HP Notebook Projection Companion
A HP pico projector with a low overall cost
- Tiny and portable, can use an HP notebook power adapter, LED light source, low TCO, simple to use
- Oversaturated colours, some blurriness, no battery pack
HP's Notebook Projection Companion is a small and very portable DLP-based projector that's perfect for users who regularly give off-site presentations. The best part about it is that its LED light source is claimed to last five years, which means there are no lamp replacement costs. We think it's a great little projector for business users who want a portable model, but we do wish it could run on batteries.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
HP's Notebook Projection Companion is tiny and just a little bit awesome. This pico projector is easy to carry around in your notebook bag, and it even comes with a little tripod — no need to fiddle with built-in legs. The best part is, if you own an HP laptop (such as the EliteBook 8440p), you can use the laptop's adapter to power the projection.
Notebook Projection Companion: No bulb replacement costs
The Notebook Projection Companion is based on DLP technology and it has an LED light source. HP claims a life of 10,000 hours for this light source, which the company says is roughly equivalent to five years worth of regular usage, and as such there are no replacement bulbs to purchase. Theoretically, your only outlay should be the projector itself, which costs $699.
With dimensions of 111x92x50mm (LxWxH), the Projection Companion will be easy to pack into the same bag as your laptop, although you will have to also take the projector's power adapter (if you don't own an HP laptop); the projector's power adapter is the same size as a notebook's.
The tiny projector uses a proprietary cable to connect to the D-sub (VGA) port of your laptop and it has a native resolution of 848x600. It recognised our notebook immediately when we plugged it in and the laptop's resolution scaled automatically in Windows 7 to 800x600, so there was some unused space either side of the main image. The controls on the projector are simple: you get a power button, a four-way control button, menu and select buttons, and there is a focus ring on the lens.
Notebook Projection Companion: Picture quality
There's no way to zoom the image that it projects, so the size of the picture will depend on the distance of the projector from the wall or screen. At 1.5m, the projector will produce an image with a diagonal size of approximately 34in. The projector's LED light source is reasonably bright. However, you'll still want to use it in a darkened room and fairly close to a wall for best results — say, 2-3m — because in a brightly lit room the image will be very washed out, especially while viewing bright images or video rather than black text on a white screen.
The projector in action while the lights were on. It's fine when the screen is displaying dark colours, but light colours will be washed out.
The projector in action when the lights were off. It does a good job of displaying videos — just make sure you get the angles right so that you don't have to tilt your head sideways while you watch.
It's not the type of projector to choose if you'll be giving presentations in a large, audience-filled boardroom. It's more useful for intimate environments; anyone who wants a projector for a small bedroom should look into it, because it won't take up much space and you can easily set it up and then pack it away when you're done.
The quality of the images is adequate, although the colours are a little oversaturated by default — especially red — and the picture is not crystal clear. However overall clarity is more than adequate for displaying PowerPoint presentations and documents; it also does well when projecting video (we got best results in a dark room). We did notice a slight lag between the projected video and the sound coming from the laptop, but it was by no means annoying.
If you set up the projector at a slightly upward angle, you'll end up with a trapezoidal-shaped screen. You can get rid of this by manually adjusting the keystone correction — leaving it on auto keystone correction did not produce a square screen. After adjusting the keystone, we noticed that the clarity of the screen was not uniform; there was blurriness at the top and right side of the screen, and although we could get rid of it by adjusting the focus ring, this just put other parts of the screen out of focus. The blurriness was annoying, but you could still make out the writing and graphics in the affected areas.
Notebook Projection Companion: Cable placement and power consumption
The data and power cables plug in to the side of the projector and if you position them incorrectly they can tip the projector over. You need to make sure you give them plenty of slack and this means keeping the projector close to the laptop — of course, it also helps to make sure that the tripod is in a strong position with two of its legs positioned left and right, and the third leg behind the projector (if it's leaning upward).
What would make this projector even more awesome is a battery pack so that you don't have to set it up near an outlet, but since the projector consumes 56 Watts, attaching a battery capable of supplying that much juice for an hour an a half would mean the tiny footprint of the projector would probably double — although we hope HP's R&D department can one day fashion a cool-looking battery stand of some sort.
While it's operating, the projector's fan will make an audible whir that may get on your nerves. There are two fan settings: normal and high. Normal mode slows the fan for a while, but eventually it has to speed up to keep the unit cool. The warm air gushes out of the front of the projector, and there are vents on either side to suck in cool air. After a short while, the underside of the projector will get noticeably warm.
For a one-off cost of $699 and the promise of a long-lasting light source, the very small HP Notebook Projection Companion could make a nice accessory for anyone who has to give lots of presentations at remote offices. It's a good backup in case the office you're visiting doesn't have a projector, but bear in mind that it can only be used effectively in a small and dark room.
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the newsletter!
So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 2 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 3 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Optoma Launches Home Theatre Series
- BenQ confirm TK800 projector for Australia
- BenQ Debuts True 4K UHD HDR Home Cinema Projector Designed for Modern Families
- Sony's Android-powered Xperia projector turns any flat surface into a touch screen
- Sony’s new liquid-cooled 4K home video projector delivers 5000 lumens of brightness, costs $60,000
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Canon EOS 1500D: Full, in-depth review
- HTC U12+: Full, in-depth review
- Dell G5 review: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies