Projector Reviews

Dell Advanced Projector: P519HL Laser Projector Review – Performance

Dell Advanced Projector P519HL Laser Projector Review – Performance: Brightness, Contrast, Audible Noise

Brightness

Color Mode Lumens
Bright 2944
Presentation 2061
Movie 1656
sRGB 2116

Dell claims 4,000 lumens for the P519HL. At full wide angle – that is, with the iris as wide as it goes, to let the most amount of light in – the Dell measured at 3,312 lumens in its brightest mode, aptly named “Bright.” Most projectors come in up to 25% short of claim. As such, we care more about how the projector performs when faced with ambient light, than we do about whether or not the projector meets its claim. That same mode, when measured at mid-zoom (typical installation), came in at 2,944. Very respectable!

The rest of the modes, I measured at mid-zoom. This means the iris is closed halfway. It is more common for a projector to be zoomed in a bit for installation than it is for the projector to be installed at full wide angle. Measuring at mid-zoom gives potential buyers a better idea of what the projector will be able to do in terms of brightness once it’s installed. sRGB, the next brightest mode (and one of the best modes in terms of color!), measured at 2,116. I was surprised that Presentation wasn’t the second brightest mode – on other projectors, it usually is!

Speaking of Presentation, that mode came in at 2,061. In the slider above, I have two photos of the Dell projecting in Presentation Mode – one in a fully darkened room, and one where the projector is faced with quite a bit of ambient light. I used an image of the SpaceX website – one with a lot of black, as those darker colors tend to wash out the most. It performed admirably! The final mode, Movie, measured at 1,656. All in all, the projector has enough lumens in all of the modes to handle some ambient light. Since sRGB is the brightest best mode, I’d opt for that when dealing with ambient light. If that’s not enough, there’s always Bright Mode!

Contrast

The Dell P519HL has a contrast claim of 1,800:1, and up to 100,000:1 with Dynamic Contrast enabled. We don’t have any way to measure this claim, so what we pay more attention to is how the projector performs in terms of black levels. What are black levels? It’s a term that refers to how black the blacks look. Are they look true black (rarely), dark grey, or, at worst, light grey?  Business and education projectors tend to hang out in the medium grey to medium dark grey spectrum, and we don’t expect them to have true black.

So, we ask, are the blacks recognizable as black? In the case of the Dell – almost! I was nearly fooled when taking photos of the SpaceX website, and again with the black bar at the top of the Ted Talks website. I actually had to do the hand test – that is, I had to put my hand in front of the lens to see if the blacks matched my shadow. They didn’t, but the blacks came close! The Dell actually has better black levels than some of those 4K UHD home entertainment projectors on the market today. Simply astounding.

Audible Noise

The Dell Advanced Projector P519HL has a rated fan noise of 36db at full power, 32db in ECO Mode. That’s pretty typical of business and education projectors. Standing right next to the unit while taking my photos for this review, I barely noticed the fan noise. It’s one of those sounds that fades into the background the longer you’re exposed to it. Think of it as being as quiet as the gentle hum of a fully-functioning air conditioner.

Speaking of air conditioners, if you’ve got one going in the room, you’re unlikely to hear the sound of the projector at all. Add to that the fact that this Dell will likely be ceiling mounted, I don’t think you’ll have to worry about it distracting from presentations. With sound on, such as when viewing a documentary or other video, fan noise isn’t a sound you’ll hear. Its ECO Mode fan noise is barely any quieter than at full power, so no need to switch to ECO in an attempt to quiet the fan.

That does it for our review of the Dell Advanced Projector P519HL! On the next page, I summarize everything we talked about in the review, and give my take on the pros and cons to the P519HL. See you on the last page!

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