Dell M900HD review

Dell M900HD

Wonderfully petite and finely polished, this mini projector will slip easily on to any boardroom desk, and can be fired up and ready within seconds. The Dell M900HD's menu is fairly straightforward, and isn't bulging with confusing settings, so the setup process should take very little time. See Digital Home Advisor.

The Dell M900HD isn't just for mobile enthusiasts, either, and companies may also find it a great acquisition that can be easily transported from one room to another as required. See all projector reviews.

With such enviable portability, it's great to see the Dell M900HD coming with a range of interesting connection options, even if ports are quite minimal in comparison to larger models.  

HDMI is included of course, as is USB. Less typical is the SDHC card slot, and you can display images directly from such memory cards. Up to 32GB can be stored, and you can load cards with PDF, Excel, Word or PowerPoint files for ultra-convenient PC-free projection. The Dell M900HD also has 2GB of built-in flash storage space.  

Perhaps more significantly, though, the Dell has extensive wireless options. Devices compatible with Intel’s WiDi and the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Miracast can be wirelessly hooked up to the M900HD, so that means you can use WiDi-compatible laptops or Android smartphones. Apple iPhones and iPads will need to third-party app WiFi-Doc or use an HDMI adaptor to transmit images.  

WiDi support can be a nice feature for those with suitably-equipped Windows laptops. Simply load up the WiDi application and select your device, and you can start projecting with the Dell M900HD. This kind of seamless projection will soon be an everyday occurrence, but for now, it stands at the vanguard of mobile presentation equipment. 

Inevitably given the size, the Dell's hardware specifications aren't as impressive as a full-size projector, and this will limits its performance. The brightness is only rated to 900 ANSI lumens, and while you can just about project in daylight, the M900HD really needs a darkened room in which to look good. 

The Dell M900HD's native resolution stretches to 1280 x 800, but the images are good for the size. It lacks the decent contrast of, for example, the BenQ W1070. On video, colours tended to be a little rosy, and it struggled to bring out much detail from very dark scenes. 

We should stress, though, the quality is good for a projector of this size – if it's home cinema you want, you won't be buying the Dell M900HD. It's more than fine when it comes to displaying presentations or photographs, and will make a bold impression in boardrooms, provided you can shut out the daylight. 

The Dell M900HD is a little loud, and even in its eco mode, noise levels top an all-too audible 38dB. In an office setting the noise may be less an issue than for enjoying a film. Speakers are built in, and these produce decent volume from their 3W amplifier. They're more than usable, although if you decent sound levels, you will want to bring some external speakers with you.  

We weren't impressed by the amount of excess heat generated. This Dell M900HD felt extremely hot after an hour’s use. It promises to be long-lived, though, with the LED light specified for an impressive 30,000 hours. 

And additional protection is provided by a padded carry-case.

Dell M900HD: Specs

  • DLP technology
  • 1280 x 800 native resolution
  • 16:10 aspect ratio
  • 900 ANSI lumens
  • 700:1 specified contrast ratio (full on/full off)
  • 38dB (34dB eco) noise
  • HDMI 1.3
  • USB
  • stereo mini jack
  • WiDi and Miracast support
  • SDHC card slot
  • 2GB built-in storage
  • projected display size: 30-80in
  • distance 0.91-2.4m
  • 2m gives 68in screen
  • throw ratio: 1.4
  • 30,000 hours lamp life
  • LED lamp
  • speakers with 3W amp
  • 232 x 164 x 43 mm
  • 1.59kg
  • DLP technology
  • 1280 x 800 native resolution
  • 16:10 aspect ratio
  • 900 ANSI lumens
  • 700:1 specified contrast ratio (full on/full off)
  • 38dB (34dB eco) noise
  • HDMI 1.3
  • USB
  • stereo mini jack
  • WiDi and Miracast support
  • SDHC card slot
  • 2GB built-in storage
  • projected display size: 30-80in
  • distance 0.91-2.4m
  • 2m gives 68in screen
  • throw ratio: 1.4
  • 30,000 hours lamp life
  • LED lamp
  • speakers with 3W amp
  • 232 x 164 x 43 mm
  • 1.59kg

OUR VERDICT

The Dell M900HD is incredibly portable, and very convenient if you have a suitably equipped laptop, phone or tablet. It does get pretty hot, and a few more ANSI lumens would increase its versatility. Nonetheless, it compares very favourably to other similar models on the market, and will prove a great option for mobile executives and large businesses needing a projector that can service several rooms.

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