A capable office projector with a cost-saving LED light source, but it’s not quite bright enough for most office meeting rooms.
1,024×768 resolution, 1,000 ANSI lumens, 309x290x112mm, 4.8kg
The Samsung F10M is unique in being the first true LED projector to reach 1,000 lumens brightness. We previously saw the 2,000 lumen Casio XJ-A135, but that uses a laser to supplement the LED light source. The F10M is aimed squarely at business users. Its old-fashioned 1,024×768 resolution is better suited to presentations than movies, plus the claimed 30,000 hours of lamp life make it ideal for meeting room use – it could run for a full working day, every day, for over 10 years.
Unlike the XJ-A135, the F10M shines its LED light source through three separate LCD panels, rather than reflecting it off a DLP chip. LCD is an odd choice for a business projector, which is most often used under bright lighting, as DLP-based projectors tend to be both brighter and more compact.
At only 1000 lumens it was no surprise to find that the F10M’s image looked best when the lights were turned down. The image presets – such as Film, Presentation and Game – were mostly either overblown or too dark, so as usual we found ourselves working from the basic User setting. There are contrast and brightness settings, plus colour temperature and colour gamut, but it’s the latter that caused the most extreme changes to image quality.
Colour temperature settings generally include one or two warm and cold settings, plus a neutral or sRGB setting. In this case however, there was no neutral setting; instead, the sRGB option was found under Colour Gamut, but choosing it resulted in unnaturally dark colours. The Normal setting was slightly better, while the Wide setting produced wildly over-saturated colours, with violently strong reds. Thankfully, the colour temperature controls also include fine control of gain and offset, so those who need accurate colours can use these to tweak to their heart’s content.
With the lights on, the LED lamp’s 1,000 lumens has a hard time creating the necessary contrast. We found boosting colours helped, as did moving the screen closer. The F10M’s short-throw lens projects a large image, filling our 70in inFocus screen at a distance of just 1.9m, with a throw ratio of 1.48:1 to 1.78:1. You’ll need to place the projector directly in front of the screen, as there’s no lens shift.
Connecting to a laptop via VGA, we noticed tearing in one test that was corrected by re-running the analogue auto-configure routine. Connecting via HDMI was straightforward, producing a clear, pixel-for-pixel desktop. Our presentation tests posed few problems for the F10M, with crisp text and graphs and good colour reproduction.
You can connect an external hard disk or memory stick via USB, which is handy if you don’t want to carry a laptop around with you (however, at 5kg the F10M could hardly be considered a portable projector, and it’s more suited to a ceiling mount). The USB menu lets you browse and display documents, videos and photos.
Document format support is good, with Word, PowerPoint and Excel files all supported, plus PDFs. More importantly, it will display PowerPoint files as well as JPEG slideshows. Video playback is limited to standard definition (720×480) with DivX, XviD and WMV9 supported. Not all our test videos in these formats played properly, so you’ll probably need to re-encode your videos to its rather particular needs.
With its huge lamp life, you’ll save hundreds of pounds on traditional replacement lamps (which typically last between 2,000 and 4,000 hours). This alone makes it great value for money in the long term. However, its relatively low brightness, means you’ll want to close the blinds or dim the lights when it’s in use, and that’s a sacrifice that few will be willing to make. The brighter Casio XJ-A135 is a better alternative, though it’s more expensive and has image quality problems; which all means that we’re still waiting for the perfect LED business projector.
|Projector technology||LED LCD|
|Lamp brightness||1,000 ANSI lumens|
|Lamp life in economy mode||30,000|
|Max compressed resolution||1,920×1,080|
|Other aspect ratios||16:9, 5:4|
|Max diagonal at 7ft||65in|
|Throw ratio||1.48:1 to 1.78:1|
|Projection distance||1.2m to 9m|
|Lens shift horizontal||N/A|
|Lens shift vertical||N/A|
|Special view modes||Dynamic, Standard, Presentation, Text, Movie, Game, Bright, User|
|Sound inputs||phono stereo|
|Others inputs/outputs||USB, RS-232|
|Noise (in normal use)||33dB(A)|
|Internal speakers||yes (7W mono)|
|Extras||remote, cables (power, VGA), cleaning cloth, lens cap|
|Remote special features||keystone, zoom, media play|
|Power consumption standby||2W|
|Power consumption on||150W|
|Lamp cost (inc VAT)||N/A|
|Lamp cost per hour of use||£0.00|
|Lamp cost per hour of use (economy)||£0.00|