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Projector Review: Dell 1220 Presentation Projector

For the price, the recently released Dell 1220 is a suitable piece of hardware for presenters, combining a useful suite of work-ready features and excellent lamp life. The price is pretty much unbeatable, and it might be one of the most cost-effective solutions on the market. The 1220 starts at just about $325 MSRP.
Even for such a budget-friendly projector, though, the Dell 1220 holds its own in a few areas. It’s compatible with a wide-range of devices, there are plenty of connectivity options and ports, the lamp is bright enough to handle its own in well-lit spaces, and the 1220’s lamp life is very long compared to other projectors in the class. The biggest downfalls though are its portability – it’s not the easiest projector to tote from presentation to presentation – and, as a low-cost set-up, the 1220 does have a no-frills feature list.

DELL 1220 Projector
DELL 1220 Projector

Dell 1220: Pros


  • Brightness: Rated at 2,700 ASNI lumens and aided by DLP technology, the Dell 1220 casts a brilliantly bright image. That’s an ideal option for a presenter, because it’s not always easy to control the lighting in a room. Compared to other projectors in the price range, the Dell 1220 is one of the better options, in this regard. Overall, the projector creates a crisp, detailed image – for the price – in the SVGA resolution and a 2,200:1 contrast ratio.
  • Lamp Life: The 1220’s lamp is long-lasting. Dell says the lamp-life, in standard mode, is 5,000 hours, and in the eco mode, lamp-life jumps to 6,000 hours. That’s above average for most projectors in the price range, and another reason this is a solid piece of hardware.
  • Connectivity: The 1220 was designed as a business and classroom presentation tool, and that’s evident in its many connection options. It’s designed to connect with laptops, notebooks and tablets through an HDMI or VGA connection. There are also RGA and audio-in ports. The one glaring omission is a USB port; the Dell 1220 is without, which diminishes its portability.


DELL 1220 Rear Inputs
DELL 1220 Rear Inputs

Dell 1220: Cons


  • Weak Audio: Built-in speakers are perfect for on-the-go presentation. Unfortunately, the Dell 1220 is a little underequipped in this regard, featuring just a 2W speaker. That might be fine in smaller spaces, but in larger, noisier presentation halls, that just won’t cut it. Plus, comparably priced set-ups generally feature more powerful built-in audio.
  • Portability: If you travel a lot, this probably isn’t your projector. In addition to the lack of reliable audio, the 1220 is a little too bulky to be considered portable, measuring 12.38 inches X 8.8 inches X 3.45 inches. Plus, the lack of a USB port for a thumb-drive presentation is another reason this isn’t the best portable projector.
  • Less Set-Up Flexibility: Finally, the Dell 1220 features a below-average zoom ratio – just 1.1X – and there are no lens shift capabilities. That limits set-up options, and can make it more difficult to fit in some spaces.


The Verdict: Is the Dell 1220 A Keeper?

For the business traveling set, the Dell 1220 isn’t the right option. It’s a little light on features, and it’d be fairly difficult to carry with you and set-up day in and day out. But the 1220 is a decent, low-cost option, especially for those considering a more permanent mount. And for the price, the data image quality is sufficient, the lamp is bright, and there are options for connecting your devices. If those sound like the features you want and your budget is tight, this is might be the projector for you.