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Gateway Projector 210 review: Gateway Projector 210

Gateway Projector 210

Rich Malloy
4 min read
Review summary
Gateway's Projector 210 combines good performance, a better-than-average bundle of features, and an attractive price tag. We particularly like its whisper-quiet fan and relatively cool operating temperature--unusual attributes for a DLP projector. Unfortunately, its high XGA (1,024x768) resolution, superior brightness, and high image uniformity are offset by mediocre contrast and a complicated remote control. And it's not as small as it seems when you factor in its video adapter. Dell's 3200MP offers better overall performance and design for a similar price.
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The main unit is extremely compact, measuring 9 by 7.6 by 2.7 inches.
The Projector 210's sculpted shape is distinctive, but its modular design is unique--and a little misleading. The main unit is extremely compact, measuring 9 by 7.6 by 2.7 inches (W, D, H) and weighing 3.85 pounds. But you'll rarely enjoy the Projector 210 in its most compact form, because the single M1-DA-to-DVI port on the projector's otherwise-empty rear panel requires a DVI cable, which is a $99 option from Gateway. Barring that, you must attach the included video-adapter module, which contains a more traditional array of connections. The adapter adds 1.5 inches to the projector's depth and more than a half-pound to its weight. Add the cables to the package, and the typical travel weight rises to 5.6 pounds.
Once you've attached the video adapter to the main unit (using the adapter's built-in thumbscrews), setting up the Projector 210 is straightforward. The front leg is adjustable for projection angle, but unfortunately the rear legs are not. An optical zoom range of 1.15X makes it easy to fill a prepositioned screen, but the short, 6-foot AC cable will probably necessitate an extension cord. The lens is unobtrusive and well protected, safely recessed next to the front panel.

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The Projector 210's video-adapter module adds an array of connectors. The top control panel is minimalist but well marked.

The Projector 210 spreads the rest of its connectors and controls along its top and sides. The top control panel is minimalist but well marked, with buttons for onscreen menu navigation and power, plus a power-indicator light and an infrared sensor. Adjust the zoom and the focus wheels from the top or left sides. The power connection and a lot of venting are located on the projector's right side.
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The projector's remote control is very capable, but it's complicated.
The Projector 210 bundles a lot of features for the price. Among these is a complete set of cables for the video adapter's connections: VGA, component video, composite video, S-Video, RCA, miniplug audio, and USB. The company is planning to roll out an optional wireless networking module within the next few months, which would make this projector even more versatile.
We liked the relatively large image size produced by the Projector 210's DLP engine. It projected our standard one-square-meter image (about 5 feet diagonally) from just 6.5 feet. If the projected image has a keystone shape, you can correct it via the projector's digital antikeystone feature, but this involves a tedious procedure on the remote control.
The projector's remote control is very capable, but it's complicated. Like many of the recent remotes we've seen, it tries to save space by doubling up the functions of many buttons and using a Mode button to switch between projector control and mouse emulation. Fortunately, the laser pointer works in either mode.
The Projector 210 offered generally impressive scores in CNET Labs tests. Its tested brightness of 1,221 ANSI lumens exceeded both the average for the group and the projector's own spec of 1,200 ANSI lumens. Image uniformity (the measure of how evenly brightness is distributed across the screen) was enviably high at 83 percent. The projector's measured color temperature of 5,600K is almost ideal. Its color accuracy was likewise impressive: the blues were shifted a bit to green, but the reds and greens were right on the money. The 210 was also quite good at divvying out grays, displaying 251 out of 255 grayscale levels in our "--="" rel="nofollow" class="c-regularLink" target="_blank">&siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Edisplaymate%2Ecom">DisplayMate tests.
CNET Labs contrast ratio tests  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Dell 3200MP
Optoma EzPro 737
HP xb31
Mitsubishi XD50U
Gateway Projector 210

With all these great attributes, it's too bad the Projector 210 stumbled on a key metric: contrast ratio. The Projector 210's low 184:1 value means that richly colored images could look muddy rather than vibrant, a weakness that significantly dampens our recommendation for this product.
The Projector 210 is good at being seen and not heard. Its noise reading of 38.2dBA is among the quietest we've tested. It did even better in our temperature measurements; its exhaust-grill reading of 138 degrees Fahrenheit was the lowest of its peers. Unfortunately, the projector took its time shutting down--well over two minutes, making it the slowest of the bunch.

CNET Labs brightness tests  (Measured in ANSI lumens)
Mitsubishi XD50U
Dell 3200MP
HP xb31
Gateway Projector 210
Optoma EzPro 737
In its standard configuration, the Gateway Projector 210 is covered by an excellent three-year service plan that includes parts, labor, mail-in service, and tech support; the lamp is warranted for 90 days. Enhancing this service plan with a three-year advance-exchange option for a speedy replacement projector costs an additional $99.
Gateway provides lifetime technical support via both a 24-hour toll-free telephone number and its Web site (via e-mail). On the site, it's easy to find a 14MB, full-color, electronic version of the 210's thorough user guide, along with product info and short FAQs.

Gateway Projector 210

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8Performance 7Support 8