Relatively cheap and desirably powerful.
Aimed first and foremost at the business user, this projector is remarkable due to the fact that it’s almost perfect for the home user as well. When we get to the feature list you’ll start to get excited, but it’s the excellent price that makes this a stand out projector.
When your screen is bigger than J Allard’s ego, resolution becomes very important. With a native resolution of 1400 x 1050, the 5100P has more than enough pixels to go around. Even when the screen was stretched to approximately 2.5 meters across, the ‘screendoor’ effect, or pixilation, still wasn’t visible from a viewing distance of 2 meters. This makes it the perfect projector for PC gaming, and it’s also great for watching HDTV, although it’d be even better if it was natively 16:9.
The contrast ratio of 2500:1, combined with a brightness of 3300 lumens, give the projected image a vibrant and rich colour palette, and it’s not afraid to share your room with more than a little ambient light. Blacks were represented wonderfully, with little muddying in darker areas. Considering these outstanding specifications, it’s amazing that Dell has managed to squeeze it all into a chassis that weighs less than 5kg, and the fan is comfortably quiet.
The full complement of expected inputs are present, including HDMI, D1, component and S-Video. We couldn’t have asked for a simpler interface, and the included remote even doubles as a mouse and laser pointer. It’s possible to connect the projector to your network via the RJ-45 port, so multiple PCs can all output over the network.
If there’s one thing that holds this back from being the perfect all purpose workhorse projector, it’s the lack of a short throw lens, as well as lens shift. You’ll need to place the projector around 4 meters away from the screen to project a 100” diagonal image, and it’s very picky about being lined up perfectly. Those who are susceptible to the rainbow effect might notice it a little here, as it is a DLP projector, although the 2x, 4-segment colour wheel really helps to minimize this problem.
Thankfully these minor quibbles aren’t showstoppers, and what’s most outstanding about this product is the price tag. At a touch under $5,000, it packs a lot of punch for a remarkably affordable cost. Highly recommended if you’re looking for an extremely bright, high resolution projector.
This Review appeared in the December, 2005 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine