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The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1440 is a blazingly, searingly bright projector that can display deep blacks and beautiful colors in almost any lighting scenario imaginable, which is what earned it the number three spot on our list of the best projectors.
Epson is one of the best projector brands, and it shows here.
But will its high price and gaming performance be enough to deter consumers from ponying up for its sky-high sticker price? Read on in our Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1440 projector review to find out!
Price: $1699.99 on Amazon
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The Epson 1440 is brighter than the surface of the sun.
Summary: The Epson PowerLite 1440 is an easy-to-use, insanely bright projector, but it could be a bit pricey for some home theater enthusiasts’ budgets.
What We Liked
What We Didn’t
The design of the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1440 isn’t necessarily eye-catching, but on the other hand, it doesn’t really have to be, thanks to the pure brightness horsepower it pumps out on a daily basis (more on that later).
For all its rounded edges, though, the PowerLite is a big boy among other projectors. At 4.9 by 14.8 by 11.4 inches and just over 10lbs, this is not a home theater projector that will easily slide into place onto a shelf or into a mount without at least a little extra finagling on behalf of whoever’s installing it. That said, with the lens, speakers, and insane array of inputs taken into account, the Epson doesn’t waste an ounce of the larger footprint it takes up.
Related: If you like this projector, you might be interested in the Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 5040UB.
Just like the Epson Home Cinema LS100, the Epson PowerLite 1440 uses three-chip LCD technology to create its images at a maximum display resolution of 1920 x 1080, with a contrast ratio of 10,000:1, and can create an image as large as 300″ across from 30ft away.
The Epson comes with a crazy amount of ports, almost too many if it were possible to have too much of a good thing when it comes to gadgets. The Epson is nearly downright bloated, with one HDMI 1/MHL, one HDMI 2, 2 audio output/input jacks (3.5mm and R/L), VGA, Ethernet in, two USB (Type A & B), and composite video in.
Like every other aspect of the Epson PowerLite 1440, the sheer number of available settings and deep customization were hugely impressive. Straight out of the box, the “Screen Fit” feature scanned not only the size of the screen we were projecting on, but also the distance and the angle we were projecting from and made all the necessary adjustments to the image on the fly. Perhaps one of the most annoying aspects of getting a projector up and running is this part of the setup, and to have the PowerLite handle everything on its own with the single press of a button really was something to behold.
Related: Also, check out our Epson LS 100 review.
Inside the menu, there is a breadth of options that allow you to acutely configure your viewing experience to your exact specifications, including multi-screen (think Picture-in-Picture), visual motion smoothing, and Noise Reduction, which actively cancels any feedback you might get from internal fans on the external audio passthrough.
So, looking at some of our other projectors that made the list of the best home theater projector for 2016, you might be asking yourself, “What’s with the cost?” At just short of $1,700, the Epson PowerLite 1440 is absolutely at the top of the price tier for 1080p projectors.
However, all of those concerns will melt away the moment you fire the Epson up and see the blinding brightness this projector can pump out in all lighting conditions. Whether it’s the middle of the day or the dead of night, the Epson’s massive 4,400-lumen rating ensures that you’ll be able to see every image, movie, and game clearly and with brilliant color representation no matter how much ambient light is flooding in from nearby windows or screen doors. The 3-chip LCD display element removes any possibility of rainbow artifacts and provides a clear, consistently brilliant picture no matter the source material.
Read More: Best 4K Projector
At a distance of 5ft in the middle of the day, the Epson actually maxed out our meter, which only measures up to 2,000 lux before giving out. At 10ft, things were a bit more manageable, averaging around 1,650 – 1,800 depending on our position around the screen.
For all the areas where the PowerLite 1440 excels, gaming performance is one where it finally takes a step back from some of the other projectors we’ve tested in this category. During a match of Halo 5, we noticed significant delays between when we pressed a button and when the action was translated on screen. Even with “Game Mode” turned on, there was still about 45ms of lag time attributed to the projector, which is slower than most.
Granted, if you buy a projector, the first thing on your mind shouldn’t be bleeding-edge gaming response times, but given the stellar performance of the projector in all other areas, we would have liked to see it measure up a bit better here.
Noise and Heat
The Epson was surprisingly quiet and cool for all its brightness and power in the daytime, even during longer movie and TV-watching sessions. We didn’t detect more than 2dB of sound level changes from the ambient reading in our testing environment, the lowest impact we’ve seen on any projector yet.
With a 16W onboard speaker, the Epson PowerLite packs some serious audible power. The unit itself isn’t all that portable, so we can’t imagine too many scenarios where you would be using it outside of the range of a third-party stereo system, but in case you are, the speaker was still serviceable enough during movies and games. It’s expectedly tinny and lacking in any real bass, but also very loud for what you’d get with other units at the same price.
If you do most of your TV watching or gaming during the day, there simply isn’t a brighter, better choice than the Epson PowerLite 1440 projector. Even at night, its brilliant lumen rating and color representation make movies, games, and TV shows pop off the screen, alongside enough extra features and add-ons to make your head spin.
It’s big and heavy, but not noisy or loud. It’s got everything you could possibly want from a 1080p projector, although that’s to be expected given its $1,700 price tag. That said, if you’ve got the money to spend, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better choice for raw brightness and performance in 2016.