For some reason, Samsung has never got truly serious about the home projection market. Sure, we get the occasional model that promises much but seemingly always ends up strangely out of date once we get our hands on it. But it’s very much a ‘side venture’ for the Korean giant.
That’s not to say, though, that Samsung isn’t serious about projectors full stop. For in fact, it’s increasingly active in the business projector sector, where it’s made great waves, in particular, with its pretty handy ‘Pico’ (as in, pocket-sized) SP-P400B LED projector.
Indeed, it’s tempting to see the success of the P400B as the inspiration for the SP-F10M we’re looking at today. For while the F10M certain isn’t nearly as small as the P400B, it does use LED lighting - and to rather groundbreaking effect, as it’s the first LED-driven data projector to claim a 1,000 ANSI lumens light output.
This really is a significant development in a projector world where previous cheap, business LED projectors have struggled to get above the dim and dingy 200 lumens output level. After all, it finally makes LED a potential direct competitor with LCD and DLP in the mass business projector market, and even more excitingly from a film-loving point of view, it raises the possibility of LED projectors also entering the affordable home cinema projector market at some point soon.
Despite being much larger than the cutesy P400B, the F10M is reasonably pretty with its white glossy top cover, and is actually a standard size for the data projection market. In other words, its exterior gives no real hint at the innovative innards inside. Unless, that is, the grilled side panels turn out to be necessary for venting more heat than might be expected from a typical sub-£1k data projector.
The F10M’s connections are promisingly flexible. There’s an HDMI, for starters, which can be used for video (including HD, of course) or PC playback. This sits alongside a D-Sub PC loopthrough, an RS-232 control port, a composite video input, an S-Video input, a USB port, and a LAN socket for limited network functionality.
There’s even a stereo audio input, there because, as with many data projectors, the F10M has a small (7W) built-in sound system. This audio is actually more powerful than most - as it needs to be to combat the distracting racket pumped out by the F10M’s clearly hard-working cooling fans if you’re running it in its brightest output mode! However, the sound certainly won’t be sufficient to serve any home cinema purposes.