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Epson VS250 Review

Great for basic slideshow presentations, but lacks clarity and color quality for much else
Epson VS250
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
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Price:   $360 List
Pros:  Bright lamp, good price
Cons:  Fuzzy text, does not have HD resolution
Manufacturer:   Epson
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  May 14, 2018
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50
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 8
  • Image Quality - 45% 3
  • Ease of Use - 25% 6
  • Brightness - 15% 9
  • Fan Noise - 15% 5

Our Verdict

For those that do a lot of slideshow presentations in lots of different places, the Epson VS250 is a great deal. It packs a powerful lamp that can easily overpower ambient light into a small, barely more than 5-pound package. It can easily be moved from room to room and building to building and retails for quite a low price. However, the relatively low SVGA resolution means that smaller text is going to look fuzzy. If your presentations have enough text to necessitate a small font size, you're going to want to upgrade to a better model. That lower resolution also doesn't translate well to movie watching — it's passable, but certainly not a full-on home theater experience.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Epson VS250
This Product
Epson VS250
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $360 List$1,000 List
$1,095 at Amazon
$407 List$325 List
$299.99 at Amazon
$280 List
$175.99 at Amazon
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Pros Bright lamp, good priceCrisp image quality, accurate color depiction, intuitive interface, WiFi connectivity, streaming services on deviceBright image, relatively cheap, WXGA resolutionRelatively good picture, automatic keystone correction, good audio qualityRelatively good image quality
Cons Fuzzy text, does not have HD resolutionNo remote button backlight, not very portable, loud fanPoor adjustability, unimpressive colorsFinicky remotePoor sound quality, no remote, lacks automatic keystone correction
Bottom Line Great for basic slideshow presentations, but lacks clarity and color quality for much elseA projector fit for most scenarios, with amazingly crisp image quality, stellar color accuracy, an intuitive interface and streaming service capability via WiFiA bright projector at a decent price that is great for presentations but not moviesA decent option for those looking for a battery-powered and portable movie machineA decent picture can't make up for the lack of features found in most other models
Rating Categories Epson VS250 Epson Home Cinema 2250 ViewSonic PA503W ViewSonic M1 Portable Optoma LV130
Image Quality (45%)
3.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
4.0
Ease Of Use (25%)
6.0
8.0
5.0
8.0
4.0
Brightness (15%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
2.0
2.0
Fan Noise (15%)
5.0
6.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
Specs Epson VS250 Epson Home Cinema 2250 ViewSonic PA503W ViewSonic M1 Portable Optoma LV130
Projection Technology 3LCD 3LCD DLP RGB LED RGB LED
Specification Brightness 3200 lumens 2700 lumens 3600 lumens 250 lumens 300 lumens
Measured Brightness 2847 lumens 3166 lumens 2588 lumens 124 lumens 120 lumens
Maximum Resolution 800 x 600 1080p 1280 x 800 854 x 480 800 x 480
Contrast Ratio 15000:1 70000:1 22000:1 120000:1 100000:1
Apect Ratio Native 4:3 Native 16:9 Native 16:10 Native 16:9 Native 16:9
Zoom Ratio 1.0- 1.35 (digital) 1.0 - 1.6 1.0- 1.1 n/a n/a
Throw Ratio (Wide to Zoom) 1.45 -to1.96 1.33 to 2.17 1.55 to 1.70 1.2 1.1
Backlit Remote? No No No No N/A
Vertical Keystoning Correction? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Horizontal Keystoning Correction? Yes Yes No No No
Lens Shift? No Yes No No No
Dimensions 11.9" x 9.2" x 3.2" 12.2" x 12.4" x 4.8" 11.6" x 4.3" x 8.6" 5.8" x 1.6" x 5.0" 4.13" x 1.4" x 4.7"
Weight 5.3 lbs 8.4 lbs 4.9 lbs 1.5 lbs 0.9 lbs
Lens Cover? Yes Yes No No No
3D Capable? No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Epson VS250 is quite inexpensive and excels at projecting basic slideshow presentations. It isn't high definition, so small text and movies both look slightly grainy, but for backing up your presentation with large text and graphics it works perfectly.

