Dell S718QL – A 4K UHD, Ultra Short Throw, Laser Projector Review

The Dell S718QL is pretty impressive! I have already blogged that this Dell projector represents one of the first business and education projectors in this new subclass.

That is, this Dell projector combines an ultra short throw design, (placing it just inches from your screen), a laser light engine, and ability to handle 4K content with 4K UHD resolution.

I first saw the S718QL at Infocomm in Las Vegas last summer. It was set up and working in plenty of ambient light, paired with an appropriate screen, and looked pretty good despite the environment. It looked even better in the Texas Instruments DLP.com suite at CES in January. There it was, set up in a hotel suite with the proper screen with a fair amount of controlled ambient light, and it looked great.

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Dell S718QL Specs
Price$5999
TechnologyDLP (1)
Native Resolution2716x1528 x 2
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)5000
Contrast100000:1
Zoom Lens RatioNone
Lens ShiftNo
Lamp Life20,000 hours
Weight33.1
Warranty2 years
View Full Specifications Here >>

We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors Report

Overview

I started working on the review (after having Eric calibrate the Dell best he could) in my home theater, where I’ve been feeding it all kinds of content from spreadsheets to websites, to movies, with different levels of ambient light (or none) and projecting up to 124” diagonal!

In the second phase, I looked at the Dell’s performance downstairs paired with my Screen Innovations ALR type screen for UST projectors, in much brighter rooms than my theater. Plenty of pictures showing what the Dell S718QL is capable of can be found throughout this projector review. Just remember, if the images here look good, then in real life, the projector will be even more impressive.

Let’s run though some of the basics. You already got the UST, laser light engine, and 4K UHD resolution part. There’s plenty of power, too, as the Dell claims 5,000 lumens of brightness – that’s small-auditorium-type-brightness. And remember, since it’s a laser projector, the brightness will drop only slowly over many thousands of hours, not drop noticeably in the first few hundred hours of operation, as do lamp based projectors. The laser light engine claims a 20,000 hour life at full power, per Dell. That’s also impressive, as some laser projectors are claiming the same 20,000 hours, but in their low power/eco mode.

This Dell projector really isn’t an interactive projector, although you can do some interactive things, especially in conjunction with mobile devices, using MHL.

The projector is fairly compact for a UST – ultra short throw design, but it’s not what I’d really consider portable, especially as it weighs in at 33 pounds. Portables are mostly 4-10 lbs. Still, this small beast can be moved from room to room fairly easily, and in a business or school environment, it could be cart-based and rolled up right next to the screen or even a wall.

And the Dell supports LAN – Local Area Networking. It can even present from 4 sources at once.

There’s internal speakers if needed.

The S718QL has some smarts – there’s a built in media player (discussed on the next page), and more.

Dell S718QL Presentation Slide Fed Regions Map
S718QL projecting a Powerpoint slide using Presentation mode (unadjusted). Seriously right, but a bit strong on blues

Buyers choosing this Dell also are showing some smarts – the warranty is definitely better than most – 2 years, parts and labor, (that itself is typical), but during those two years, there’s a rapid replacement program should there be a warranty failure. That’s basically the same program that Epson offers on a lot of their projectors, and I’ve been telling folks for years that those Epson warranties are great, so ditto for this Dell.

Meantime, back at Dell – you can buy also buy extended warranties – including the replacement program, to extend out to 3, 4, or 5 total years. Very nice!  And equally important to know, the rapid replacement program on the Dell is not limited to the 2 years. It’s 20,000 hours!

Unless you are using the Dell in something like a 24/7/365 digital signage application (for which it is very suited, btw), we’re talking many, many years.  At 24/7/365 operation, that 20,000 hours is more than 27 months!

But of course this Dell is about far more than warranty, so let’s move forward with a summary of the Dell’s highlight features, and then we can get into the details.

Highlights

  • Laser Light Engine (5,000 lumens)
    • 20,000 hour life on laser (to 50% brightness)
  • Ultra Short Throw Design
  • 4K UHD Resolution (2716x1528x2) for 8.3 Megapixels
    • Supports 4K HDR, but not P3/BT.2020 color space
  • Three HDMI inputs
  • Two 6-Watt Speakers
  • Bluetooth Built In – Connect wirelessly to external Bluetooth speakers
  • Built-in PC-Free Presenting (with Microsoft Office compatibility)
  • Split Screen Capability (HD only, not 4K)
  • LAN Support – Includes advanced features with Crestron, compatibility
  • Optional Wall Mount Kit
  • $5,999 MSRP – Street price is $4,999 (2/2018)

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