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M. David Stone, November 29, 2017

Dell S718QL Advanced 4K Laser Projector


DELL Advanced 4K Laser Projector

S718QL


Lumens: 5000     Resolution: 3840x2160

Price: $5,999.99




What the Dell S718QL is designed for:

It is ideal for:

  • Mid-to-large size conference rooms and higher-ed classrooms that need an ultra short throw (UST) and 4K UHD resolution (3840x2160).

It is also good for:

  • Signs and displays in retail venues or museums and the like

  • Sports bars



What the Dell S718QL gives you:

  • Laser light engine with 20,000-hour lifetime

  • 4K UHD (3840x2160) with HDR; 5,000 ANSI Lumens

  • 100,000:1 contrast ratio in High Contrast Mode; 2000:1 native

  • Currently the only Ultra Short Throw (UST) 4K UHD projector on the market

  • 100" to 130" diagonal images

  • Sealed light engine for 24/7 operation with no filter, little to no maintenance

  • Set up on a table top just in front of a screen minimizes or eliminates any need to run cables, as does the built-in speaker system and the alternative of Bluetooth speaker support

  • Four-corner control and motorized focus make setup adjustments easy

  • Multiple orientation installation -- Up, Down, Portrait, Inverted

  • Instant on and off

  • 1 HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 for 4K HDR plus 2 HDMI 1.4a

  • Display from mobile devices connected to a network access point

  • 2-way and 4-way split-screen display over network

  • Supports Crestron Roomview

  • 2-year Advanced Exchange warranty for the projector; extended warranty available for up to 5 years.

Dell Advanced Laser 4K Projector S718QL

Ports and wireless connections

  • (1) Mini USB Type B (for firmware upgrades)
  • (1) LAN (for control, display over network)
  • (3) HDMI, with (1) 2.0/HDCP 2.2 and (2) HDMI 1.4a
  • (1) USB Type A (for optional Wi-Fi dongle or reading files from USB memory key)
  • (1) RS-232 (control)
  • (2) USB Type A (Power only)
  • (1) SPDIF stereo Digital Audio out
  • (1) 3.5mm stereo audio out
  • Bluetooth audio
  • Proprietary app adds network support for mobile devices connected to the network through an access point.

Physical attributes. The ports, power connector, Kensington lock slot, and intake vents are on the front panel, meaning the side facing the screen. The security bar is on the bottom of the projector, near the front panel, close to the right side as seen from the front. The exhaust vents are on the left and right panels. The two 6-watt stereo speakers are on the back, facing towards the viewing area. The window that serves as a lens is on top, in a recessed area near the back panel.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Lab Tests: What the Meters Say

Brightness. The measured ANSI lumens are as follows:

MODE
NORMAL
ECO
Bright
4983
4032
Presentation
4048
3275
Movie
3868
3130
sRGB
1237
1001

Low Lamp Mode. Eco mode is roughly 81% as bright as Normal mode.

Presentation Optimized Lumens. Bright color mode with its default settings delivers vibrant color for documents and graphic images along with realistic color for many photos. That makes it the Presentation Optimized mode for most purposes. Even Eco mode's 4032 lumens delivers more than enough brightness to stand up to moderate ambient light at the maximum 130" diagonal image size.

Video Optimized Lumens. For best color accuracy for video and film, Presentation mode with adjustments is bright enough in Normal power mode--at 2679 lumens--for a 130" diagonal image in moderate ambient light.

Zoom Lens Effect on Brightness. As is typical for UST projectors, the S718QL has no optical zoom, so there's no telephoto setting that can curtail light

Brightness Uniformity. The S718QL's measured 72% brightness uniformity is typical for UST projectors. The variation in brightness across the screen is enough to see on a solid white image as a broad center swath that's brighter than both the left and right sides. However, it drops off gradually enough that it is hard to see with any text, graphics, or photo that breaks up the field of view.

Input Lag. The input lag is 97 ms in all predefined color modes.


Setting up the Dell S718QL

Throw distance. Measured from the front of the projector, throw distance ranges from just under 4 inches for the minimum 100" diagonal image to just under 9 inches for the maximum 130" image. Image sizes smaller or larger than the supported range are possible, but can have problems with geometry and focus. The 0.19 throw ratio is based on the location of the lensing system window, which is roughly 12.5" farther from the screen than the front. The Projection Calculator will give you the throw-distance for the image size you want, based on the distance from the window.

