The Dell 2400MP resets the bar for what you can expect from a mainstream budget projector, combining class-leading brightness with sharpness and value. This projector is capable of delivering more than 3,000 lumens, which tops every projector in the budget category and equals Dell's own much more expensive 5100MP. The 2400MP also comes with features such as automatic vertical and horizontal keystone correction previously seen only on more expensive projectors. However, the Dell 2400MP isn't without faults: it suffers from a loud fan, colors have a yellowish cast, and it has a high operating temperature. Despite these drawbacks, at $1,100, the Dell 2400MP is hands down the best value in the budget projector category.
Like other Dell projectors, the 2400MP is gray and black with rounded corners. The case houses Texas Instrument's latest Digital Light Processing (DLP) imaging engine, which projects images at an XGA native resolution. The projector weighs a hefty 5.5 pounds and measures 4 by 10.8 by 8.3 inches, which is a bit taller and wider than the similarly equipped HP mp3320. The 2400MP's size allows for some mobility, but it's better suited to traveling short distances; the 4-pound Epson PowerLite 765c is a better choice if portability is your top priority. Dell does include a large padded carrying case that easily accommodates the projector and has plenty of room for accessories.
The 2400MP's focus ring surrounds the lens, and the zoom control is mounted on top of the projector, which makes adjustments convenient. The 1.2X zoom capability is a smidge short of the 1.6X offered by the Toshiba TDP-T95U, and as you zoom in and out, the 2400MP loses focus, which makes adjusting the image slightly more labor intensive. Other adjustability options, such as automatic vertical keystone correction, works like a charm, and remarkably, the projector also has horizontal keystone correction--a feature we've seen only on much more expensive projectors. The Dell 2400MP can project sharp, clean images ranging in size from 2.2 to 25 feet (diagonal) and accommodates 4:3 as well as 16:9 DVD formats.
The brightly lit buttons and large icons on the 2400MP's control panel make navigating the onscreen menu (OSM) a breeze. The included remote has all of the functionality of the control panel, as well as large page-up and page-down buttons for running through the slide presentations; unfortunately, it lacks a laser pointer. The intuitive OSM runs along the bottom of the screen so that you can make adjustments while viewing the image unobstructed. The back of the Dell 2400MP offers an abundance of connectivity options, including jacks for VGA-in and VGA-out, composite and S-Video, audio, four-pin USB, and RS-232. Dell includes cables for all of these connections and adds one for component video.