Dell M410HD WXGA DLP Projector
Projector Central Highly Recommended Award

Highly Recommended Award

Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.

  • Performance
  • 4.5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
$699 MSRP Discontinued

Mobile presenters dream of light, bright, inexpensive, high resolution projectors. Dell's new M410HD is the thing dreams are made of. At 2.6 pounds and 2,000 lumens, it is almost in a class by itself, but when you add its 1280 x 800 native resolution and its $849 list price, it stands alone among mobile projectors. If you happen to be a movie buff, you will appreciate that 720p video needs no scaling to fit the M410HD's 16 x 10 display. Like any projector, it has a few limitations, but overall, this is an excellent choice for the road warrior looking for a compact powerhouse of a projector.


Brightness and Uniformity: It is a treat to find a projector that exceeds its brightness specification, and the M410HD did it with ease. In Bright mode, it put 2,190 ANSI lumens on the screen . . . nearly 10% higher than its specification. Other presets produced the following: Presentation and sRGB - 1,995 lumens and Movie - 1,075 lumens. Eco mode reduced brightness by 24% and lowered fan noise as well. Uniformity was a less than stellar 60% with the lower right portions of the image brighter than the rest.

Connections: The back panel of the M410HD sports an extensive array of connections. Computers connect via a D-sub VGA connector, and video sources connect through RCA (composite), HDMI (digital), or VGA connectors (component). Audio input and output use mini jacks, and there is a USB connector for firmware updates and page up/down controls via the remote.

Compatibility: The M410HD accommodates a wide range of computer inputs from 640 x 480 to 1,920 x 1080. Video inputs can range from 480p to 1080p. Of course, compression occurs above the M410HD's WXGA native resolution, but scaling artifacts are minimal.

Image Size and Position: The centerline of the lens is 3.5" below the bottom of the image for a 100" image. This offset is fine for cart height, but for tabletop and ceiling mounting, you may need to re-position the image by raising the front of the projector, using a drop tube on the ceiling mount, and/or tilting the projector in its mount. An elevator foot will raise the front of the projector, and horizontal leveling can be accomplished by unscrewing either/both of the rear feet. Vertical keystone correction of +40°/-35° is provided.

Preset modes: Each of the four preset modes (Presentation, Bright, Movie, and sRGB) have slight differences in color, brightness, and contrast for their particular applications. If those presets do not fit your circumstances, there is also a Custom mode where you can store your preferred settings.

Warranty Provisions: Dell provides a two-year limited warranty on the M410HD and offers extended warranties of up to five years for an additional charge. The 165-watt lamp is warranted for 90 days.

Maintenance: The good news is that like most DLP projectors, no real maintenance is needed except for an occasional vacuuming of the air intakes. If the unit were ceiling mounted, lamp changes might require a dismount since access to the lamp is through the bottom of the projector. However, since ceiling mounting is unlikely for a mobile projector and lamp life is 3000 to 5000 hours, this isn't a serious limitation.

Security: While you will probably take the M410HD with you when you finish a presentation, if you have to leave it in place, there is a Kensington lock to help keep it where you leave it.


Portability: When I searched our database for 1280 x 800 projectors weighing less than three pounds and selling for under $1,000, only two projectors popped up . . . and the other one is more expensive than the M410HD. It is easy to set up, and you will not tire from hauling it to and fro. Included with the projector is a padded carrying case with plenty of room for cables and media.

Image Quality: Data images looked very good with one exception . . . saturation is too high for computer photos, and there is no way to effectively reduce saturation in VGA mode. For graphics, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations, images were colorful and crisp with excellent definition even in small-font type.

Once minor adjustments were made to brightness and contrast settings, video images were excellent. Skin tones were natural and highlights and black levels were solid. In general, raising brightness and lowering contrast from factory default settings produced the best images.

Quick Shutdown: If you need to rush to your next presentation, you can shorten the usual two-minute cool down phase when powering down. An extended key press on the power button will accelerate the process by running the fan at a higher than normal speed for about 15 seconds to cool the lamp.

Auto Source Search: You have to search for sources manually on many inexpensive projectors, but the M410HD can look for sources automatically. On power up, it searches through the VGA, composite video, S-video, and HDMI inputs and selects the first active connection it finds. When the Source key is pushed on the remote, it begins searching and selects the next connection it detects. If you prefer to select sources manually, you can disable Auto Search in the Input Select menu.

