Hands on: Dell M109S mini projector review

Dell's new mini projector - pen not included
Dell's new mini projector - pen not included

Just recently, someone somewhere decided that projectors were far too big. Not the ones that bring the cinema to your living room, but those burly blighters made for the boardroom and, more pertinently, the ones used to project that overused Office tool PowerPoint.

Just last week, we announced the arrival of the 3M MPro110 mini projector, and while Dell's offering isn't quite a fit-in-your hand machine, it is still a mini marvel that fits snugly in the pocket. Well, just about.

At a launch event in Monaco, TechRadar was shown the projector and managed to get its grubby mitts on the device.

When shown off in a press conference earlier in the day, senior vice president of business client product group Dell, Jeff Clarke, showed off the product's 'pocketability' and while he struggled slightly to get it out of his suit pocket – sharp corners and expensive suits just don't mix – it did quite cumbersomely prove that this is indeed a diminutive device.

Small scale

When we had a quick go on the projector, we were impressed by just how light it was. While its rectangular casing (exact measurements are 3.6 x 1.5 x 4.1-inch) makes the device slightly undesirable to look at, the images that come out are clear and crisp – even under the harsh office lighting. A look at the projector's specs shows that contrast ratio is actually 800:1.

We tried the projector out around 4-foot from the wall, but it actually has a reach of eight foot overall. Resolution is SVGA at 858 x 600 pixels.

We were told that the projector can be powered straight from a USB port, but closer inspection revealed our trial model was plugged into the mains.

Pocket projectors are never going to replace the power of the real thing, but for the on-the-go presenter who needs to relay visual information on a small boardroom scale, the Dell M109S is one model that for pure ease-of-use and portability is recommended.

The bad news is that the device is currently only available in the US. Dell did assure us that it would be releasing the projector in the UK in the "coming months", but the company couldn't give us a price yet.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.