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Dell S300W Projector - Performance

Posted on April 30, 2010 by Art Feierman

Dell S300W Projector - Brightness

The Dell S300W is rated at 2200 lumens with a higher than normal contrast ratio of 2400:1. Most projectors never come close to lumen output specified in the spec sheets so it is not uncommon to measure a projectors lumens and find out that it measure as much 20-30 percent less bright than what the manufacturer specifies. I am pleased to announce that the Dell S300W actually measured brighter in some color and brightness modes than the rated 2200 lumens.

In the default color mode known as Presentation Mode, the projector measure out to be 2322 lumens. Now, even though the brightness was not completely uniform across the whole projected image, the variations in brightness were not great enough to allow the eye to see any type of hot spotting. So brightness uniformity is fairly good on the Dell S300W.

Moving to Bright Mode, another surprise. It actually produced 2601 lumens. However the image lost a lot of contrast and fine lines like in a Excel spreadsheet became a little washed out. This mode should be avoided if at all possible. The 2322 lumens you get with Presentation Mode is all you really need for any room even if all the flourescents lights were on. Save your projectors lamp and reduce the noise it outputs and avoid this Bright Mode unless you really think you need it.

Movie Mode drops the lumens down almost in half. I measured 1075 lumens. The benefit dropping to Movie Mode is the yellows and the reds that looked off in Presentation Mode will now start to look much more like they should. However, the 1000+ lumens you lose just is far too much to be acceptable. If you are going to show a movie, and you will have the lights down low, then definitely switch to Movie Mode because the contrast in dark scenes will produce much more detail.

The last mode I used was sRGB and lumen output was 1956. Not a lot of loss in brightness and color was a little more accurate than Presentation Mode. I feel this unit really worked best in this mode. Contrast was also still good for Excel and graphics with thin lines.

Audible Noise

Audible noise on the Dell S300W was not in the specifications, but it wasn't because they wanted to hide any particular negative characteristics. This projector was very quiet and went hardly noticed while doing my evaluations. Even in bright mode, which usually causes a projector to become louder due to increased fan speed, the projector was still quiet enough to be considered not distracting. Basically, its audible noise is on par if not quieter than just about any unit on the market.

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