Pros: Light, easy set up, good support. Ex31 home use, EX71 for training.
Cons: Lack of information on box to match unit with correct use.
Epson EX31 has been a mainstay of high street stores for some time. But things are changing. According to my local Best Buy the EX31,EX51 and EX71 are all being phased out. So if you want one of these projectors this may be one of the rare opportunities to buy it cheaper in a local store than on line.
The EX series has 3 main projectors; the 31, 51 and 71. The 31 is designed for home use for movies etc. The 71 was designed for teaching use and the 51 as a mid-range for both uses.
I'm not going to guess as technical differences. However they all project through a 'screen window' that separates the pixels. Using it for teaching and projecting still images with minimal infill and mostly white background this 'window screen' is very visible and the focus clarity is poor as a result. Students won;t be able to read text on a projected screen. However, when used for movies Epson said the screen was not noticeable and the focus good.
This window screen is rather like looking through a wire screen that you would see over a window. It darkens the image and blurs text.
The 71, Epson says, has a higher resolution and the window screen effect is not noticeable when used for training.
Epson has a super customer service operation for a major company and you can actually get through direct to a knowledgeable rep with the number in the box. Just have the sales slip handy for the one year free support option.
Projectors for computer use are not cheap. However, I have recently seen the EX71 that was $700 offered at this time (Oct. 2010) for $550 in stores.
These projectors are light weight, have a light carry bag which is useful for trainers. Its a plug & play unit with drivers downloaded by the unit on plug-in. The menu is easy to use and it has rear levelling feet and screen width adjusting buttons on the unit that eliminates menu software driven widening for the non-technical users. It comes with a USB2 cable and a serial cable and a remote.
As its being phased out from Best Buy I would not recommend this unit solely on the grounds that something better is likely soon coming to replace it. If price is a major factor then I would certainly recommend this unit for a basic home theater system, but I would recommend getting the EX71 due to the price breaks available over the next few months. I would price search before buying as thes units are offered on line at the original retain of $700 which is far higher than the price than at my local Best Buy.
1. Good product but get the right product for the intended use.
2. Check local stores against on line for best prices.
3. Talk to Epson direct for product advice.
4. Epson has a great 1 year warranty service.