The Optoma EP728 stands out from the competition because of its small size and weight.

When packed in its carry case it is half the size of most rival projectors, which will be welcome news to anyone who has to take a projector on the road.

Despite the small size, this is a regular DLP projector with an XGA resolution that can be resized to a widescreen image of 1400 x 1050 pixels.

Full connectivity

The ports and connectors are lined up across the back of the projector and we were pleased to see Optoma has managed to squeeze in a full selection, despite the size.

They consist of VGA output, VGA input, DVI input, S-Video output, audio jack and USB port. Optoma adds to your options by including an adapter that converts S-Video to Composite.

Awkward operation

This projector uses a focus ring around the lens that is trickier to reach than the controls on the other projectors, which have a simple lever next to the zoom control.

Then there's the remote control, which is a reasonable example of the species. However, the layout is confusing as it is covered in pairs of plus/minus buttons.

While we're complaining, the set-up menus would also benefit from a bit of work to make the options crystal clear. Once you get to grips with the Optoma, it's easy enough to figure out, but if you are an occasional user you might find it exasperating.

Deep black levels

Using the EP728 in Bright mode gives you a decent picture that is sharp and clear, while the 33dB noise rating is less intrusive than you might expect.

The picture isn't perfect as it has a relatively harsh image that we used to associate with DLP technology. However, blacks do look good.

Switching to Standard mode makes the projector noticeably more quiet, but it makes the picture too dark for our tastes. As you can see, the Optoma isn't perfect, but it is a very good compromise and the small size makes it a favourite of ours.