Interactive Whiteboard Review: November 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed the Interactive Whiteboards on the Irish market and there’s been a number of major changes. The biggest news for me was the big change in distribution of Promethean boards, which are no longer sold by Prim-Ed. There are now 18 completely different types of IWB on my review. If your company’s board isn’t included in the list, please make contact with me.

The Interactive Whiteboard Review November 2009

Section 1: Every IWB reviewed

Each board is listed in order of my preference. I take into account the price, the service, the guarantee, the board’s features and quality.

  1. Teamboard (from €2,600, Sight and Sound)
    This board allows users to interact with both finger and pen.  It also allows the user to write with dry-wipe markers.  Another cool feature is the ability to record annotations made by dry wipe markers on to a computer without the projector switched on.
  2. Traceboard (from €2,400, Lennox Lab Supplies)
    This board allows users to interact with both finger and pen.  It also allows the user to write with dry-wipe markers.  It is very accurate due to the mesh surface.  Guarantee and service is excellent.  Training is thorough.  Double-clicking on the board can be a little tricky.
  3. Hitachi Starboard (from €3,000, Prim-Ed / Interactive Classroom Solutions)
    Prim-Ed have chosen the Hitachi board as their replacement for Promethean boards so now there are two excellent companies selling these boards.  I would consider the Hitachi Starboard to be of the highest quality in terms of robustness, accuracy and guarantee.  It allows interaction from finger and pen.  It allows two handed interaction like in the film, “Minority Report”.  It allows up to nine people to use the board simultaneously.  You can use dry wipe markers on the board.  The price is also a little lower than before, which ups its ranking further.
  4. TouchIT (from €2,600, Resources 4 Learning)
    This board allows users to interact with both finger and pen, using infrared beams to map the cursor position.  It also allows the user to write with dry-wipe markers and has an enamel magnetic surface.  Service is extremely helpful.  It can be a bit tricky to use your finger sometimes as surface is very sensitive.
  5. Smartboard (from €3,000, Various Suppliers)
    The most famous IWB of all allows users to interact with their finger or pen.  However, be careful – it doesn’t allow you to use dry wipe markers on it.  The software supplied is excellent but doesn’t have a primary school feel to it.  Service and guarantee are good.
  6. Vosa iBoard Multi Touch (from ???, MRP)
    This is the premium Vosa iBoard and unfortunately I haven’t seen this board in action.  It looks like its main point of sale is that two users can interact with it at the same time.  It may get a higher rating when I am given a demo from the company.
  7. Vosa iBoard Touch (from ???, MRP)
    I haven’t seen this board in action but it looks like it is similar to the Smartboard and I would imagine that it is a lot cheaper.  It may get a higher rating when I am given a demo from the company.
  8. Vosa iBoard(from €1,900, MRP)
    This board allows users to interact with a battery-powered pen.  It uses the same technology as eBeam.  It is the cheapest eBeam clone on the market.  A feature that the salesman didn’t see as a big selling point is its height-adjustability, unique for this price-bracket.  Disadvantage: No finger interaction
  9. Clasus (from €2,299, Maltec Solutions)
    This board is another Promethean clone but at better value.  The short throw solution saves you about €1,000.
  10. BoardWiz (from €1,950, C-IT & Bach Marketing)
    This board allows users to interact with an electromagnetic pen.  It’s essentially a clone of the Promethean board but much cheaper.
  11. Rainbow IWB (from €2,000, Rainbow Education)
    These boards use the eBeam as their method of power.  It now comes bundled with some excellent software.  They become good value for money if you buy them in bulk, hence their meteoric rise up the league table!
  12. Imex (from €2,600, Imex)
    This board works very much like the Promethean board but much better quality.  It allows for dual interaction and its native software is pretty good.
  13. Promethean (from €2,500, Clarity)
    Clarity are the new distributors of the Promethean board.  Its biggest selling feature is its excellent software because the board itself only allows interaction from a “magic” pen.  However, since you can get Promethean’s software separately, there’s little need for a board like this.
  14. Genee Board (from €2,500, Prim-Ed)
    Prim-Ed’s new budget IWB looks similar to any of the eBeam clones such as Vosa iBoard and Rainbow IWB.  One can only use a pen on this board.
  15. EBeam (from €500, Resources 4 Learning)
    The eBeam is a dongle that converts any flat surface into an Interactive Whiteboard.  It’s at the centre of many IWBs on the market and uses infrared signals for input.  Only accepts input from a a battery powered pen. Don’t get the wired version unless you like tripping people up.
  16. Mimio (from €700, Diskovery)
    Mimio is similar to the eBeam, using the same technology.  Again, it only accepts input from a battery-powered pen.  Doesn’t seem to be used as much as the eBeam but is not a reflection on its effectiveness.
  17. Cleverboard 3 (from €3,199, Shaw Scientific)
    The Cleverboard needs to come down in price dramatically.  It’s a very average board that only allows input from a “magic” pen.
  18. 3M board (from €3,600, 3M)
    This board uses eBeam technology. It boasts a really good projector but that’s about it. Way overpriced.

You can watch videos of some of these boards on the bottom of this page by scrolling down.  If your board has not been included in this review, please contact Anseo.net by clicking on the Contact link at the top of this page.

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