On-Screen Menus: It is easy to move through the M410HD's on-screen menus. Layering is minimal, and menu names are easy to understand. The menu can be positioned at the top or the bottom of the image, and transparency can be set from clear to opaque.

Lamp Life: The M410HD's 3,000-hour lamp life in Normal mode is comparable to other 2,000-lumen projectors, but things improve in Eco mode where lamp life stretches to 5,000 hours. A replacement lamp may be purchased for $220.

3-D Ready: As you may know, when a projector claims 3-D capability, you have to start asking questions about compatibility. The M410HD is 3-D ready with a computer outputting low-resolution frame-sequential format, but not with Blu-ray or HD broadcast sources. If 3-D is important to you, check with your dealer to find out which formats are accommodated.


Remote Control: While the mid-size remote fits nicely in the hand, its button markings leave a lot to be desired. The remote is black and the markings are in gray, so even in a lit room, finding the right key can be a test. In a darkened room, it is nearly impossible. An added hurdle is the long reach to the directional keys for menu navigation. All in all, a re-design of this remote would be a welcome change.

Fan noise: Fan noise is moderately high at 39dB in normal mode, and even Eco mode still registers 31dB. The good news is that the noise isn't high pitched, but it's still a little distracting in an intimate setting.

Audio Quality: A small group in a quiet room may find the 1-watt audio output adequate, but it will not suffice for a large audience or a noisy room. At full volume, the sound is tinny, and you may wish Dell had beefed up the speaker output.

Placement Flexibility: If you are trying to fit an image to a screen, you may find that the M410HD's low zoom ratio of 1.1:1 makes projector placement difficult. For example, the projector is about 11 feet from the screen when projecting a 100" diagonal image, and it can only be moved about ±6" and maintain that image diagonal.

Color Wheel: The M410HD uses a 2x color wheel, and if you've read much about DLP projectors, you know that lower speed color wheels can cause "rainbow" effects. Rainbows typically occur only with material in motion, like video or PowerPoint transitions. In high contrast scenes with rapid panning, some viewers are likely to see momentary RGB stripes intermittently. You should try-before-you-buy to see if this effect bothers you. For typical business presentation applications, this is usually a non-issue.

Disabled Inputs: Input sources can be individually disabled which can speed up source searching but may lock out a desired source. If you connect a source and it does not display, check the Input Source Advanced menu to make sure that source has not been disabled. The on-screen menu can also be locked out, so if it does not display when you hit the Menu button, check the menu disable setting in the Others menu.


If you make presentations in multiple locations where ambient light varies and audiences are generally small, or if you just want to kick back and enjoy a high definition movie between business presentations, Dell's M410HD makes a great companion. It is small, bright, and offers WXGA resolution for less than $850 . . . a potent combination. It travels well, and despite a limited audio capability, it handles on-the-road requirements better than most projectors in its class. It garners our highest value award, and it should be right on the top of your list when you are shopping for a mobile business projector.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Dell M410HD projector page.

Comments (12) Post a Comment
Sergey Posted Oct 21, 2010 4:58 PM PST
Owners of this projector - pls check is it working with nvidia 3d glasses or not. That is the cheapest machine for 3d so it may be popular because of it.
Sergey Posted Oct 23, 2010 12:36 AM PST

