Stepping across the not-so-fine line between regular projectors that you'd bring home to your parents and those rebellious pico affairs, HP's Notebook Projection Companion offers up to 60-inches of LED-based projection at a range of up to 8.5 feet. It pumps light at 100 lumens and an 800:1 contrast ratio to put an SVGA 858 x 600 image up against the wall. The projector works with a standard VGA plug, and cuts a rather striking figure in its brushed aluminum shell.
We spotted the "Companion" doing its thing in a relatively dimly lit room, and it certainly is a jump beyond a pico projector -- it's almost completely usable, in fact. We'd still probably prefer a large laptop screen for watching a movie, but if you've got to share a presentation or an experience, you could probably do worse than this $499 unit. It ships on January 15th.