But this is not really what the 3400MP is about. It’s a mobile business presentation first and foremost and at this it truly excels. First, it weighs just over a kilo (1.09kg) – a fraction heavier than InFocus’ LP120, which tips the scales at a mere 0.9kg, but it’s hardly enough to bother your laptop-and-accessories-carrying shoulder as you wander around doing the airport shopping.
Second, and an area where the 3400MP springs another surprise, is its performance. Where the diminutive LP120 offers 1,000 ANSI lumens to go with its native resolution of 1,024 x 768, the diminutive Dell boasts 1,500 lumens of brightness with its 156w P-VIP bulb, making the InFocus seem positively dull in comparison. To illustrate the potential of the optics this (on paper) means the 3400MP is capable of projecting pictures up to 248in in diagonal – far larger than the LP120’s 137in.
In practical terms what this means is that even in a medium-sized boardrooms and meeting rooms there’s less likelihood of you having to dim the lights or draw the shutters so you can read those all-important slides. There’s also much consistent clarity brightness across the screen even at larger sizes and, as an additional benefit of a slightly larger lens, the 3400MP isn’t afflicted by the same optical problems the LP120 is either.
What’s not surprising is to find that behind the compact exterior is Texas Instruments’ ubiquitous DLP technology. Most compact projectors use it, including the InFocus LP120 because takes up a lot less space than equivalent LCD technology, but it does have the disadvantage that, as you sweep your eyes from one point on the screen to another, occasionally a slight red, green and blue shimmer is visible.
Again, though, the 3400MP turns up a trump card. Unlike many of its compact counterparts, the 3400MP not only offers a preset ‘video’ mode, it also provides “motion adaptive hardware de-interlacing”, which basically smoothes out digital TV and DVD video signals, reducing artefacts and improving picture quality.
And when a component video signal is passed through the M1-DA port (extended DVI) at the rear of the 3400MP the end results can only be described as stunning, with vibrant colours, sharp contrast and smooth and realistic action all in evidence. Watching the drum scene from House of Flying daggers through it was a joy.