Samsung F10M: 1000 Lumen LED Presentation Projector
The new Samsung F10M is an eagerly anticipated presentation projector combining traditional LCD-based projection technology with LED illumination. The result is a 1,000-lumen XGA projector with a 30,000 hour estimated lamp life--a notable accomplishment. The 1,000 lumen mark makes the F10M the brightest LED-driven projector yet released, bar none. What's even more notable is that the F10M has an MSRP of only $1,099. Combined with a three-year warranty and a solid feature set, the F10M is perfect for small to medium conference rooms.
Light output. The main reason that LED projectors are not more widespread is the problem of light output. LEDs thus far have not been able to match the performance of traditional metal-halide lamps in terms of sheer light output, which is why these traditional lamps still see use despite their relatively short lives.
The F10M is a step in the right direction, for certain. Rated at 1,000 ANSI lumens, our test sample measured 837 lumens using the Bright image preset, which was the maximum measured on this unit. In a conference room, this is a good amount of light for a 60" to 80" diagonal image with the lights dimmed or a 50" diagonal with all room lighting at its maximum. Compared to many other LED projectors, this is an incredible improvement.
Bright mode, as one might imagine, is the ideal choice for simple, high-contrast documents that need to be displayed big and bright. If your presentation involves material that is better served by a more subtle treatment, the F10M's other image presets can provide that. Dynamic, the default, measured 745 lumens. Its black level is deeper than that of Bright, though not by much; it is an incremental improvement that will make documents look subtly more colorful and will emphasize shadow detail slightly. The F10M has several other presets, each suited for a different application. At 684 lumens, Presentation is a step down in brightness from Bright, but it has a cooler color temperature, better black level, and more open mid-tones. Standard mode continues this trend at 679 lumens. Movie mode has superior color saturation and shadow detail, as well as the best contrast to be had from the projector in any operating mode. It measured 667 lumens.
Brightness uniformity. The difference between the brightest and dimmest areas of a pure white test image was quite small, and overall the F10M had a measured brightness uniformity of 85%. A smooth, evenly-illuminated image is crucial when it comes to photography and video, and even text documents look better when the "sheet of paper" on screen is not noticeably dimmer in one corner.
Contrast. Compared to other LCD projectors, the F10M has a very wide dynamic range. Black level is deep for a projector in this class, partially thanks to the use of LEDs instead of a traditional lamp. Light emitting diodes are far more variable and have much faster response times than traditional lamps do, so their output can be changed whenever necessary. And while the F10M is not a video projector, it does include a "dynamic contrast" feature that functions like an auto iris would--except it is entirely digital. Its effect on a image of a starry sky is impressive and immediately visible.
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