The 1610HD is rated at 3500 lumens. Using the Normal lamp setting (which is the higher of the two available), in Bright image mode (the brightest), we measured 3450 lumens at mid-zoom range. As so many multimedia projectors fail to come close to their rated lumen output, this is excellent performance. As is typically the case with a 1.2X zoom, the output showed little variation throughout the zoom range. At full wide zoom (still in Bright mode), we got 3513 lumens and only at full telephoto zoom did it drop more significantly to 3283 lumens. Nonetheless, you need not worry about placement when you’re only talking about a few hundred lumens through the entire zoom range.
All further measurements were taken at the mid-zoom point. Using Presentation mode, which would likely be the most-oft selected mode, the output only dropped to 2878 lumens. Custom mode, which allows for the normal adjustments (see Setup and Menu for more details), comes in at 3034 lumens (before any adjustments are made). sRGB mode came in at 2722 lumens. Finally, Movie mode, which provides the most natural looking picture, was still a respectable 1404 lumens.
Going from the Normal lamp setting to the Eco setting resulted in a drop of almost 29% (from 3450 to 2462 in Bright mode). While this drop (percentage-wise) is greater than many competitors, still having almost 2500 lumens is where much of the competition starts in brightest mode. This makes it easy to take advantage of the increased lamp life available in Eco mode, while still maintaining a level of brightness that will be sufficient in all but the least light-controlled environments.
Connecting the 1610HD to a computer network via its RJ-45 jack permits remote management and control of the projector via a web browser. Control abilities are fairly extensive and include image adjustments and audio level. Firmware updates, monitoring lamp hours and temperature, as well as warning notifications by email can all be done via any computer on the network or with internet access. An IP address can set for each projector on a network, so multiple projectors can be connected to the network and controlled by any computer on the network as well.
While we don’t measure noise levels, I think Dell has been very conservative in its noise rating as compared to the competition. The Dell 1610HD is rated at 35 dB in Normal lamp mode and 32 dB in Eco mode, which is a bit higher than some of the competition, which typically comes in around 29-30 dB in Eco mode. That being said, much of the competition is not achieving out the light output of the 1610HD in that mode. Much like lumen output ratings, projector noise ratings are not standardized and subjectively, Eco lamp mode seemed as quiet as other projectors with lower ratings in Eco mode and Normal mode is not obtrusively louder. If you’re using the built-in speaker for sound, its 7 watts of power is enough to overcome and fan noise.