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Get massive images on the cheap with Epson’s latest super-bright projector

If you’ve been wanting a projector you could use indoors or out, day or night, but didn’t want to spend too much, you just ran out of excuses. Today, Epson announced the Powerlite Home Cinema 640, a compact portable projector that will rock your screen for the low, low price of $360. No kidding.

The new Home Cinema 640 is the latest to join an already impressive line of home entertainment projectors from Epson — we’re big fans of the Home Cinema 3020 — and, by far, the most affordable. With a claimed 3200 lumens of both white and color brightness, the 3LCD projector should be suitable for a wide range of uses, though with football season in full effect, it’s hard not to think of big-screen gridiron adventures in the back yard. And when we say big screen, we’re not kidding. Epson says the 640 can manage an projected image up to 300 inches — about 25 times the size of a 60-inch TV.

Of course, one of the toughest parts of getting a projector set up properly is getting the projector and screen lined up just right. To help accommodate numerous scenarios, Epson has armed the Home Cinema 640 with both automatic vertical keystone correction and manual horizontal correction. Such control paired with a compact and easily portable form factor should make set-up a snap.

Epson Home Cinema 640 Angle

The projector comes with one HDMI input along with a handful of legacy analog inputs should you need them. There’s an on-board speaker, but we’d plan on hooking up a pair of powered speakers to get some sound closer to the scale of the big image you know you’ll want. Lamp life is rated at up to 6000 hours in ECO mode and 5000 hours in standard mode, and the lamp comes with a 90-day warranty.

Naturally, some concessions should be expected at this price point, and in this case it will be resolution. The Home Cinema 640 has a native SVGA resolution, or 800 x  600, falling short of HD. However, with such killer brightness, images should still look excellent for a viewing experience that’s just plain fun. At this scale, how could it not be?

You can find out more about the Home Cinema 640 at Epson’s website, and you can pick one up at many online electronics retailers in the coming days.