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Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Projector Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Feb 13, 2024 at 10:37 am

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 is a compact 1080p LCD laser projector primarily meant for portability and streaming content. It's capable of projecting content up to a 150" size. It has full auto horizontal and vertical keystone correction to eliminate trapezoid effects when installed off-center or at an angle and also includes automatic focus correction. It has two HDMI ports—one of which is an ARC port—with 1080p @ 60Hz support and two integrated 5W Yamaha speakers. It has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support and comes with the Android TV smart interface with full Chromecast integration.

Our Verdict

7.0 Movies

The Epson EF12 is satisfactory for watching movies. Its native contrast is decent, but its brightness is middling, so you need to close the blinds and turn off the lights when using this projector, as it only truly looks fine in a dark room. The projector doesn't have a wide color gamut, but it doesn't matter, as it's just not bright enough to make colors pop. Thankfully, the projector has great pre-calibration image accuracy, so it's a solid choice for those who care about accurate colors. Even though it has no white balance or color adjustments, a slight adjustment to its color temperature gives it fantastic overall accuracy.

Pros
  • Great image accuracy pre-calibration, and it is fantastic after only slight tweaking.
Cons
  • Not bright enough to deal with any lights.
  • Dull colors.
  • 7.0 Movies
  1. Updated Feb 13, 2024: Review published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We bought and tested the Epson EF12. This projector has no variants, but Epson has other projectors in their EpiqVision line, like the Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01 and Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS300.

Compared To Other Projectors

The Epson Mini EF12 is a decent portable projector. It straddles a fine line between quality and portability; it has better image quality than smaller and more portable projectors and worse image quality than heavier projectors. It's hard to beat if you need a projector that you can easily bring to your friends' basements to project some streaming content, but it's a bit expensive for what it offers. The Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01 is cheaper and offers better image quality, but it's bigger and heavier. Inversely, the XGIMI Elfin looks almost as good as the EF12 but is smaller, lighter, and cheaper.

XGIMI Halo+

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 and XGIMI Halo+ have different strengths. They're both small and light projectors, but the XGIMI is even smaller, and it has an integrated battery, making it more portable than the Epson. Regarding image quality, the XGIMI has better contrast and a wider color gamut than the Epson, but the Epson is the vastly more accurate projector. Thus, the XGIMI is better suited for contexts where image accuracy doesn't matter as much, like projecting on the side of a van when camping. The Epson is better if you can access an outlet and project on a good-quality screen.

XGIMI HORIZON

The XGIMI HORIZON is a bit better than the Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12, but they have different use cases. The XGIMI HORIZON is a slightly bigger and heavier projector than the Epson, but it is also brighter, making it easier to place in various lighting conditions. The XGIMI has eARC support, while the Epson is limited to ARC, so the XGIMI supports advanced audio formats. The Epson, however, is vastly more accurate than the XGIMI, so it's the better option for image accuracy purists.

XGIMI HORIZON Ultra

The XGIMI HORIZON Ultra is much better than the Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12, but the Epson is smaller and easier to carry around. Still, the XGIMI is much brighter, has a wider color gamut, and has slightly better contrast. The XGIMI also projects a sharper image with its pixel-shifting technology, while the Epson is limited to 1080p.

Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 is better than the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen. The Samsung is much smaller and lighter, so it's much easier to carry around, but the Epson is also quite portable. The Epson is significantly brighter than the Samsung and is vastly more accurate pre-calibration, although both projectors are very similar post-calibration. The Samsung has a wider color gamut than the Epson, but it doesn't matter, as it's just not bright enough to make colors pop. Finally, the Epson has significantly better connectivity.

XGIMI MoGo 2 Pro

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 is better than the XGIMI MoGo 2 Pro. The Epson is noticeably brighter and vastly more accurate than the XGIMI. The XGIMI has slightly better contrast, but the extra brightness of the Epson will make its image look better than the XGIMI's, even in pitch-black rooms. The XGIMI is, however, more portable, as it's smaller and lighter than the Epson, but the Epson is no slouch in that area; it is called the 'Mini' for a reason.

Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01

The Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01 is better than the Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12. The Mini EF12 is a bit lighter and smaller, so it's easier to carry around, and it has full auto keystone correction and autofocus, so it's faster to set up. It also has Android TV integration with full Chromecast support and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which the Flex CO-W01 lacks. The Flex CO-W01 is, however, vastly brighter than the Mini EF12 and bright enough for rooms with lots of light. The Mini EF12 has better contrast and looks better in a completely dark room.

