5000 lumen 1080p Data Projector
July 5, 2012
Shortcomings in video quality. Although the 7700FullHD offers better video quality than some data projectors, video has enough issues that it's best limited to short clips. Most notably, I saw a serious problem with shadow detail. On one clip chosen because it's a challenge for most data projectors, it did worse than most, turning large sections of the screen into solid black. Even in scenes that most data projectors don't have problems with, it showed an obvious loss of shadow detail.
Frequent rainbow artifacts in video. Another video limitation is frequent DLP rainbow artifacts. Although they aren't much of a problem with data images, they show much more often with video, where they can be a distraction. If you plan to display a lot of video in your mix of material, you may want to consider a different projector.
Short lamp life. Dell offers a full year warranty for the lamp, which is welcome, but the rated life is only 1500 hours in Normal mode and 2000 hours in Eco mode. At $399.99 direct per lamp, that can add significant running costs over the projector's lifetime.
The 7700FullHD's balance of high resolution, excellent data image quality, and brightness is more than enough to make it worth considering as a data projector for a large room or small auditorium. On the other hand, the 7700FullHD is the wrong choice if you need to show much video. And the relatively short lamp life can raise total cost of ownership.
That said, if you don't expect to show much video, and you don't mind the short lamp life, there's a lot here to like. Not only does the Dell 7700FullHD deliver a bright, high resolution, high quality data image, it offers lens shift, PIP and side-by-side modes, and built in audio that's robust enough to eliminate the need in many cases for an external sound system. As a final plus, for situations where your projector has to be sitting out where people can see it, the 7700FullHD's striking good looks make it an attractive choice in all senses of the word.