Performance Comparison


The Epson VS250 is another bright model.
The Epson VS250 is another bright model.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Image Quality


The relatively low SVGA resolution (800 x 600) of the VS250 lost it a lot of points in our image quality testing. However, we still feel this projector is quite useful in certain applications. Its bread and butter is slideshow presentations, and that is the one area where it excelled in our testing. This is largely because of its superior brightness, which lets it produce a bright image, even in a room with a lot of ambient light (more about that in the brightness section below). However, due to the low resolution, it struggles to make small text look clear. Therefore The VS250 is best for basic presentations with large text and graphics.

The VS250 (left) produces a very bright image but lacks the...
The VS250 (left) produces a very bright image but lacks the clarity of high-definition models (right). This image was taken in a bright room.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

When used in a home theater setting, the VS250 is somewhat lackluster. Its lower resolution is very apparent when compared to high-definition models. The color accuracy also leaves a lot to be desired, with most things taking on an overly blue-ish tint. Finally, the 4:3 aspect ratio means you have an area above and below the image that is slightly lit up when watching 16:9 widescreen movies. This isn't a huge deal but can be a bit distracting. Bottom line, the VS250 costs about the same as a 40" 4K TV. We think the 4K TV is going to provide a much better movie-watching experience.

When used in a home theater context, the Epson VS250 (left)...
When used in a home theater context, the Epson VS250 (left) added an odd blue tint to most scenes. Its relative lack of resolution was also noticeable.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Use


The VS250 was an around average performer in our user friendliness testing. It makes adjusting an image easy, though the remote could be better. With automatic vertical keystone adjustment and a slider for quick horizontal keystone adjustment, you can easily get your image nice and square in a matter of seconds. It also has a wide 1-1.35 zoom range, so you can get the picture the appropriate size even if the projector isn't an ideal distance from the screen. This zoom is digital, so it is adjusted using buttons instead of a zoom ring. This is a little less convenient, but not too bad. We also didn't notice any significant reduction in image quality when using the digital zoom.

The on-projector controls are fairly straightforward.
The on-projector controls are fairly straightforward.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

One key aspect of the VS250 that we really like is its leg. To adjust the height of the leg (and thus your placement of the image) you just press and hold a button, pull the leg to the height you want, and then release the button. Seeing as the VS250 would often be used on tabletops and be moved around, having this adjustment be quick and painless was a huge plus.

The VS250's leg allows for quick and easy height adjustments.
The VS250's leg allows for quick and easy height adjustments.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Where the VS250 lost some points was with its remote. Its buttons are small and crowded together, and not in a particularly intuitive layout. It's not too big a deal as the controls on the projector itself are more user-friendly, but if you mount the projector out of reach it would certainly be a pain.

We weren't huge fans of the VS250's remote.
We weren't huge fans of the VS250's remote.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Brightness


This is a strong point for the VS250. In our testing, it produced 2847 lumens, more than any other model we tested. This extra brightness allows it to handle ambient light with aplomb. It kept all images looking bright and full, even with the overhead fluorescents glaring in our conference room. This makes it perfect for those that do a lot of presentions in rooms that may or may not have projector-friendly lighting. The only downside is that its resolution is slightly lacking, so small text is going to look fuzzy. You can fix that by upgrading, but it will cost you more.

The VS250 (left) easily handles ambient light, making graphs...
The VS250 (left) easily handles ambient light, making graphs looks bright. In fact, it almost matches the EX9200 (right) in that regard, despite being nearly a third the price. The EX9200 has much better resolution, however.

Fan Noise


We would classify the fan on the VS250 as noticeable, but not annoying. During our testing, we could notice a low buzz that slowly got higher in pitch as the lamp heated up. However, it never got loud enough to be annoying, and certainly wasn't loud enough to interfere with a presentation given at a conversational volume. If we had a movie playing, we only noticed the fan at the quietest of moments, and even then it didn't take us out of the movie.

The VS250 has all of the inputs and outputs you're likely to need.
The VS250 has all of the inputs and outputs you're likely to need.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


If you're looking for a portable presentation machine, this is a steal. However, if you're looking to build a home theater, you're going to either want to spend more on your purchase or get the biggest HD television you can for the price.

Conclusion


The Epson VS250 is a great projector for those that want to take their slideshow presentations on the go. However, if you want to watch movies or need to project lots of lines of small text, you'd de better to spend a bit more on a model with higher resolution.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata