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Dell 3400MP Micro Portable Projector Review: General Performance

Posted on October 1, 2013 by Art Feierman

Dell 3400MP Projector: Remote Control

The Dell's remote control is a very nice one! Shown here buttons are in two groups, Those in the black area toward the top, and those below it. The top grouping consists first, of the Power button (top right). Press once for on, twice to power down. Next are the classic four arrow keys for navigating through the menus, (marked with an up arrow, down arrow, minus and plus. In the center is the enter button.

Below to the left is the menu button. Opposite it, on the right, is the button for the laser pointer. Years ago, most projectors had laser pointers on their remotes. Today, it is becoming rare. I suspect that it is a fear of lawsuits, but, regardless, as a former, frequent presenter, I'm a big fan of having a laser pointer on the remote, especially on a remote that can also control your presentations, as the 3400MP does.

Moving to the lower half of the projector's remote, on the left side are a pair of buttons marked Page, which you can use to control your presentation, moving forward and back. For the projector to be able to control your presentation, when you hook up to your computer, you need to not only connect the computer output of the projector with the provided cable, but also plug the USB connector (which is part of the same cable) into your computer's USB port.

Moving to the right side, opposite the Page settings are a pair of buttons for volume up and down and a smaller button above them for audio mute.

To further strengthen the 3400MP's ability to run your computer, there is a center round button, which is actually a joystick for moving the computer's mouse. Below it, left and right are the equivalent of left and right mouse buttons.

That finally takes us to the last two rows of buttons, left to right, the Source select, Keystone Correction, and Video mode (presets - PC, Movie, Game, User, sRGB). On the last row, there is an auto adjust button for locking onto the computer signal for the cleanest image, and a Blank Screen button.

A few competent remote control, I used it extensively, even used the remote mousing, and found it worked very well overall, and fit well in my hand, where, for example I didn't have to shift my hand at all, to use all the presentation controls. Well done!

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Dell 3400MP Projector: Lens Throw, and Lens Shift

The 3400MP's limited 1.15:1 zoom provides little placement flexibility. As noted earlier, you can position the front of the Dell projector as close as 13.3 feet and as far back as 15.5 feet. This is typical of micro portable projectors with all of the ones I can think of, either having no zoom lens at all, or a maximum zoom range of 1.25:1.

For a typical small conference room screen that is 60" diagonal, those numbers change to 8 feet, to 9.3 feet.

The Dell 3400MP lacks lens shift, but, so do all business projectors under 8 pounds, and actually most under 10 pounds.

Dell 3400MP Projector: ScreenDoor Effect and Rainbow Effect

The visibility of pixels is minimal. If you are sitting around the conference room table, most likely only those closest to the screen will be able to easily make out the pixel structure, those further back, not at all. Viewing an approximately 80 inch diagonal image, from 10 feet away, the pixel structure is no issue at all, viewing spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations. If you need the projector to examine photos close up, then, it could be an issue, but if so, that would be true of any DLP projector, and LCD projectors have far more visible pixel structures. The only real solution, if the pixels are too visible for you, would be to go to a higher resolution, more expensive projector, probably LCOS. The smallest of those are more like 7-8 pounds and several times the size, not to mention well over double the price!

The rainbow effect is pretty typical for business DLP projectors. With its 2X color wheel, I can spot the rainbow effect at times, when viewing videos. I am only slightly sensitive to the rainbow effect, and can also spot it on a home theater projector with a much faster color wheel (5X) on scenes where fast moving bright objects move across dark backgrounds. As a projector doubling as your home theater toy, this could be a problem for a small percentage of viewers. When viewing stationary data, however, it is undetectable by me, and, again, I am more sensitive to it than most.

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