Thursday, October 27, 2016

Interactive Touch Panel versus Interactive Projector

Over the last five years’ interactive projectors have been taking over from the IWB/Projector combination. With the dual pen Epson 585Wi and the multi touch Epson 595Wi, it has never been cheaper to add an interactive display solution or replace an old one in a classroom at around $3000 fully installed, including SMART Notebook15 software and a usual image size of 90”.

But what about LCD touch screens? The price of these interactive panels have come down to the same price as the original IWB/Projector combo.

So which should you choose for your classrooms? It depends on a range of factors and each school and each classroom will have different requirements that will favour one product over another. Here are a couple of things to consider.

LCD panels are generally brighter, have higher contrast and higher resolution. LCD Panels have a longer lamp time of over 50, 000 hours and an expected working life of between 5 and 10 years. They are also around twice the price of a projector at a smaller display size of 55” to 70” diagonally. To give you an idea on size the small IWB’s installed in schools were around 78”

Size is really important. We have worked with a school who put in 55” LCD panels through another supplier. They are now replacing them with interactive projectors because the LCD screens were too small for students to see text and graphics. A costly mistake, especially when they had to make special secure cupboards as the screens were a targeted by thieves when they were first installed.

The current minimum recommended size for a LCD panel in a standard classroom is 65” with a recommended size of 70” to 80”.

Another thing to consider is installation. Both of these options require a decent structure to install on. An interactive projector is around 22kgs including the mount. An interactive touch panels can be up to 55kg for a 70” version plus whatever mounting system you choose, so some walls will have to be braced. In some classrooms your only option is a trolley.

When upgrading your interactive technology look at all your options as well as the physical limitations of each solution. You may find each classroom will have a different solution.

All prices approximate.

Epson Interactive projector
Viewsonic Interactive panel
@$1800 - $2300 plus install. Includes wall mount.
Minimum $3500 for 55” up to @$10,000 for 80” – minimum recommended size is 65” when used as a whiteboard at the front of a room.
Does not include wall mount or trolley.
Display Size
Up to 100”
Up to 80”
Up to 60kg
Height adjustable stand
Yes - @$2000
Yes - @$1500
Lamp costs
$80 – expected life around 5000hrs
NA – expected life of LCD 20,000hrs +
Expected life of the unit
5 years
10 years
Touch points
2 (585Wi – pen only)
5 (595Wi – pen and touch)
5 touch plus 5 for gesture
Lower than LCD panel due to weight
Higher than projector due to weight
Smart Notebook15, Easy Interactive tools 4.11
Viewboard lite, Viewboard 2.11
*note: Easy Interactive Tools can be downloaded and used.
*note: SmartNotebook15 can be purchased or subscription for Smart Notebook16 purchased
Apple TV compatible. * AppleTV purchased separately.
Stand-alone mode
Basic, no saving or printing, single whiteboard only. (Epson 585Wi and 595Wi)
Basic features, multiple boards, can save and print. Access to document viewer software and basic internet browser
3 years return to base
·        Can be upgraded to 4 years
4 years on site
·        Can be upgraded to 5 years