Can you review 3d capability of this projector? is it working with DLP link, Nvidia 3d, is it checkboarding format or full format, is it working with full resulution? It will be really helfull. Thanks in advance! =)
Harold Posted Oct 26, 2010 9:10 AM PST
YES, is ANYBODY doing any review of the 3D capabilities of the new "3D Ready" projectors? The Dell M410HD, M1610HD Projectors also have our interest as they meet our very portable requirement. I understand for these 3D projectors you need a PC with quad buffered graphics card, "Active" 3D glasses with DLP Link, 3D content (app software to include OpenGL or DirectX), & of course the 3D projector. Our Dell M4300 & M6500 laptops (again portable requirement) appear to have the quad video card. I am guessing from my investigation so far, the format is a full resolution/page flipping format (60hz for each eye view via the glasses).
Ralph B Posted Jun 5, 2011 1:51 PM PST
I've read in the overview there is a "USB connector" for firmware updates. Is this, or not, a USB port?
Jason Posted Jul 7, 2011 7:26 PM PST
I bought this projector based on this and other reviews. I was so excited to purchase and use this projector. After much research, it came out on top over and over for its clarity and lightweight portability. It worked well for a month or two with our Dell laptop, but not quite so nicely with our mini EEE PC, which had a lower resolution. But we could handle that. We wanted to go even lighter and bought a MacBook Air. As it turned out, it didn't work well with this projector. We spent hours with tech support, both Mac and Dell. We tried another M410HD, tried other Macs, and in the end, we found that this projector just plain didn't work with our new, high-end MacBook Air (the MacBook worked fine with other projectors). Unfortunately, it was too late to return the projector. Too bad--we love the projector, but it wouldn't work with our or other MacBooks (including MacBook Pro). By "didn't work," the colors were dull and faded, as if it wouldn't project enough light. Too bad.
Tommy Posted Aug 17, 2011 2:37 PM PST
Nice quality but unsuitable for upside-down ceiling mount - nooption to flip image.
Torolf Posted Mar 1, 2012 3:40 AM PST
Thanks for most valuable experience info. Which contacts was used ? VGA? HDMI? Others?
womble Posted Mar 28, 2012 5:18 PM PST
Anyone please tell me hoe to setup 3d without 3d-xl? Dell have been messing me about for 4months now.
Mark Posted Apr 11, 2012 2:50 AM PST
01-20-2011, 04:13 PM I finally discovered the solution. You would think it being Apple they would have an intuitive solution. I mean all PCs work with with very minor adjustments.

A couple of issues. 1St. be sure to update the OS to the most current, newest as of 1/20/11 10.6.6. There appeared to be an issue with 10.4.4.

Next follow the following instructions exactly: this is RE POST

I don't have the same problem (i.e. videos too dark) but I'll bet it's the same solution. My problem was that the Keynote presentation on the LCD were way too dark. Funny thing was that if I opened up the systems preferences dialog box, they looked fine. Hummm.

Turns out that it was an issue with a change in the latest OS and how apple now handles the gamma setting in external displays. I don't recall all the details but Snow Leopard seems to use the new standard gamma of 2.2, making output too dark. The output gamma should be closer to 1.8.

To fix this, you need to adjust the color profile for the LCD projector that you are using.

To fix a projector, the projector must be plugged in and turned on to do this.

If you go to System Preferences, Displays and the Color option. You'll see a list of Display Profiles. There will be a dialog box on both the computer screen and the projector screen. To get them both on the computer screen to make editing a little easier you can click Gather Windows at the bottom of the dialog box on the computer.

I found it easier to just Calibrate the monitor and same a new profile - you can also uncheck the Show profiles for this display only and pick another profile like one of the sRGB profiles. To calibrate, click the Calibrate button (be sure you do it on the dialog for the LCD projector) I'd click Expert Mode - this will give you more options when adjusting the Gamma. Run through the Calibration routine making sure that you select a Gamma that is closer to 1.8 instead of the 2.2.

At the end, same the profile and then everything on the external display should look much better.

When researching my issue, there seemed to be consensus that using a digital interface the projector was better than the normal VGA cable. Didn't have a cable to try that.

Once you do this, the machine should always recognize the projector and behave properly. Seems a pain to have to do this but I didn't find any other alternative. The good thing is that I have not had to do this on every projector that I use. I have my own projector that has always worked properly.

I teach at a university where the rooms have mounted projectors - some work with no change, others I have to calibrate...

Try it out, hope it helps...
Schneb Posted Mar 14, 2013 8:34 PM PST
I believe it was way beyond the pale that Dell did not include such a simple adjustment as "upside down" for ceiling mounting. I mean really, it is a simple software tweak. Oh, you can have rear projection, but not ceiling mount!? FAIL.
anthony Posted Mar 15, 2013 9:14 PM PST
I am trying to find a Dell human that knows something about their own product. My projector has little white spots that are increasing on the screen. The bulb was removed and air pressure directed in the area where the lens starts. I can't find any repair facilities in Va. that work on the 410. Dell is not helpful. These things are not cheap, but I get no help from Dell. Anyone else have this problem? anthony
Charles Posted Aug 8, 2014 8:17 AM PST
RE ANTHONY: Same problem. And you'll find the same problem described on other sites. Dell's response is to sell you a new card since it is out of warranty. But the damn thing shouldn't be doing this in the first place after 3 years of rather light use. It's a defective design. But Dell doesn't want to know and doesn't care.

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