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Get the record books ready. Depending on the discounts that the Dell Web site might be offering on any given day, the exceptionally bright, bargain-price 1200MP projector will probably be listed as the first model ever to break the 3-lumens-per-dollar mark. Even at its full list price of $699, this model is still the best value on the market, whether you're looking at brightness, features, or whichever yardstick you choose. It's a great pick for business presentations and should be particularly attractive for nonprofit and educational institutions (read: organizations with tight IT budgets). What more could you ask for?
Well, maybe pixels. Like other budget models, the 1200MP is saddled with low SVGA (800x600) resolution, which doesn't quite match up well to the XGA (1,024x768) and higher resolutions on today's laptops.
At 4.9 pounds, the Dell 1200MP is one of the lightest budget projectors on the market--a full pound lighter than the Sharp PG-B10S or the BenQ PB6110. And although it has a relatively high profile (4.0 inches), its rounded edges will allow it to slip easily into any carrying case. We predict, however, that most users will tote it around in the superb, well-cushioned, durable case that Dell includes. For extra protection, the projector's lens is safely recessed more than an inch behind the front panel, yet still offers convenient access to its focus and zoom control rings.
The top panel does not offer many controls, but the ones it has are well arranged and are all backlit with blue LEDs for easy identification in the dark. The all-important power button is easily recognizable. The remote control is relatively small and fits nicely in you hand. It lacks a laser pointer or mouse-movement buttons but does include well-placed buttons for going forward or backward in a PowerPoint slide show.
Despite its low price tag, the 1200MP features a rich assortment of cables. There are, in fact, no less than eight of them, including two audio cables and the increasingly important component video cable for use with DVD players and HDTV converters. All but two of the cables (AC and composite video) are equipped with Velcro straps for neat stowage.