Epson Home Cinema 1040 Projector Review

Steve Scott

Last Updated on

Being able to project colorful, sharp, and clear images in ambient light has always been a want of many projector users. With the Home Cinema 1040, Epson allows just that. 

The 1040 is a small, light, and portable 3LCD projector with a long lamp life and great features. If you’re a gamer or someone just in the market for a new projector, the 1040 is a great option for you.

We like the Epson 1040 for many reasons. It is very bright and colorful with a great picture quality, projecting beautiful Full HD images which are amazing for both games and movies. This is made even better with its four color modes which perfect its images depending on how much light you’re projecting in.

Epson 1040

With 3,000 lumens, this projector was made for brightly-lit rooms. If you need a projector and don’t have a good dark room, this projector is a good option for you. Its images are movie-like and immersive, and its colors are beautiful and encaptivating.

One of the most loved aspects of the 1040 is that it gives you the ability to stream to the projector and/or use many versatile connections with its USB and HDMI ports. This projector has a lot of possibilities, and that’s great for anyone looking for more than just a basic projector.

Though this projector isn’t perfect, it is really great for its overall value and is something to definitely consider.

Technical Specs

  • L x W x H → 9.6” x 11.7” x 3.3”
  • Weight → 5.7 lbs
  • Display Technology → 3LCD
  • Connectivity Technology → 2 HDMI, 1 USB type A, 1 USB type B, 1 RCA composite, 1 RCA stereo, 1 VGA
  • Image Brightness → 3,000 lumens
  • Contrast Ratio → up to 15,000:1
  • Resolution → Full HD 1080p (1920x1200)
  • Lamp Life → 5,000 hours / 10,000 hours (Eco)
  • Throw Ratio → 1.38 (Zoom: Wide) - 1.68 (Zoom: Tele)
epson 1040

Features

The Epson Home Cinema 1040 comes packed with features that projector enthusiasts will love. Starting with its build, the 1040 has a 2W speaker and versatile connections - one of its most loved being its 2 HDMI ports.

You can connect your Mac or PC to it, or even stream HD videos to it through MHL-enabled device support including ChromeCast, Amazon Fire, the Roku Streaming Stick, and more. The best part of this is that it’s very easy to set up and it comes with a 2-year warranty just in case anything happens.

Its images are where it really shines. The 1040 is a 3LCD projector, so there’s no need to fear that you’ll experience the rainbow effect - a DLP only trait. The 1040 has a natural 16:10 Widescreen Ultra Extended Graphics Array (WUXGA) aspect ratio - which is a 1920x1200 resolution, so you’ll experience great widescreen, movie-like images projected up to 300 inches in a great overall resolution.

WUXGA has more pixels than Full HD (1920x1080), so the 1040 projects beautiful, bright Full HD images whether you’re watching videos or gaming. The 1040 has a nice dynamic 15,000:1 contrast ratio as well which helps to depict the details in darker areas.

The most loved parts of its picture quality features are that it’s bright and colorful. With 3,000 white brightness and 3,000 color brightness lumens, the projected images are full of color and can be brought outside and in ambient light.

If you’re looking for something to use even in the day time or something with full color up to 1.07 billion colors, you’re going to want to consider this projector. Both movies and games look great on this, especially with its optimized color modes (Dynamic, Bright, Cinema, and Game) which allow you to choose which mode to give you the best immersive experience.

Pros and Cons

So this is why you’ve come here, to weigh the pros versus the cons. No need to worry, the 1040 has more pros than cons. Starting with its build, the 1040 is light, small, and portable projector. You can take it with you anywhere you go, whether that be outside, to the office, or inside your house. 

In fact, this projector is great business presentation projector with its high brightness and great color quality. Since it’s not heavy, there’s no need to worry about mounting it and fear that it will fall and break or anything like that. You don’t even have to worry about mounting in only one place. Regardless of what you do, the 1040 is very easy to set up.

With two HDMI ports, MHL-enabled support, and streaming capabilities, you have a lot of possible connection options at your hands. You can connect your console, Mac, PC, Blu-Ray devices, some phones, Chromecast, and more.

One of the problems with its build is that there is no lens shift, so while you can bring it wherever it’s on you to make sure that you find the right spot to make your picture perfect. Without any lens shift, you’re missing out on an essential property that many projector lovers look for. 

epson-1040-side

The 1040 also has a weak speaker. 2W isn’t a lot in the first place, and no one really ever expects anything from a projector speaker, so this is kind of a null point. As we’d suggest with any projector speaker, buy a surround sound system or your own speaker. It’s a better option in almost all cases for more immersive experiences.

The last problem with its build is its loud fan. This is a big problem if you’re just trying to sit back and listen, but that’s hard with a fan in your ears. This can be solved by putting the 1040 onto Eco Mode, but it drops to 2,200 lumens when you do this. This is the same amount of lumens as the Epson 2040 and 2045, which are also very bright, so it’s not bad, but you still lose a lot of brightness.

