HP Notebook Companion Projector Review

By Paul Riegler on 1 September 2010
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Although it’s the largest in our report (3.6 x 1.6 x 4.4 in.), the HP Projector Companion is nonetheless smaller than other projectors with similar specifications. It’s the only projector in our tests that could serve double duty as both a traditional office and travel projector.   It would also make a great home theater projector for games and movies, one that you could grab for the occasional meeting.

HP says that the LED light source will last for five years, which means that there are no lamp replacement costs.

Setup is easy.  We simply plugged in the 30-pin video cable and we were off and running.  Menus were simple and self-explanatory.

The HP had the best picture of the units we tested. It didn’t exhibit any rainbow effect (a common problem with many DLP projectors, which manifests itself when an object moves on screen and a white area breaks up into red, green, and blue).

The HP Notebook Companion Projector projects large images nicely in normal lighting, includes a useful stand, and is very quiet.  You don’t have to lug around multiple cables thanks to an integrated VGA and component cable.

We found it extremely easy to use and set up, easy to focus, and it can fill a large screen with a clear and sharp image.

Our biggest objection was the large power supply (almost as big as the projector itself), but HP markets a much smaller power supply (not included in the purchase price, however), which made carrying the projector around much easier.

We do have a wish list for HP designers, however.  First, add a speaker.  Second, add an SD slot so we don’t have to carry a laptop.  Third, include the Slim Travel Adapter with the projector instead of the traditional brick.

While the HP is our favorite for larger meetings and in-office presentations, the lack of a built-in speaker, which would be useful for small group presentations, and an SD slot, which would eliminate the need to carry around a laptop in addition to the projector, makes it a bit less travel-friendly than it could be.

$481 at amazon.com

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Favi B1-LED-Pico
Tumi Portable Projector

-Paul Riegler is associate editor for technology at Executive Road Warrior.

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