Dell 1430X XGA 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
  • 5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
Price
$649 MSRP Discontinued

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.

Strong Points

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.)

Test Results and Connectivity

Brighter than promised with wide brightness range. The measured brightness on most projectors is less than promised. The Dell 1430X stands out for being 10% brighter than its 3200 lumen rating, at a measured 3520 lumens in Bright mode on our tests. That makes it easily bright enough for the 98" diagonal image I used for testing, and even for larger images, to stand up to the ambient light in almost any conference room or classroom.

For lower ambient light levels and smaller screen sizes, you can lower the light output with a choice of three additional preset modes, which I measured at 1886, 2003, and 2853 lumens. You can also lower the brightness with Eco mode, which came in at 2661 lumens with the brightest preset on our tests, or a drop of about 24%.

Good (not great) brightness uniformity. The 1430X score for brightness uniformity is a little low, at 70%, but good enough so it's not an issue. As a practical matter, it's enough variation so I could see the difference on a solid white screen, with the lower left corner noticeably brighter than the upper right corner. However, when you break up the image with text and graphics, the difference is little enough that few, if any, people will notice it. It's highly unlikely that anyone will find it objectionable.

Acceptable connectivity. With no HDMI port or other digital connection options, the 1430X's connectivity is best described as a step above minimal by today's standards, but not by much. Connectors for image sources include two VGA ports for computers or component video, plus one composite video and one S-video port. In addition, there's a pass-through monitor port, an RS-232 port for external control from a computer or third party controller, and a mini USB B port for wired remote control.

Arguably the most important limitation is for audio, with only one stereo miniplug input, so you can connect audio from only one source. There's also a stereo miniplug output for an external sound system, but with only one input, the only thing gained by connecting though the projector is the ability to adjust the volume from the projectors' controls.

Limitations

Unimpressive video quality. With 1024x768 resolution, the 1430X was obviously not designed for HD video. As a practical matter, with no HDMI port available, the connector you'll likely use with most video sources is the composite video port, limiting you to standard definition 480i. You can also use one of the VGA ports with an adaptor for component video, but that requires getting the adaptor elsewhere, and the projector will still have to scale any widescreen image at 720p resolution or higher to fit it in the available 1024x768 pixels on the screen.

The video also has other shortcomings. As with most data projectors, the colors tend to be flat and dull because of a low contrast ratio. I also saw a moderate to major problem with shadow detail in clips that tend to bring out the problem, and a minor loss of shadow detail even in clips that don't generally show the problem.

In addition, after seeing so few rainbow artifacts with data images, I was surprised to see them exponentially more often with video, and far more often than with most DLP projectors. Anyone who sees these artifacts easily will almost certainly find them annoying with video on the 1430X, giving you another good reason to use only short video clips and use them sparingly, if you use them at all.

Limited 3D. The 3D support in the 1430X is limited strictly to working with computers with a quad buffered graphics card. As with most 3D capable data projectors, however, the most important limitation is that you need to buy enough pairs of DLP-Link glasses for your audience, at $70 or more each. If you need 10 pairs of glasses, taking advantage of 3D means paying as much for the glasses as for the projector.

Low volume audio. As is common with projectors in its weight class -- just 5.7 pounds -- the 1430X audio is almost not worth having. The audio quality from the 2 watt mono speaker is reasonably good, but the volume isn't enough to fill even a small conference room. If you need audio, you'll almost certainly want an external sound system. Also note that the fan noise is relatively loud, rated at 36 dB in Normal mode and 32 dB in Eco mode. If you're sensitive to noise, or need audio in your presentations, you may consider this an issue.

Conclusion

Although the Dell 1430X sticks largely to basics, it gets lots of points for doing most of those basics well. The one notable exception is its video quality. But if you want a projector with 1024x768 resolution, odds are you aren't much interested in video. Quite simply, if you need good video quality, you should be looking at higher resolution projectors.

As a data projector, the 1430X does a more than impressive job. It offers a combination of high quality images, higher than promised maximum brightness, and the flexibility to adjust brightness significantly for different lighting conditions or image sizes. It may not have all the connectors you want. An HDMI port would be useful, for example, and so would separate audio inputs for each image input. However, it has all the connectors you absolutely need.

Also on the plus side, the 1.2x zoom makes setup a little easier. Throw in some extra points too for keeping the total cost of ownership down with a reasonably long lamp life, particularly if you use Eco mode, and a relatively low cost for replacement lamps. Add it all up, and the Dell 1430X qualifies as a more than attractive choice.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Dell 1430X projector page.

Comments (1) Post a Comment
Ravi kumar Posted Jun 22, 2012 2:54 AM PST
Hi, Iam looking for a projector with MIn ANSI 2500 XGA with HDMI Input . when we connect the DLP/LCD projector with computer , the computer is operated with remotely. When ever we switch of the computer/CPU(Remotly/WIFI/@G/3G) the DLP/LCD projector should also go to stand by and even when ever we switch on the computer/CPU should on directly .If you have any such model please let us know .do call us/mail us for any further clarification . Best regards.Cell:+919949100072

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