Mounting. The simplest way to set up the S718QL is on a table in front of and just below the screen. However, you can also put it in wall mount above the screen, on its left or right side in portrait orientation on a table or in a mount, or facing straight up to project an image on a ceiling. This translates to significant flexibility for setting up displays and signs.

With the projector sitting on a table, the bottom of the image is roughly 18% of the image height above the lensing system window.

Special UST considerations. As with any ultra short throw projector, the S718QL is best paired with a high quality screen that's tensioned or otherwise engineered to be as flat as possible to avoid obvious distortion in the image. Ambient light rejection (ALR) screens also have to be designed for UST projectors, since the light from the projector is hitting the screen at an angle that standard ALR screens are designed to avoid reflecting to viewers.

Dell S718QL 4K Laser Projector installed


Our take on the Dell S718QL

The Dell S718QL is the only current 4K projector with both 3840x2160 resolution and an ultra short throw, making it a truly unique choice at this writing and a solid value at a retail of $5,999. The S718QL is meant primarily for extreme high resolution business presentations and is designed to look good sitting on a credenza in a conference room. Adding a wall-mounted screen just above it and only four to nine inches away will give you a finely detailed 100" to 130" diagonal image. The ultra short throw lets you stand close to the screen without casting shadows, and the 5,000 ANSI lumen brightness lets it stand up to a high level of ambient light.

The Dell S718QL delivers vibrant color for graphics at full brightness and acceptably accurate, nicely saturated color for video and film at a somewhat lower brightness. We saw no rainbow artifacts when viewing graphics or text documents. We noticed the occasional flashes of rainbow artifacts with video/film material, though they're infrequent enough that even those who are bothered by them shouldn't find them annoying in video presentation use.

Dell points out that the S718QL's HDR mode is really HDR compatible rather than true HDR. Dark scenes with HDR input are so dark overall that shadow detail tends to get lost even when viewing in a dark room. However, this is primarily a limitation of projector technology in general rather than a problem with the S718QL.

Very much on the plus side, the sealed optical system offers a 20,000-hour lifetime and 24/7, maintenance-free operation. That's a welcome convenience in a conference room or classroom. It also makes the S718QL a strong candidate for heavy duty use in venues ranging from sports bars to signs and displays in retail locations and museums.

Also helping for many applications is the flexibility for mounting in portrait orientation or facing up at a ceiling and --for almost any application--the motorized focus that lets you stand far enough away from the image to see the entire screen at once as you adjust focus and keystone. This makes setup far easier than with most UST models, which force you to focus manually while only a foot or so from the screen.

With its impressive constellation of features--ultra short throw, 3840x2160 resolution, 5,000 ANSI lumens, vibrant color, 24/7 maintenance-free operation, a 20,000-hour rated life for the laser, and more--the Dell Advanced 4K Laser S718QL easily earns our Road Test Certified award. Along with being a unique, and solid, value, it is a strong candidate for any conference room, classroom, sports bar, or display or signage application that needs an ultra short throw and 4K resolution.


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Reader Comments(15 comments)

Posted Jun 14, 2018 9:34 AM

By John J

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I cannot get the Dell S718QL to run my Xbox One X. It will work at 1080. It says projector will not run at 60Hz 4K for xbox 1x.

Its a pain to set up on ceiling (7.5FT wall in house, 10ft screen), there is no up down adjust for picture so picture winds up showing low toward floor. Had to almost adjust projector at 45 degrees and 4ft out to get picture in middle of screen. Then could not adjust keystone without making it a smaller picture of 1/2 the size.

My biggest gripe is not getting xbox one x to work at 4k. Tried several 4k cables just in case. Dell support no help. Support kept saying it must be PC. I'm not using PC.

Posted Mar 30, 2018 11:54 PM

By Sean

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I currently own this projector and the lag IS noticeable. It happens to be a big issue for what I'm using it for. I own a Post Production facility and we use the S718QL as a second monitor to play movies through as we develop the sound. Unfortunately the projector DOES cause a considerable delay so the sound always comes before the picture. I use the projector as a second monitor so when you move the mouse you have to wait for the curser to move. I have been in direct connection with Dells support team to resolve the issue. I've been through 3 of their projectors to try and resolve the issue but they all have the same issue. Possibly a Gaming Mode which would reduce that lag down a bit due to its processing but no update has been created yet.

It's a shame because I really love the projector. I really hope that Dell takes a hint and works on an update.

