your phone during operation, which is very convenient if you are giving a long presentation. In addition, it also features a computer/component video VGA port, composite video RCA port, USB connector type A, USB connector type Band and audio in RCA port.

Remote controlled operation

Like most projectors, the Pro EX9220 is fully operated with a remote control. The remote control is generally easy to use, however we found that the small buttons were somewhat hard to press into. Luckily, the projector also features on-body buttons that you can take advantage of if the remote control poses a problem. Another letdown of the remote control is that it does not feature a back light, which makes it hard to work with it in a dark room. We weren’t super pleased to find out that there wasn’t a back light on its remote controller, since cheaper projectors already have this feature. However, we chose to move past this mishap because the projector has great features that almost make up for it. Also, the fact that you can always use your smartphone or tablet as a remote controller rectifies all the weaknesses of the remote controller.

Extended lamp life

Despite having one of the brightest lamps at 3600 lumens, this projector has one of the longest lamp life at that price range. With that said, and unsurprisingly, the lamp is the most replaced part in a projector.

These lamps aren’t cheap. A typical Epson Pro EX9220 lamp costs around $150, which could add up to a substantial amount in the long run. It is therefore a commendable job by Epson to offer a lamp with a longer lifespan. The Pro EX9220 has two lamp modes: Normal and Eco. Under the Normal mode, the lamp can last up to 6000 hours, which is far better than most projectors in that mode. The Eco mode reduces the brightness of the lamp, which lengthens its lifespan to 10,000 hours.

To put this into perspective – if you were only using the projector to watch a 2-hour movie every single day of the year, then it would take 8 years in normal mode and around 14 years in eco mode for the lamp to expire.

Built-in 2W mono speaker

An on-board audio system is another feature that separates the Pro EX9220 from many other projectors. Unfortunately, the mono speaker is only 2-watts, which falls short compared to some of the best performers in that price range that offer at least 10-watts. However, the audio system still performs reasonably well in a small or medium room.

What we noticed, however, is that the sound quality was not really good at very high volume. Also, we witnessed sound breaks after extended use. It is safe to say therefore that this speaker is only effective for short viewing sessions. Another drawback is that there are no audio ports for external sound systems, which means that you are stuck with this built-in speaker.

Pros

  • Functions exceptionally well in bright rooms
  • Wireless projection from PCs, smartphones and tablets
  • High 1080p+ WUXGA resolution
  • Wireless screen mirroring
  • Easy and fast wireless setup using QR code scanning
  • No rainbow artifacts
  • Outstanding data images and crystal clear text
  • Provides multiple connectivity for various devices
  • Zoom option with auto keystone correction
  • Has rich colors and bright visuals
  • Can produce large images from a few meters away
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • Does not include an audio port
  • Does not support 3D
  • Not the best projector for home entertainment

Alternatives

BenQ HT2050A

We ranked the BenQ HT2050A as the best projector for home cinema valued below $1000. It produces superior image quality despite having a lower lamp brightness of just 2200 lumens and a contrast ratio of 15,000:1. This single chip DLP projector also features a 96% Rec. 709 color spectrum that generates up to 1.07 billion colors in each pixel. At just 8 feet away, it can project 100” images and at full HD it has the ability to display maximum image sizes of up to 300”.

While the Pro EX9220 is primarily designed for presentations, the HT2050A is created solely for the ultimate home theater experience. As a result, the BenQ HT2050A shines wherever EX9220 struggles and vice versa. The HT2050 produces crystal clear images and vibrant colors that cannot be rivaled by the EX9220. However, it also features a dim lamp which affects its ability to project in an illuminated room. On the other hand, the EX9220 works perfectly in well-lit rooms and is the better projector when it comes to data presentations.

BenQ HT1070A

The greatest attribute of this projector is that it is relatively cheap, but still offers top notch performance like the expensive models. Although it offers 1080p resolution with a lot of vibrant colors within the 96% Rec.709 color gamut, it is still a low tier projector compared to the BenQ HT2050A. It is a great projector for movies and gaming, however the images appear washed out on its brighter settings. The built-in speaker is also not something to brag about. You will definitely need an external sound system with this one. Another drawback of this projector is that it does not project well in illuminated rooms and is also not the best choice when it comes to data presentations.

Epson Home Cinema 2150

Unlike the other two, the Epson 2150 features the same 3-chip LCD system as the Pro Ex9220. However, it is designed primarily for home entertainment and not presentations. It produces a maximum resolution of 1080p with 2500 lumens of brightness. It has an outstanding dynamic contrast ratio of up to 60,000:1, which enhances image quality and clarity. It also offers wireless screen mirroring using Miracast and is MHL-enabled. However, the Epson 2150 still falls short compared to the BenQ HT2050A when it comes to reproduction of images and colors.

Bottom Line

The Epson Pro EX9220 is a projector primarily designed for presentations. It produces the best contrast between the background and text. As a result, it really shines when it comes projecting documents. Small texts are crisp and legible and they do not fade or become blurry when you zoom in. Therefore, this projector is the right choice for you if you are a teacher or if you make regular presentations in conference rooms. You can also use it to watch movies and sports as a secondary option, although it is not known to have the most amazing video quality.

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