Projectors are fast turning into a viable option as a solution for home theatre systems. The demand for projectors has increased quite a lot and they are no longer just reserved to offices. This increase in demand is also due to the drop in the price of projectors. Dell is a very popular brand, as far desktops and notebooks are concerned. However, the brand is not so popular for manufacturing projectors. Targeting an audience that is looking to invest in a projector for a small office or as a solution for a home theatre system, the brand has launched the Dell 4210X projector. This projector boasts of some interesting specifications, such as HDMI, dual VGA display connectivity options, built-in stereo speakers and a native resolution of 1024 x 768.

Attractive in design

Attractive in design

Design and Build Quality
The Dell 4210X features an all black design with hints of silvery grey. The size of the projector is not that large and it is similar in size, when compared to other projectors found these days. Being black, the projector looks stylish and it would definitely complement either an office or a living room. Cooling needs of this projector has been taken care of by vents located on either side.

The top features the controls that are finished in glossy black. The controls are denoted by blue LED indicators. Apart from these indicators, there are also denotations on the buttons written in white.  The rest of the top panel has a matte finish, which adds to its looks. The front of the projector features the lamp and this is located at the front, towards the right.

Brightness levels of up to 3500 ANSI lumens

Brightness levels of up to 3500 ANSI lumens

Connectivity options are located at the back of the projector. These include an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, dual VGA input ports, a VGA out, video composite in, USB type B port, RCA connectors, two 3.5mm jacks for audio inputs and one 3.5mm jack for audio output. Dell has added two 5 watt RMS speakers on the sides as well, this is something that is not found on many projectors in the market. The projector is really sturdy and feels very solid. Something that we really liked about the projector is its build quality. The 4210X fares well in the looks department as well making it one of the better looking projectors available.

Features
The Dell 4210X projector provides support for a native XGA resolution of 1024 x 768.  This is the resolution that is found mostly on laptops. With many projectors outputting a resolution of 1080p or 720p, this seems a bit less in comparison. Dell rates the maximum brightness levels of the projector at 3500 ANSI Lumens and claims that it features a contrast ratio of 2000:1.

The rear is pretty loaded with connectivity options

The rear is pretty loaded with connectivity options

The OSD is lined up at the bottom of the screen, this is a good design implementation as some projectors have their interface located at the centre, which blocks the displayed content. The options in the interface include auto-adjust, input select, picture, display, lamp, setup, information and others. The picture mode is pretty impressive as it gives one the option to adjust settings such as brightness, contrast, white intensity, colour temperature as well as the ability to tweak the level of colours such as red, green and blue; while in the display mode, one can choose the desired aspect ratio and the zoom. The lamp mode can be adjusted to normal as well as eco mode.

The setup menu is pretty vast with its sub-menu having the option to change language, projector mode, auto keystone, V. keystone, alert volume, etc. There are other useful options found on this projector, such as the ability to capture a screen, adjust the transparency of the interface, position the interface at the top of the screen, password input, etc. These are pretty neat features for a projector in this price range.

Performance
The performance was tested by running the DisplayMate test and running video clips to check the playback quality of the projector. Starting off the performance, we noticed that it gets really hot and the heat emitted from it can be felt two feet away. This is not good as it would affect someone who is seated in close proximity to it, be it a conference room or a home. Another issue we noticed was that there was a odour of hot plastic emitted from it and overall it is not a very silent projector. When set to eco mode, the humming noise reduced by half.

The light weight remote

The light weight remote

The remote control is quite responsive and it one can navigate through the interface easily, while pointing the remote at the sensor. One can even sit behind the projector and control the remote. This is pretty useful during meetings, etc.

While running the DisplayMate test, we noticed that out of the box, brightness levels were accurate and the text, which was displayed appeared sharp. In the intensity range test, we observed that the darkest greys were well reproduced and there was a noticeable difference between each band. The whites were bright, but the seam between two bands was a bit soft. While checking the black-level, we observed that from block 5 onwards, the dark grey blocks got visibile. This is pretty decent for projectors. Basic colours appear a bit dark and while running the colour bars test, we saw a seam between red and blue. The line between purple and red appeared soft. While running the background interference test, we noticed that there were no moire patterns visible. While checking the intensity of the colour scales, we noticed that there was no bleeding across all colours and the seams were visible across all bars.

We connected our test rig to the Dell 4210X and ran a few clips to check the video playback. As mentioned in earlier, colours appear a bit dull and to view videos accurately, one would have to tweak the picture settings a bit. After the settings were tweaked, we noticed that the video quality was a lot better. With ambient lights on as well, one can watch videos quite well.

Vents at the side do not do a good job of cooling

Vents at the side do not do a good job of cooling

Verdict
The Dell 4210X is priced in India at a maximum retail price of Rs.52,999. The projector looks quite stylish, alongwith with having a really good build quality. For a price such as this, it has some pretty good features as well. In the performance bit, it did well in the DisplayMate test as well as during video playback. Our only qualm with it was the amount of heat it emitted and burning odour it gave out. This is a really good projector that is attractively priced. It is an ideal solution for those looking for an alternative to a large screen TV for their home theatre setup. The range in which it throws the content is pretty good as well and would be ideal for a medium-sized conference room. If one is looking to purchase a projector in this amount, and is willing to ignore the heat issues, this would surely be a worthy option.

Publish date: December 16, 2011 9:27 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 9:09 pm

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