Dell 2400MP Portable Projector Review - Overview
7/25/2006 - Art Feierman
On paper, the Dell 2400MP offers more lumens per dollar, than any other projector in its class. With a list price of only $1099, it claims 3000 lumens. Of course, since Dell sells direct, the list price is normally also the selling price, so you can expect to pay $1099, while other projectors - sold through dealers, are normally discounted. Still, I am not aware at this time, of any other 3000 lumen projector selling "on the street" for as low as the Dell 2400MP.
Overall, the 2400MP was an extremely impressive projector, exceeding my expectations in several areas. It effortlessly earned our Hot Product Award. You'll learn why as you read on.
In this review, we'll look at the features and capabilities of the Dell 2400MP portable DLP projector. In addition we have also created a comparison review pitting the 2400MP against six other small projectors, with varying levels of brightness, size/weight, and features. The comparsion projector review should help you decide if the Dell 2400MP is right for you, or if another projector with different strengths, weaknesses, and selling price, might work better for your projector requirements.
Dell 2400MP Portable Projector Basic Specs
Technology: DLP front projector
Native Resolution: XGA 1024x768
Brightness: 3000 lumens
Zoom Lens ratio: 1.2:1
Lens shift: No
Lamp life: 2000 hours (full power) 2500 hours (eco-mode)
Weight: 5.5 lbs.
Warranty: 1 year parts/labor, optional extended warranties and service available
For ful specifications click: 2400MP
Dell 2400MP Physical Tour
The Dell is a smaller than average portable projector, suitable for airplane and local travel. Although there are significantly smaller projectors, I am not aware of any that are any of those that are more powerful.
The 2400MP comes with a heavily padded carry case. Unlike the usual soft shoulder cases that come with most small projectors, the Dell's case is larger, and almost rigid. As such, it should provide excellent projection, but is a larger case solution that found with most other projectors. If you are traveling a lot, this may be a minor issue for you.
Starting from the front, the Dell 2400MP sports a relatively short throw zoom lens with a 1.2:1 zoom ratio, and a an Infra-red sensor. The focus ring is located on the lens. The 2400MP has a tethered lens cap. Very handy, just pop it off when using, but you can't lose it.
Moving to the top, there is a recessed zoom ring, to adjust the zoom ratio, with it's 20% (1.2:1 zoom). Also on the top is the Dell 2400MP's control panel.
The control panel is fairly basic, featuring a power button on the left (once for on, hit it twice for off.
There is the traditional four arrow keys for navigating, with an Enter button in the center. To complete the control panel, the menu button is on the right. Interestingly the 2400MP only offers a power light indicater, whereas most portables have separate small led lights for lamp and temperature.
Moving to the back of the Dell projector, you'll find a second Infra-red sensor, an analog computer input, and a monitor (computer) output as well. The computer out is normally needed for those with desktop computers, if they wish to also see the same image projected on the screen, also on their computer's monitor. This is not an issue with laptop computers.
There is also the usual low resolution video inputs - composite and S-video. The 2400MP has a stereo mini jack for inputing sound to its speaker, and it also, unlike most small projectors, has audio output as well. If you feed the audio output into external amplified speakers, you can use the controls on the Dell to adjust the volume of those speakers.
There is also a USB remote port and an RS-232 for computer control, and possibly for downloading updated firmware. Finally, there is the power cord socket.
All in all, fairly basic. A number of competitors today offer digital inputs as well, either DVI or HDMI (they are essentially compatible with each other). If you want to use the best possible analog video input (component video), that can be brought in though the HD15 connector that is the computer input. That means the 2400MP cannot have both component input and a computer hooked up at the same time. That's probably not a problem for the vast majority of users, but worth noting.
All in all, physically, the Dell is fairly basic, in terms of inputs and outputs, with the audio out, being the only real "extra". For it's 5.5 pounds, I would have to say it's size is average or a touch larger, although still significantly smaller than most projectors in the 6-9 price range. By comparison to one of the most similar projectors in the comparison review, it is a size larger than the slightly less powerful Optoma TX700, yet it is smaller than the most expensive projector in that comparison, the Panasonic LB60NTU.
Time to look at the 2400MP's image quality.