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Epson EX3280 Projector Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Feb 27, 2024 at 08:33 am

The Epson EX3280 is an XGA LCD projector. Its relatively lightweight frame and 1024 x 768 resolution means it's geared towards productivity/office work rather than content consumption. It can project up to a massive 350" image, which is great for boardroom presentations. It has Epson's 3LCD design, allowing it to project colorful images. The unit has one HDMI port and one USB-B port that's meant to connect to a PC. Finally, it has one monoaural 2W speaker.

Our Verdict

7.5 Movies

The Epson CO-W01 projector is good for watching movies, although its 4:3 aspect ratio is not optimal for that usage. It's very bright, so it performs well in moderately lit rooms, and it's even bright enough for well-lit rooms. Unfortunately, its blacks are significantly raised, so it's not optimal for watching movies in a dark room. Luckily, the projector's image accuracy is great out of the box, so you don't need to worry about calibrating it.

  • Image is bright enough for well-lit rooms.
  • Great image accuracy out of the box.
  • Blacks are significantly raised, so they look gray in dark rooms.
  • No integrated smart features or Wi-Fi support.
  • 4:3 aspect ratio is not optimal for watching movies.
  • 7.5 Movies
  1. Updated Feb 27, 2024: Review published.
  2. Updated Feb 21, 2024: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We bought and tested the Epson EX3280. It has no variants. It's part of Epson's line of portable projectors for office use, which also includes the Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01, although the latter is also promoted as a home theater projector.

Compared To Other Projectors

The Epson EX3280 is a good projector but geared towards office use; we don't recommend buying it for content consumption. It projects a 1024 x 768 image, which is an aspect ratio of 4:3, so it's not an optimal aspect ratio for movies. If you're looking for a projector that can act as a content consumption device and a work machine, the Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01 is a much better choice due to its 16:10 aspect ratio and much lower price. For a pure movie-watching experience, the Epson Home Cinema 1080 is much better than the EX3280 due to its 1080p resolution and better wireless connectivity features.

Epson Home Cinema 1080

The Epson Home Cinema 1080 and Epson EX3280 have similar image quality. However, the Home Cinema 1080 is better for watching movies due to its 16:9 aspect ratio, which is far better suited for content consumption than the 4:3 aspect ratio of the EX3280. The Home Cinema 1080 has Wi-Fi 5 with Miracast support, while the EX3280 has no smart features or wireless connectivity options.

BenQ TH671ST

The Epson EX3280 and BenQ HT2050A are different projectors, each with strengths and weaknesses. The EX3280 is the brighter projector, as it is bright enough even for well-lit rooms. Inversely, the BenQ TH671ST has better contrast, so it looks its best when the lights are off. Ultimately, the BenQ is the better product for content consumption as it projects a 1080p image with a 16:9 aspect ratio, while the Epson's 1024 x 768 4:3 resolution is not well suited for watching movies and is better used as an office machine.

BenQ HT2050A

The Epson EX3280 and BenQ HT2050A are different projectors, each with strengths and weaknesses. The Epson EX3280 is a 4:3 projector aimed at office use, so it's very bright and can overcome even well-lit rooms. The BenQ HT2050A is a projector meant for home theater use. It has the better contrast of the two products, as well as a 1080p resolution, which is optimal for content consumption.

Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01

The Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01 and Epson EX3280 are both geared towards office usage, but the EpiqVision Flex CO-W01 is also aimed at home theater use due to its versatile 16:10 aspect ratio. The EX3280 is limited to a 4:3 aspect ratio, which isn't optimal for watching movies. Still, the EX3280 does have slightly better image quality due to its better contrast, higher peak brightness, and better pre-calibration image accuracy.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Height 3.3" (8.4 cm)
Width 11.8" (30.0 cm)
Depth 9.1" (23.0 cm)
5.2 lbs (2.4 kg)

The Epson EX3280 is somewhat portable due to its fairly compact and lightweight body, and it even comes with a travel bag in case you want to take it with you. It doesn't have an integrated battery however, so you need an outlet to plug the unit in. The projector lacks any automatic image adjustment technology, so you must manually adjust the image when setting it up. It does have an integrated speaker in case you need to move it, but it's only a 2W mono speaker, so it sounds very tinny. The unit doesn't come with an adjustable stand, but there is a retractable foot at the front to adjust the projection angle.

Projector Technology
Imaging Technology
Light Source
Aspect Ratio
4 : 3
Minimum Throw Ratio
Maximum Throw Ratio

This LCD projector uses a lamp as its light source, which can last from 6000 to about 12,000 hours, according to the manufacturer, after which you'll need to swap the lamp for a new one. This projector's native resolution is 1024 x 768, with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Epson promotes a variable throw ratio for this projector, featuring a Maximum Throw Ratio of 1.95; however, this is accomplished through digital zoom, which effectively functions as a crop-in.

Picture Quality
Picture Quality
White Light Output
1,920 lm
Color Light Output
1,921 lm
Brightness Uniformity
Screen Brightness
291 cd/m²

This Epson EX3280's peak brightness is great. The projector is easily bright enough to look great in a moderately lit room, and it even looks good in bright rooms.

Picture Quality
Native Contrast
111 : 1

This projector's contrast is mediocre. Blacks are raised, more in the middle of the projection than on the sides, so this projector looks best when a few lights are on.

Picture Quality
Pre-Calibration Color Accuracy
White Balance dE
Color dE
Color Temperature
6,814 K
Picture Mode
Color Temp Setting
6500 K
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting

This projector has great pre-calibration image accuracy. Its color accuracy is excellent; reds are slightly off, but all other colors are almost exactly as they should be. Its color temperature is also excellent, even if it leans somewhat too cool. Its white balance is decent; there are minimal errors in most shades of gray, but blues are overrepresented in near blacks.

Picture Quality
Post-Calibration Color Accuracy
White Balance dE
Color dE
Color Temperature
6,784 K
White Balance Calibration
2 point
Color Calibration
Picture Mode

This projector has a 2-point white balance calibration, and it looks spectacular after calibration, with fantastic white balance and color accuracy. Still, blues are overrepresented in near blacks, and saturated reds are still not quite what they should be. The unit's color temperature still leans too cool, although it's a tad better than before calibration.

Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Rec. 709 xy
Rec. 709 uv
Rec. 2020 xy
Rec. 2020 uv

The Epson EX3280 3LCD XGA projector has an adequate color gamut. It does a great job with the Rec. 709 color space used with SDR content but struggles with the wider Rec. 2020 color space used with HDR content, although this projector doesn't support HDR anyway.

Inputs & Connectivity
Wi-Fi No
USB Data Ports

The USB-B port on this projector is meant to let a PC control it.

Smart Features & Sound
Smart OS
Cast Capable
In The Box

  • Power cable
  • Remote control
  • 2x batteries
  • User documentation
  • Travel bag