Dell M109S portable projector

This Dell portable projector is easy to take on the road

Dell M109S
  • Dell M109S
  • Dell M109S
  • Dell M109S
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Very light

Cons

  • Poor colour and brightness performance

Bottom Line

The tiny Dell M109S is a palm-size LED projector with a low brightness rating of only 50 lumens, which makes it best suited for very small groups in dark or dimly lit conference rooms.

Would you buy this?

The tiny Dell M109S is a palm-size LED projector with a low brightness rating of only 50 lumens, which makes it best suited for very small groups in dark or dimly lit conference rooms.

Even with its cables, AC adaptor, and carry case, the Dell M109S has a travelling weight of under 1kg, making it a snap to take on the road.

The down side is that Dell had to sacrifice some features to achieve the Dell M109S's ultralight design. Its low native resolution of 858 by 600 means you need to use a computer running at SVGA resolution to get the best image sharpness and clarity when making presentations.

The Dell M109S has a small, fixed lens (no optical zoom) with a limited range of focus, it provides only two input options - VGA and composite video, but no audio or USB port - and it lacks a remote control and a built-in speaker. It also has no adjustable feet or tripod mount to help in positioning.

On the other hand, the Dell M109S consumes less power, runs cooler, and is quieter than a traditional lamp-based projector, and the 10,000-hour lifetime for its LED light source is much longer than the 3,000-hour lifetime for many conventional projector lamps.

In image-quality tests the Dell M109S earned a comparatively low rating of Fair for its overall performance. Among the seven ultraportable projectors we tried, it wound up in last place on all of our tests.

Its lack of brightness and its low contrast made discerning the content in some screens (such as white type over a dark background or the different shades of colour in shadowy areas) difficult, and its rendering of small type wasn't as sharp as that of the other, brighter LED projectors.

The Dell M109S's motion tests were also lacklustre. Some colours, such as yellow, looked washed out in an animated PowerPoint presentation, and we saw a lack of details in dark areas when viewing scenes from DVD movies, such as a tunnel car chase in Quantum of Solace and a nighttime speedway race in Speed Racer.

The method of accessing the Dell M109S's on-screen display (to make image adjustments) was also disappointing. The lack of a remote means that the only way to adjust the image is to poke at the touch-sensitive control buttons on top of the projector.

Unfortunately, the buttons are so small that pressing the wrong one is too easy, which makes navigating the on-screen display a hit-and-miss affair. The menu options are fairly extensive and include five preset picture modes ("PC," "Movie," and such) for optimising the image, but the tiny buttons make them hard to navigate.

It's also daunting to use the Dell M109S's focus ring to obtain the sharpest image from its fixed-focal-length lens; since the thumbwheel moves very little in either direction, finding the best setting is hard.

All in all, it's difficult to recommend the Dell M109S for mobile presentations when for just a few pounds more you can have a slightly larger LED projector - the BenQ Joybee GP1 - that's twice as bright, provides better image quality, and has more features (including a remote and a built-in speaker). However, Dell frequently offers this product at a reduced price when you purchase it online, and that could make the M109S a much better deal for economy-minded mobile users who do small-group meetings or one-on-one presentations.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: Dell, portable projector
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?