As one of the developers of LCD technology for data projectors, Epson doesn't offer any other type of machine.

This triple 0.63-inch LCD model has a 1024 x 768-pixel resolution and a brightness rating of 2200 ANSI lumens is similar to those of DLP rivals, but the 400:1 contrast ratio is low in comparison.

This is inherent to LCD technology as the panels are unable to effectively block light with the result that blacks are imperfect, but we've had the same problem with other projectors, even though they use DLP.

Premium build

Epson has wrapped the EMP-X5 in a sleek chassis that is finished in white and pale grey and would look equally good in a meeting room and at home.

This attention to cosmetic detail makes the Epson feel like a home cinema model.

This is reinforced by the way that it produces really good colours and has RCA audio connectors instead of the usual mini-jack.

Noise issues

On the other hand, the high noise rating took us by surprise and it has a VGA output, so perhaps its natural home is in the meeting room.

With the brightness setting on High, the 35dB noise rating was intrusive.

While we could fix this by switching to Low power mode, the brightness rating dropped so far the image became too dim to be useful.

Work or home projector?

The set-up process is helped by the auto keystone which works very effectively. However, the zoom range was very poor, so you may have to move the projector around to get the image size right.

Scrolling through the menus we saw that Epson offers a variety of modes – Game, Video, Text, Presentation, Blackboard and so on – however, Presentation seemed to fit the bill for all occasions.

Historically, we have been very impressed by Epson LCD projectors, but the EMP-X5 seems like it is being pulled in different directions with the result that it doesn't excel either for presentations or for watching movies.