XGIMI Elfin

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 is better than the XGIMI Elfin, but the XGIMI is easier to carry due to its smaller size. Otherwise, the Epson is a bit brighter (but they're both pretty dim) and has much better pre-calibration image accuracy, although the XGIMI closes the gap somewhat after calibration. The XGIMI has a wider color gamut but isn't bright enough to make its colors pop.

ViewSonic PX701-4K

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 is a bit better than the ViewSonic PX701-4K, although the ViewSonic is particularly interesting to gamers with its 1080p @ 240Hz support. The ViewSonic is brighter and has better contrast, but the Epson has vastly better color accuracy. The ViewSonic can also deliver sharper images through 4k pixel shifting, while the Epson projects a much lower 1080p image. The Epson has significantly more smart features, has an integrated smart interface with full Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, and is more portable.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
7.0
Design
Portability
Height 5.4" (13.6 cm)
Width 6.9" (17.5 cm)
Depth 6.9" (17.5 cm)
Weight
4.7 lbs (2.1 kg)

The Epson EF12 has a compact design and weighs 4.7 pounds, making it easy to carry around, but it doesn't have an integrated battery, so you still need to have it plugged into an outlet. It has full auto keystone correction and autofocus, so it's easy to set up, and you can adjust the projector's angle with its adjustable front foot.

Design
Projector Technology
Imaging Technology
LCD
Light Source
Laser
Resolution
1080p
Aspect Ratio
16 : 9
Minimum Throw Ratio
1.00
Maximum Throw Ratio
1.00

This 1080p LCD projector uses a laser light source, which requires no maintenance and will last for 20,000 hours or more. You likely won't ever have to worry about replacing it. As it's a 1080p projector, it's limited to a 1080p @ 60Hz resolution.

Picture Quality
5.8
Picture Quality
Brightness
White Light Output
515 lm
Color Light Output
512 lm
Brightness Uniformity
86%
Screen Brightness
55 cd/m²

This projector has middling brightness, although it has good brightness uniformity. Close the blinds and turn off the lights when using this projector, as it's not bright enough for anything but a dark room.

7.4
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
142 : 1

The Epson Mini EF12 has decent contrast, so its blacks look fine when watching content in a dark room.

8.4
Picture Quality
Pre-Calibration Color Accuracy
White Balance dE
2.58
Color dE
1.67
Gamma
2.21
Color Temperature
6,338 K
Picture Mode
Natural
Color Temp Setting
7
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting

This projector has great pre-calibration accuracy. It's slightly too dark, but it's not noticeable. The white balance is very good, with minor accuracy errors, and its color accuracy is excellent overall. Its color temperature is a tad on the warm side, but otherwise, it's almost exactly on the 6500K target.

9.0
Picture Quality
Post-Calibration Color Accuracy
White Balance dE
1.67
Color dE
0.88
Gamma
2.21
Color Temperature
6,820 K
White Balance Calibration
No
Color Calibration
No
Picture Mode
Natural

The Epson EF12 projector's image accuracy is fantastic after calibration. It doesn't have color calibration or white balance calibration, but adjusting the color temperature improves the white balance and color accuracy. Of course, this comes at the cost of a worse color temperature, as it's then too cold.

6.9
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Rec. 709 xy
91.11%
Rec. 709 uv
91.63%
Rec. 2020 xy
57.57%
Rec. 2020 uv
62.13%

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 has an okay color gamut. It does a good job with the Rec. 709 color space used with SDR content but struggles with displaying the wider Rec. 2020 color space.

Features
Features
Inputs & Connectivity
HDMI
2
ARC/eARC
Yes (ARC)
Wi-Fi Yes
USB Data Ports
1

The Epson EpiqVision EF12 has two HDMI ports, one of which doubles as the ARC port. It has a mini USB port to connect a PC to, allowing you to control the projector with a computer. There's a Kensington lock to secure your projector from theft. The projector also supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Features
Smart Features & Sound
Smart OS
Android
Cast Capable
Yes
Speaker(s)
Yes

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Streaming Laser projector has Android TV built-in and is smooth and fast to use. The projector is cast capable through its Chromecast integration, so you can play content from your phone directly on the projector. Finally, the projector has two integrated 5W Yamaha speakers.

Features
In The Box

  • Power supply
  • Power cable
  • Remote control
  • 2x AAA batteries
  • User documentation