Even if you don’t have it on Eco Mode, the 1040 lasts quite a long time - 5,000 hours; double that on Eco Mode. You won’t need a new bulb for a long while even if you watch a movie every day on this. This is one of the reasons why the 1040 is great for its value.

A 3LCD projector without any rainbow effect, the 1040 projects amazing images with its 3,000 lumens of white and color brightness. This projector projects its beautiful images with a lot of colors. We will go more into its overall picture quality later, but, in short, it’s great. The 1040 is bright in ambient light and best at night in a dark room

epson1040-screen

Since it projects in native WUXGA with 16:10 and 1920x1200, you’ll get great, movie-like Full HD images whether you’re gaming or watching movies. This projector is really good for gaming, actually, with a Gaming mode, amazing color, and brightness.

But, even great color and high brightness isn’t everything. Few don’t find it bright enough for ambient light, but this a minority among everyone else. A common complaint is that the images sometimes look a bit washed out - especially in their darker areas and in ambient light. This is most likely to be blamed by the 1040’s iffy black levels making it harder to see what lies in these darker areas. We’ll go more into this later. 

One of the biggest cons happens to be that it doesn’t have 3D. 3D is one of the most sought after projector qualities nowadays, and this projector may not seem worth it without it. Other options are the Epson Home Cinema 2040 or Epson Home Cinema 2045, but these have less brightness and worse black levels. Regardless of this, the 1040 is great for its value.

Gaming Capability 

The Home Cinema 1040 may not be the best gaming projector, but it is still great for gaming and is a projector some gamers love to use. 

The 1040 has 53ms of lag. This is very fast, but most gamers look for lag around 35ms. If you’re someone who wants a good lag time but doesn’t care for it to be really low, you’ll really enjoy this.

Gaming looks amazing on this projector. With its optimized color game mode, you’ll be able to get great gaming experiences in brightly-lit rooms. With its high brightness and large number of colors, your games will pop up on the screen. And since games are mostly made in 1080p, your games will be projected in great Full HD on the widescreen.

You’ll really enjoy gaming on this projector. With its fast input lag and beautiful colors, you can play games in ambient light or in the dark and enjoy them both times.

Here’s a video on one gamer using the 1040 to show you how it would look on your screen: 

Picture Quality

Where the 1040 truly shines is its picture quality, especially its brightness. If you’re looking for a projector that is bright enough for ambient light, then you will like the 1040. With its 3,000 white brightness lumens, you have a large amount of light which can comfortably project in many environments.

The 1040’s four different modes make its brightness more beneficial depending on what you’re using the 1040 for. Dynamic mode is its brightest mode and is best for projecting in brightly lit rooms. Cinema mode is best for movies projected in dark rooms, while Bright Cinema is best for movies projected in a brightly-lit room. Lastly, its Gaming mode is best for games projected in brightly-lit rooms.

With three of its four modes being centered on projecting in ambient light, this projector clearly understands its purpose and is great for those who don’t have dark rooms to project in. With such high and effective brightness, and great white levels from its 15,000:1 contrast ratio, the 1040’s images are sharp and crisp and very appealing.

As mentioned, pictures sometimes looked washed out when in ambient light, and in the darker areas of images. Though it’s very bright, it has horrible black levels. Black levels are controlled by brightness. The better your black levels, the better you can see fine details in darker areas.

The 1040’s weaker black levels make it harder to depict images, especially in ambient light. The 1040 works best in darker rooms, as with most projectors. You will find its best images if you use it in a room with no ambient light.

The 1040 also has 3,000 color brightness lumens and up to 1.07 billion colors of Full Color. Gaming, movies, and everything else will look bright and beautiful on this projector. Colors pop out in the 1040’s projections and are really immersive. With all of this brightness, it’s no wonder why the 1040 is even amazing to project outside with.

The 1040 projects 30” to 300” images in Native WUXGA, which is a 16:10 widescreen aspect ratio and 1920x1200 resolution. In 16:10 WUXGA, you will see movie-like images that span your screen THX-style. You can project 16:9, the most common aspect ratio, though it will have black bars on top and bottom. Also, you’ll most likely be using a 16:9 screen.

Neither of these is a big deal at all, especially if you have a 16:9 screen, you can just put the black bars above and below it. The images look great anyway. If you wanted, you can resize the aspect ratio to 4:3 - the older TV and computer monitor aspect ratio.

In 1920x1200, you receive more pixels than in Full HD, but the 1040 has Full HD 1080p support. Full HD images from both gaming and movies will look great on your screen - now with even more pixels and better sharpness and clarity. Overall, the 1040 has amazing picture quality that is good in ambient light and amazing in dark rooms.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a Full HD projector that’s good for gaming and bright enough for ambient light, then this is it. The Epson 1040 has beautiful colors, great color modes, and is great for its overall value. If you have any doubts, check out this video to see why the 1040 is a great choice for you:

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

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