Dell has just launched a 4K short-throw projector that can display an 100 inches image at a 4-inch distance from a wall (a 9” distance yields a 130” image). Dell positions it as an ideal projector for business/productivity applications, but we are sure that many people would not mind using this as an easy-to-install (expensive) home-theater system…

That is particularly interesting since the Dell S718QL supports HDR (high dynamic range) out of the box. HDR requires a very high brightness level, and that would come from the laser that powers the projector that can create 5000 Lumens of brightness. Unlike lamp-based projectors, this one does not need to have a lamp changed on a regular interval, and Dell estimates that the laser can run for 10 years at a rate of 8 hours a day (the warranty covers ~20,000 hours). That sounds really good to us.

Besides HDR, a very high brightness is useful in everyday life simply because many conference/meeting rooms have large windows. This makes it quite difficult for ordinary projectors to display a readable image in broad daylight. Colors can appear washed out, and text could be hard to read. Increasing the brightness greatly helps with this problem.

The thing that I like the most about short-throw projectors is how easy they are to setup. You do not need to hang them to the ceiling or worry about line of sight if someone walks in front of it. In fact, it is more or less like a TV of a comparable size. You just need a clean surface to project to, and if you have to buy a special screen, that is the main point of friction.

The connectivity of the Dell S718QL is also impressive: it has 1x Ethernet, 3x HDMI, 3x USB, 1x VGA, 1x Optical out, 1x 3.5mm audio input. As a result, it is possible to load your presentation from a USB key, but also from the local network if you want to. If theft is a concern, there’s a Kensington security attachment port.

There’s also support for WiFi, and the option to have up to four users connected and presenting simultaneously. Bluetooth is also supported in the context of streaming audio to an external speaker, Dell or otherwise. All the wireless options do make the projector easier to operate. Note that Office file can be opened without requiring a PC.

Specs highlights

  • 4K (3840×2160) resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Projected image size: 100-130 inches
  • 5000K Lumens brightness
  • Projection distance: 0.33 – 0.74ft (from projector rear to image)
  • Vertical sync: 24-120 Hz
  • Dual built-in 6W speakers
  • Power consumption: 280W (eco) to 500W (normal)
  • 4mm x 223.5mm x 87.6mm, 5.4 lbs (2.4 kg)
  • 1x AC Power; 1x HDMI 2.0 (HDCP 2.2); 2x HDMI 1.4a; 1x RS232 (9-pin D-sub); 1x RJ45; 1x USB-A (3.0); 2x powered USB Type A (5V / 1.8 A Output); Bluetooth 4.2; 1x SPDIF out; 1x Audio-Out (3.5mm)
  • July 19 US availability on Dell.com for $5,999

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