The portable front-projection is going to be one of the break-out products this year. Mitsubishi’s new PocketProjector: weighing only 14 ounces, can project an 800 by 600 pixel image that is 20 inches across from only one foot away.

It’s a DLP system, which is arguably the best technology for projection (although there’s much to recommend LCD in certain scenarios), and uses an LED for its backlight. That means it won’t have a terribly bright lamp, but the LEDs will not only last ten times as long as a normal projector bulb, they’ll also be a lot more sturdy (good for something so easy to toss in a bag).

So think about it: while right now there isn’t a good interface between, say, a smartphone or PDA and the projector (it accepts VGA and s-video in), you’ll be able to roll into a coffee shop or something, pull out your PDA and battery-powered projector, and work with a 20-inch screen shining off the back of every passing barrista. I’m willing to haul around 14 extra ounces (and shell out $700) for that.

More here.