Posted Feb 27, 2018 2:33 PM

By Anil Pillai

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Beautiful Projector. I use it as a backdrop for our church. We shoot video with the preacher in front with stage lighting and the image looks good. I have the projector set at about 10 inches, to fill our screen and no image distortions.

Posted Feb 22, 2018 2:32 PM

By M. David Stone

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Harry: We don't publish--and I don't bother keeping--the settings for video optimized lumens, because they can vary from unit to unit. However, my testing notes mention that as a quick-n-dirty fix, you can largely counter the green bias in Presentation mode by setting the Wall Color option to Green. It won't be as bright as if you tweak other settings, but it's a lot easier.

If you set the requirement of roughly 4000 lumen output, you're pretty much locked in to the default settings on Presentation mode as your best compromise, since the mode is barely above 4000 lumens before you do anything.

Posted Feb 22, 2018 12:15 PM

By Harry

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Thanks for your hard work. Could you share your Presentation mode adjustments for obtaining the "best color accuracy for video and film"? ...and even better, a best compromise adjustment balancing color accuracy along with ~4000 lumen output? Much appreciated.

Posted Feb 19, 2018 11:32 AM

By Evan Powell, Editor

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Vance, most UST projectors have a minimum and maximum image size due to optical focus limitations of the lenses. You cannot exceed the max limit size and remain in focus.

Posted Feb 18, 2018 9:02 AM

By Vance bjorn

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I have a very large wall I’d like to project on - 260” or so. Image quality (brightness, uniformity, sharpness) are not critical for my application. Does anyone know whether the maximum size of this projector is 130” or if I place it back further it will cast a much larger image (like a standard throw projector does). I don’t know if the lens capabilities and or automatic calibration tech of a UST projector can accommodate this type of application.

Posted Feb 7, 2018 4:04 PM

By M. David Stone

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Tom: Fan noise is typical for this class of projector, which means it's a little more than you would expect from one designed specifically for home theater use, but not enough to bother most people in a conference room or family room setting that tends to have ambient noise. The spec is 33 dB in Normal mode and a much quieter 29 dB in Eco.

We don't test with a PlayStation. The best way to confirm compatibility for HDR with it--or with any other HDR hardware--is to ask a Dell reseller for the lastest compatibility information.

Posted Feb 7, 2018 2:48 PM

By Tom

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Fan noise?

I was also curious did you test the HDR compatibility mode with Video Games like Horizon Zero Dawn from PlayStation? I’m sure there are any number of great 1st party HDR games to use as a technical demo to showcase the technology. Uncharted 4 also makes use of HDR. Thanks.

Posted Feb 7, 2018 2:04 PM

By M. David Stone

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MisterB: We don't do any subjective evaluation of lag, just the metered measurement we reported here of 97 ms. That's enough so you might want to look elsewhere rather than risk buying the projector and having to live with a noticeable lag. However, it might not actually be a problem for you.

Although a lot of gamers would consider a 97 ms lag unacceptable out of hand, I've seen some claim that you shouldn't notice any lag with displays that are less than 100 ms. Others put the limit for noticing a display lag at 50 ms or 30 ms or 16 ms. Clearly these are all subjective opinions. I strongly suspect they are based somewhat on reaction time, and that a world-class boxer, tennis player, or gamer will notice a lag that most people wouldn't be aware of.

Complicating the issue is that what really matters is the total lag in your system, not just the display. So if you have a controller with a shorter than typical lag, you can get away with a display that has a longer than typical lag, and vice versa. Also some games are more dependant on reaction time than others, which means lag is more of an issue for those games.

The best choice is to get some hands-on time with a variety of displays with different input lags, if you have the opportunity, and get a feel for yourself for how much lag is too much.

Posted Feb 7, 2018 12:42 AM

By MisterB

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The input lag is was concerns me about this projector. Has it been tried for gaming purposes by any chance?

Posted Feb 3, 2018 12:48 PM

By Evan Powell, Editor

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Marek, absolutely. This is a gorgeous video projector. You might want to pair it with a good UST ambient light rejection screen.

Posted Feb 3, 2018 11:53 AM

By Marek

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would this be also suitable as a home projector for watching movies?

Posted Jan 26, 2018 11:26 AM

By Evan Powell, Editor

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Pete, no the minimum is 100" due to lens restrictions.

Posted Jan 26, 2018 2:58 AM

By Pete

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If I only have a space for 92”, can this projector be set to fit 92”?

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