Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 Projector Review

Small projectors are often a series of compromises: image and sound quality often succumb to the need for portability. But with the EpiqVision Mini EF12 Streaming Laser Projector, Epson seems to have found a good balance between these competing needs, making a device that works (and looks) great anywhere in your home or backyard projector for movie night.

A good mid-range projector

Epson’s EpiqVision Mini is a good choice for a mid-range projector, with a bright, clear picture and decent sound. However, it can have more flexibility, and it can be easily washed off even in moderately lit rooms.


Christopher Albrighton/CNN

Out of the box, the EpiqVision Mini features a squat-cube design reminiscent of old-school audiophile components (more on that later). Its black and copper color scheme is a handsome, classic look that will fit in most people’s living rooms. Measuring 6.9 x 6.9 x 5 inches and weighing 4.7 pounds, the projector is small enough to carry around the house and install anywhere you like.

On the left side are two HDMI ports (one with ARC), a USB-A port for connecting external storage, and a stereo audio output port. I would have liked them to be on the back, as the cables coming out of the sides of the projector looked a little odd, but that was a small problem. It has a nice touch that many projectors seem to have given up on: retractable feet for adjusting the angle of the bottom of the projector. Of all the projectors tested in the past two months, this is the only one with this (basic) component.

The remote is a fairly basic piece of plastic that’s lightweight and has a basic set of controls, including one-touch access to YouTube, Google Assistant, and various projector settings like keystone adjustments. It’s light weight means I often leave it in blankets and pillows on the couch.


Christopher Albrighton/CNN

Setup is relatively easy, especially since it runs Android TV 11. If you have an Android phone, the setup wizard will guide you through the process of connecting the projector to a Wi-Fi network and logging into all of your Google accounts (such as YouTube). If you don’t have an Android phone, you can still set up the device by manually entering all credentials and passwords using the remote. It’s a bit of a hassle, but assuming you don’t do it very often, it’s not onerous. Once set up, the device will boot up, possibly apply some Android TV updates, and you’re ready to go.

Most modern projectors also have the usual autofocus and automatic keystone correction. They work just fine, although I miss the obstacle avoidance feature (found on more expensive models) that can zoom the screen to make sure stray vegetation or picture frames don’t intrude into the image.

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Christopher Albrighton/CNN

EpiqVision Mini has a good picture at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Colors are bright and vibrant, with deep blacks in a properly dark room. The projection system is a 3LCD laser unit, which means it can output up to 1000 lumens with a contrast ratio of 200,000:1. The projector supports HDR10 and HLG color spaces and can project diagonal images up to 150 inches.

The light source is a laser diode, which means there is no need to replace the bulb. Epson says its laser projectors can operate for up to 20,000 hours “with virtually no maintenance.” I couldn’t test this claim, but the projector turned on immediately and produced a bright image. However, despite the purported benefits of laser projectors, I found moderate ambient light to wash out the picture. You’ll want a dark room or evening sky to get the best photos.

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Christopher Albrighton/CNN

Based on how it highlights them in its marketing materials, Epson is very proud that it has included Yamaha speakers in the EpiqVision Mini. And, honestly, they sound pretty good. The bass is suitably deep, and the highs don’t sound tinny or strained. I was able to crank up the volume with almost no distortion.

That said, it’s still a small device with limited stereo separation. It can’t compete with a dedicated soundbar or high-end audio setup, and you probably shouldn’t try it. Speaking of soundbars, if you’re connecting one, you’ll want to avoid connecting it via bluetooth, which causes a delay of about 2 seconds. When connected this way, I can never get the sound to match the image. However, my Apple TV and a pair of stereo HomePods paired perfectly with the Epson projector.

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Christopher Albrighton/CNN

Like many other projectors, the EpicVision Mini doesn’t natively support Netflix due to licensing restrictions, which is a shock in 2022. You can’t even install it from the Google Play Store. The only way to watch Netflix is ​​to stream over Wi-Fi from your phone, tablet or laptop (which is not ideal to say the least) or get a supported device like an Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast or Fire TV Stick. Like the XGIMI Horizon Pro, this could be a deal breaker for heavy Netflix watchers — though you can get the Roku streaming stick for just $29 right now.

Aside from the lack of Netflix, I feel like the autofocus and auto-keystone correction could use some work. When the projector starts up, it projects a blurred matrix of green dots on the wall or screen. That’s how it autofocuses and makes sure the image is real, but adjusting it can be tedious. You have to select each corner of the image and manually match it to your screen or projection area. If you move this projector – it’s marketed for its portability – you’ll do it a lot.

I also found the ability to scale the projector image lacking. I didn’t set it up in a huge room and the images tended to be too large or too small for the wall space. I could shrink it down to 80% size, but even that would be too big. Put it on the coffee table to make the picture a little smaller, or even shrink it to the maximum. A little more flexibility in this setup is welcome.


6.9 x 6.9 x 5 inches

7.6 x 7.6 x 2.3 inches


4.7 lbs

3.08 lbs

native resolution




1000 lumens

400 lumens


up to 150 inches

up to 120 inches


5W Stereo

3W Stereo


HDMI (2), USB (2), 3.5mm jack

HDMI 2.0, USB-A for flash drive, USB-C for charging



Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

stream media

Chrome cast

Chrome cast



3 hours of battery life, USB-C power


Android TV 11

Android TV 9




Epson’s EpiqVision Mini is a good choice for a mid-range projector. Some things will suffer from a more affordable price point, like its flexibility to set how far or close to a screen or wall, and its tendency to project a washed-out picture even in moderately lit rooms. Not being able to access Netflix natively is a big stumbling block.

If you want a similar portable for a lower price — and backed by Netflix — the Anker Nebula Solar Portable is a better value overall. But for those willing to pay more for a brighter, larger image, the EpiqVision Mini is a solid option that can easily be carried around the home and outdoors.

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