Basic and Bright Multimedia Projector
June 19, 2012
The Dell 1430X is what you might think of as a basic DLP data projector, but a surprisingly capable one. It doesn't offer an HDMI port, which means you're limited to analog connections; its native resolution is 1024x768; and although it supports computer-based 3D at 720p, the 3D is best thought of as an ancillary feature. Dell doesn't include any 3D glasses with the projector, for example, and if you need more than a few pair, you'll wind up paying more for glasses than for the projector.
When it comes to the basics, however, the 1430X delivers top tier performance. In my tests, the autosync feature did well enough with an analog connection that a digital connection wouldn't have improved the image all. And I measured the projector as notably brighter than its 3200 lumen rating. Add in the excellent data image quality plus niceties like the 1.2x zoom, a low running cost, and fewer rainbow artifacts for data images than most DLP projectors, and the 1430X is a pretty impressive choice for $699.
Excellent data image quality. The 1430X scored extremely well for data image quality. The autosync worked so well in my tests that the image was as rock solid as with a digital connection even on screens that tend to show pixel jitter with analog signals. In addition, both black on white and white on black text was crisp and highly readable at sizes as small as 7 points.
Colors in all preset modes were just a touch dark in terms of a hue-saturation-brightness color model, but they were also well saturated and suitably eye catching. Color balance was a little off in the brightest mode, with a slight greenish-yellow tinge in some shades of gray. However, most projectors have problems with color in their brightest modes, so that's par for the course. With all other presets, the various levels of gray were suitably neutral.
Few rainbow artifacts with data images. Rainbow artifacts are always a potential issue for DLP projectors. Most models, including the 1430X, tend to show them less often with data images than with video, but the 1430X does particularly well on this score. Not only did I see the artifacts far less often for data screens than with most DLP projectors, I had trouble making them appear even when I tried forcing them to show up by purposely shifting my gaze back and forth across the screen. It's highly unlikely that even those who are most sensitive to these artifacts will see them often enough with data screens to find them annoying.
Low running costs. Aside from the standard advantage on running costs for DLP projectors of not needing filter replacements, the 1430X helps keep costs down with a low price for replacement lamps, at $149.99, plus a reasonably long lamp life, rated at 3,000 hours at full brightness. Eco mode lowers the running cost even more, increasing lamp life by a hefty 67%, to 5,000 hours. Also worth mention is that the lamp warranty is for a full year, rather than the usual 90 days. (The warranty for the projector itself is a more typical 2 years.)