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Lifewire / Benjamin Zeman
Automatic vertical keystone
Very bright display
Solid build quality
Doesn’t have Full HD resolution
Mono speaker is quiet
Only comes with a VGA cable
No carrying bag included
The Epson VS250 SVGA Projector may have been considered a good projector at some point, but these days its 800 x 600 resolution just doesn’t cut it. We’d recommend saving yourself the time and looking for a Full HD 1920 x 1080 projector instead.
The Epson VS250 is a portable projector marketed for business presentations. It has a higher price point than other projectors in its class, and while we enjoyed some of the features like automatic vertical keystone adjustments and its excellent brightness levels, its low-resolution output makes it difficult to read any projected text.
The Epson VS250 has a great design—it’s basically everything we want in a projector and looks good to boot. At 11.9 x 9.2 x 3.2 inches and 5.3 pounds, it’s a nice size, and if it had a higher resolution, we’d have no problem recommending it.
One of our favorite features is that the projector automatically adjusts its vertical keystone when you extend the kickstand. The stand is a little wobbly and made from plastic, but it can do the job.
In place of the vertical keystone adjustment you would find on most other projectors, there is a horizontal keystone right behind the focus dial. This is amazing because you don’t have to point the projector straight at your projection surface. You can put the projector off to the side and adjust the distortion with the keystone, making this projector much more versatile. For example, you could put it on your nightstand next to the bed and project movies onto your wall. The rear feet are also adjustable so that you can level the projector on any surface. It even has a standard tripod mounting option.
The Epson VS250 has a great design—it’s basically everything we want in a projector and looks good to boot.
The lens is high quality and offers 3,200 lumens of brightness. We found the focus adjustment very smooth and accurate. Instead of a lens cap, the projector has a built-in cover that you can slide open to expose the lens, and when it’s closed it mutes both audio and video. We thought this is a great design—no more missing lens caps!
The fan and cooling system is very well-designed, quiet, and even has a removable dust filter. The single 2W mono speaker is located in the back of the projector alongside all the connectivity ports.
The connectivity options are a little different from the other projectors we’ve tested. There are HDMI and SVGA inputs, stereo audio and video RCA, and both USB-A and USB-B ports.
All the hardware buttons are laid out on top of the projector—all we really used were the power and auto-detect buttons because a remote is included. The remote includes shortcut buttons to software options not included in the hardware buttons on the case.
The Epson VS250 is feature-rich and has a lot of software adjustment options, so we took a little more time scrolling through the menus and adjusting the image to our liking. Getting a good focus was also difficult, not because the focus adjustment control is bad but because of the projectors low resolution.
We easily got the projector up and running just by hooking up our laptop, powering the projector up, hitting the auto input detect button and adjusting the keystone and focus. We did spend a good amount of time in the software, adjusting things like contrast and luminosity, because we were trying to get more readable text. Unfortunately, we weren’t very successful with that.
We don’t know why Epson would release a projector with such a low resolution in 2017. Unless we are mistaken about the release date, there’s little reason to not have Full HD when it’s standard on virtually every other projector. The projector even has an HDMI port that would normally mean at least a 1920 x 1080 resolution, but it’s still limited to 800 x 600.
To make things even more unfortunate, the brightness, color accuracy, color gamut, contrast, and the overall projected image is excellent. Epson made a big mistake on this one because the VS250 could have been a winner. Instead, we found that it performs very badly at its number one advertised task: being a business projector.
We tested the VS250 with several business presentations, using different devices, at different distances, and in different levels of light. Even in a room with a fair amount of light, the actual projection was bright and easy to see.
Everything came down to text for us—projected text was just not legible because the resolution did not allow it, and we struggled to read every panel in our presentation. We also tested it with a subtitled video and just ended up frustrated with strained eyes.
Epson’s little mono 2W speaker isn’t very powerful and it doesn’t sound great, but it’s a little better than other projectors we tested. It’s possible to use the built-in speaker for business presentations, but we would recommend connecting your laptop to a stereo system or portable bluetooth speaker instead.
Without a headphone output, the VS250 is even more limited in terms of audio.
We never expect much from a projector’s built-in speakers, but the Epson VS250 is also missing a headphone output. A headphone output can act as an aux-out jack, which makes it easy to connect to external audio devices via a standard 3.5mm cable. Without it, the VS250 is even more limited in terms of audio.
The Epson VS250 has some great features we already mentioned like the automatic vertical keystone adjustment, horizontal keystone adjustment, sliding lens cover gate, removable fan filter, and quality remote control. It also has built-in wireless that allows you to project from your Apple or Android mobile device. But wireless connectivity requires an optional high-speed LAN module which is sold separately.
The Epson VS250 runs custom, feature-rich software that is intuitive to navigate and understand. All the options can be accessed via the remote or the hardware buttons on the chassis. It offers all the standard adjustment options for things like contrast, brightness, and luminosity (the same types of settings you would find on your TV or computer monitor).
There are also presets like “Cinema Mode” that, unlike many other projectors, actually look very good. Additionally, keystone adjustments, audio, zoom, resize, and more can be accessed through the menu.
We think the Epson VS250 is very expensive at $329.99 (MSRP). The VS250 is a second-tier projector, falling between sub $100 options and more professional $400+ options. With modern projection technology, you’re unlikely to find a 4K projector for under $1,000, and most of the best 1080p projectors fall into this category. Plenty of projectors under $400 have 1080p resolution, though. The VS250 doesn’t deliver on either when it comes to resolution, and it’s kind of a big deal.
It has so much going for it, but the low resolution is just a dealbreaker.
There are many better options out there in this price range, especially if you’re looking for decent resolution. But we couldn’t find any with the keystone adjustment features the VS250 has, which is arguably the projector’s most convenient feature. We may have to spend a bit more for that option.
When it comes down to it, we don’t think the Epson VS250 is a good value for its price. It has so much going for it, but the low resolution is just a dealbreaker.
The Vankyo V600 is a strong competitor for the Epson VS250. Vankyo may not be a brand name you recognize as well, but it has a good reputation when it comes to projectors. The V600 doesn’t look nearly as good as the VS250 and lacks a lot of the features we loved about the Epson, but its image quality is much better.
The Vankyo V600 has native Full HD 1080p resolution and 4,000 lumens of brightness. Unlike the VS250, projected text is clear and easy to read. It has good color representation and can project the display up to 300 inches in widescreen format. It has an SD card slot, two USB ports, VGA, two HDMI ports, a 3.5mm AV jack, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
At only $249.99 (MSRP), the Vankyo V600 is significantly less expensive than the Epson VS250. It has its flaws, but we liked it and it has become a very popular option in this price range. After comparing them side by side, we would recommend the Vankyo V600 over the Epson VS250.
Look elsewhere for better resolution.
The Epson VS250 could have been a good projector. It has a very nice design, good color representation, some great features, and carries the Epson brand name. It just doesn’t have the resolution to compete in the modern projector market. Do yourself a favor and invest in something with a better picture.
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