Dell 1610HD Projector review

The Dell 1610HD is a light, bright, portable projector for businesspeople and educators, with good data image quality.
Photo of Dell 1610HD Projector

Businesspeople and educators in need of a bright portable projector with good data image quality and a solid selection of connection choices would do well to consider the Dell 1610HD. A step up from the Dell 1510X, it provides higher (WXGA) resolution, which should help if your presentations include a lot of fine detail. The 1610HD’s data image quality is fine for most business and classroom uses. Video isn’t its forte, but it should suffice for shorter clips within a presentation.

The 1610HD, matte black with glossy black and gray trim, is reasonably compact at 3.5 by 11.7 by 8 inches (HWD) and quite portable at 5.2 pounds; it includes a soft carrying case. The DLP-based projector has WXGA (1,280-by-800) native resolution. Its light engine is rated at 3,500 lumens, on the bright side for its price and weight.

The 1610HD has a decent set of connections for a portable projector: HDMI; two VGA-in and one monitor-out; S-Video; three RCA jacks for composite audio/video; audio-in and audio-out; microphone; Ethernet; and a USB port for connecting with a PC to provide remote mouse control. One thing that it lacks is a USB type A port that would enable you to run a presentation from a USB thumb drive (or connect a Wi-Fi adapter).

Data Image Quality
The 1610HD projected an image that filled our test screen (about 55 inches on a diagonal) from about eight feet away. The image stood up well to a fair amount of ambient light when it was introduced.

In data image testing using the DisplayMate suite, the 1610HD’s image quality proved slightly above par for a data projector, suitable for most business or classroom presentations. There was a trace of tinting—some grays in greens, and yellow in white backgrounds—but it was fairly mild for a DLP projector. Colors, especially reds and yellows, were on the dull side even for a DLP projector, which tend to have lower color brightness than their LCD counterparts. Text quality was good, with black on white sharp down to the smallest size, and white-on-black text blurred at the two smallest sizes.

All DLP projectors are potentially subject to the rainbow effect, in which little red-green-blue flashes can be seen, especially in bright areas against dark backgrounds. Such rainbow artifacts were evident in certain images that tend to bring them out, but the effect is seldom a problem in data presentations, and shouldn’t be with the 1610HD.

Video and Audio
Video quality was suitable for shorter clips as part of a presentation. The rainbow effect was a bit more apparent in the 1610HD’s video than is usual with a DLP projector, and people even mildly sensitive to it may be distracted by rainbow artifacts. There was significant posterization—abrupt shifts in color where they should be gradual.

Its 8-watt speaker is loud enough to fill a small to mid-sized room. There was some distortion at higher volumes, so you may want to turn the volume down somewhat.

The 1610HD’s boost in resolution over the Dell 1510X’s XGA (1,024 by 768) paid off in the sharper small black-on-white text in our testing—if your presentations contain small type or intricate detail, the 1610HD is clearly worth the extra money.

The Dell 1610HD has a higher-rated brightness than the BenQ MW663, ViewSonic PJD6683ws, and even the Editors’ Choice NEC NP-M311W, a 3,100-lumen WXGA data projector.

The Dell 1610HD is bright for a portable data projector and has a good set of connection choices. Its data image quality is good, with sharp text its forte. It’s a good choice for business people in need of a portable projector but who don’t use too much video in their presentations. While it’s a bit brighter and more portable than the Editors’ Choice NEC NP-M311W, the NEC projector has better image and video quality, as well as an exceptionally generous 1.7x zoom.

Specifications
Native Resolution 1280 x 800
Video Inputs Component, Composite, HDMI, S-Video, D-Sub
Computer Interfaces Analog VGA
Wireless Connectivity No
Weight 5.2 lb
Rated Contrast Ratio 2100
Engine Type DLP
Type Business
Aspect Ratio 16
Rated Brightness 3500 ANSI lumens

Verdict
The Dell 1610HD is a light, bright, portable projector for businesspeople and educators, with good data image quality.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc