The Dell M110 Portable LED Projector
Fan Noise: Fan noise is noticeable in both Normal and ECO lamp modes. Dell specs Normal mode as 36 dB(A) and ECO as 32 dB(A). We found the noise distracting in Normal mode while sitting within close proximity to the projector. In a conference room scenario when the projector is placed on a table and only an arm's distance away from some of the attendees, this might be a consideration. While the fan noise was still audible in ECO mode, it was much less obvious.
Lens Quality: Although the M110 is capable of acceptable focus and sharpness, the overall performance was wanting. We were not able to achieve a pinpoint focus across the entire projected image. If the image center was used to dial in focus, corner edges (primarily on the top corners) were soft. This would be a consideration for a business user projecting detailed text or financial data.
With graphical presentation type material, image sharpness was satisfactory. However photos or videos were missing the sharp, crisp image often associated with DLP projectors.
Wi-Fi Adapter: The performance of the optional Wi-Fi adapter was disappointing. After plugging in the adapter to the USB port on the projector, a menu launches that provides connection instructions. The software installation was straightforward, but it took several attempts to get display mirroring to start even with a solid Wi-Fi connection to the projector.
The Wi-Fi enabled projector functions as a direct access point. Consequently, no other wireless connection is possible. The laptop remained connected to the internet via a hard wired connection, but it would have been preferable for the projector to connect to an existing wireless network versus having to rely on a second physical connection to maintain network access. The Wi-Fi connection is open without any security options. Once connected, the pure static image quality via display mirroring was perfect, like any digital connection should be. Unfortunately, the connection suffered enough lag to make it essentially unusable.
Initially, mouse movement occurred in near real time between the computer and projector. However, after less than a minute of connection time, the lag grew to a consistent and repeatable 15-20 seconds. The only remedy was to stop and restart the display mirroring application. A few seconds of lag may be acceptable for most business presentations, but this amount of lag was excessive and would eliminate the Wi-Fi connection as a viable input option in a business presentation scenario.
The Dell M110 projector story is that for the right user it offers a great price and thousands of hours of use without ever having to change a lamp. If ambient light and a bit of fan noise are not issues, you'll get an economical projector with a wide array of inputs. The 250 lumens of brightness allows it to become a very large desktop monitor in a fully lit room, create a theater sized screen in a dark room or play the part of the average conference room projector as long room lighting can be adjusted.
If you dim the lights, expect to be treated to impressive dynamics from an above average contrast ratio. It does not quite exemplify projector perfection, but the trade-offs are acceptable. For a street price of $500, Dell has produced a quality projector with no lamp replacement costs. The size, performance and features of the Dell M110 make it a great fit for many mobile business users.
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