The recent advent of LED backlit projectors has created an interesting new category of ultra-low cost mini or “portable” projectors that are marketed to consumers. Historically, portable projectors have been marketed to the business sector, which demands higher performance with less price-sensitivity.
The EZCast Beam H3 enters a now crowded market, hoping to distinguish itself with media features and flexible image adjustments. Does it succeed? Short answer: yes and no.
Below are my impressions of the projector’s features and my experience with setup and general usage.
Editor’s Note: EZCast sent us the projector free of charge, but did not review the content prior to publishing. The opinions in this review were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer. Home Toys may earn a commission on purchases made through the links in this article.
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Sporting 1080p resolution and an LED light-source rated for 200 lumens (according to EZCast), the Beam H3 delivers every bit of what you would expect from a $150.00 MSRP portable projector, and even a little bit more. EZCast also includes an IR remote in the box for navigating menus. There’s also a built-in speaker, but don’t expect anything more than cell-phone quality sound, if that.
The EZCast H3 offers an impressive array of connectivity options, ranging from the expected hardwire connections like HDMI, to mobile-friendly connectivity like MicroSD, USB-C, and Miracast. I found that connecting my Android via USB and Miracast was fairly seamless, as was my my laptop over HDMI and reading video files off of a microSD card. However, streaming over EZCasts’ app and over USB-C was very hit-and-miss. Your mileage may vary.
Getting the Beam H3 out of the box and projecting onto my wall was straight forward. The projector booted up in a reasonable amount of time, and the auto-keystone kicked in without any need to mess with the settings menu.
After setting everything up, I loaded up a microSD card with an episode of Resident Alien (starring Alan Tudyk, awesome) to see how the projector fairs in different lighting environments. Generally speaking, you’re going to want to use this in a dark room. Below are pictures of the same scene with the lights on and off in my room. I had the projector positioned about six feet from the wall, which is painted light grey.
With the lights off, the picture quality is acceptable, and if you’re purchasing this projector for kids to use with their devices, they probably won’t even notice the pictures shortcomings.
Another issue to be aware of is the the affect keystone has on the picture quality. While sitting on my desk the Beam H3 required a fair bit of keystone correction to create a square image. This, in turn, created significant blurring on the edges of the image. The picture below of the on-screen display text illustrates what I’m talking about.
Those caveats aside, I was pleased with the ability of the Beam H3 to play any HD content I threw at it. If you need to mirror your phone screen, EZCast includes foam stands and software support for vertical (portrait) orientation of the projector.
Value Proposition and Final Thoughts
If you’re in the market for a “mini” projector in the $200-300 price range, my assumption is that you have set your expectations appropriately. A cinema DLP or LCD projector this is not. However, if you’ve got kids looking to project their favorite console or YouTube video, it’ll work great.
Conversely, if you’re a professional looking for a portable projector for in-office meetings or off-site sales presentations, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Your room is going to need to be completely dark to have acceptable levels of clarity, which is basically a non-starter for business use.
Overall, the EZCast Beam H3 is a great choice, so long as you’re planning an appropriate use-case.