When 3M started frankensteining its pico projectors into smartphones a few years ago as a proof of concept, it was novel but really had no practical use in the real world. (Even for the enterprise world and its infinite powerpoint presentations). But seeing a <projector built into Smart Devices' SmartQ U7 Android tablet has me full of ideas on how to use it.
The 7-inch SmartQ U7 is admittedly not the exact device that would sell me on a projector tablet. Despite having a 1024x600 resolution display, the 40-lumen projector only spits out an 854x480 picture, which can be blown up to 50 inches. And though a 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4 Chipset and 1GB of RAM seem a bit pedestrian for a $US300 Android tablet — $US400 if you spring for the 1.5GHz chipset — it's clear that such a device could be improved at a rapid rate and offered at a somewhat affordable price.
Obviously, the compromise that would have to be made here would be the slimness of the tablet. But imagine being able to play games on a big screen anywhere you have a blank wall. Or instead of having a TV in your bedroom, you could just project your tablet screen onto a wall and use a wireless speaker. Or maybe you would be using your tablet in the office and want to project a PowerPoint presentation or something.
Not only is projector technology better now, but I'd be much more willing to sacrifice some size in a tablet than I would a smartphone. If the quality of the picture was good enough, an integrated projector is definitely something I'd want in a future tablet. [SmartQ via Lilliputing via AndroidYo via Geeky Gadgets]