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Dell 2400MP review: Dell 2400MP

Able to match the brightness, image quality, and feature sets of much more expensive models, the Dell 2400MP resets the bar for what you can expect from a mainstream budget projector.

Brian Nadel

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4 min read

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.

8.1

Dell 2400MP

The Good

Excellent brightness; high contrast; sharp focus; great onscreen menu structure; inexpensive; offers horizontal and vertical keystone correction; includes padded case.

The Bad

Slightly inaccurate color balance; too heavy for regular travel; runs hot; fan is loud; remote control lacks laser pointer; slow start-up and cooldown.

The Bottom Line

Able to match the brightness, image quality, and feature sets of much more expensive models, the Dell 2400MP resets the bar for what you can expect from a mainstream budget projector.
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 . 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.

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.

We put the 2400MP through its paces and found it to be the top gun in the budget projector class. It projected 3,208 ANSI lumens--25 percent more than the HP mp3320. In fact, the 2400mp matched the brightness levels of much more expensive (and much larger) network projectors, such as the Sony VPL-PX41. Even in low-power Eco mode, the Dell 2400MP pumped out 2,765 lumens--more than most budget projectors in full-power mode. At all times, type looked sharp, well formed, and very readable. Presenters who like to work with the lights on will love the 2400MP's 665:1 contrast ratio, which is outdone only by the much more expensive Dell 5100MP. However, the Dell 2400MP has a few minor flaws: its 65 percent brightness uniformity is only average, we noticed a slight flicker in parts of the grayscale, and the color palette leaned toward yellow.

Starting up the projector was a bit slow: It took 30 seconds to put an image onscreen and another 2 minutes to get to full brightness, and another 2 minutes to cool down (an eternity next to the HP mp3320's 16-second cooldown). The Dell 2400MP's loud fan doesn't prevent the projector from getting hot; its exhaust temperature topped 280 degrees Fahrenheit (we consider anything over 150 degrees too hot). It's not quite a fire hazard, but it could definitely warm a cup of coffee.

Once it's cooled down, changing the 260-watt lamp takes about 2 minutes; the $400 replacement lamp is rated to last 2,000 hours, which makes for a fairly expensive maintenance cost of 20 cents per hour of use.

The Dell 2400MP comes with a standard one-year warranty and the lamp is covered for only 90 days. Adding extra coverage costs $169 for three years, $299 for four years, and $279 for five years. Dell features international support with points of contact everywhere from Anguilla to Venezuela and a Web site with self-help tools for troubleshooting, setting up, and downloading manuals. Dell's toll-free support line is open 24/7, and the company promises next-day response to e-mail.

8.1

Dell 2400MP

Score Breakdown

Design 9Features 8Performance 8Support 7
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