From projectors and notebooks, to touch panels andclass capture appliances, the latest hardware isdesigned with size, simplicity, and convenience in mind.
Fujitsu's LifeBook U820convertible mini-notebookweighs in at just 1.32pounds, yet offers full Windows Vista functionality. Half the size of a traditionalnotebook, the U820 transforms from a notebook to a tabletby rotating and folding down the screen. The device featuresa 5.6-inch WXGA touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard, an Intel Centrino Atom Z-series processor,integrated Bluetooth, a built-in GPS receiver and Garmin Mobile PC software, and 7.5 hours ofbattery life (with four-cell battery). The U820 is available witha hard-disk drive up to 120 GB or solid-state drive up to 64GB. Security features include a fingerprint sensor, BIOSlock, and Kensington lock slot.Prices start at $1,049 for base configuration. [Editor's Note: See "Good Things Come in SmallPackages," for more on the use of ultra-portabledevices in the classroom.]
Compact Multimedia PC
The XPC Pro HD compact multimedia PC from AuroraMultimedia drives smooth multimedia playback, designedfor digital signage and A/V system integration. Optimizedfor high-performance multimedia applications, the PC'scompact design makes it fit easily in public displays, classrooms,and places where limited space and security are aconcern, such as podiums, instructor stations, kiosks, andA/V equipment racks. The XPC Pro HD offers multiplevideo outputs including HDMI, VGA, component, S-Video,and DVI with an optional cable. Price: $2,100.
Designed for sharing contenton the go, theOptoma Pico PK-101 micro-portable DLP projectorweighs only 4ounces and measures atiny 2 x 4.1 x 0.7 inches-- smaller thanmany smart phones. The Pico allowsusers of personal media devices(such as iPods and smartphones) to project picturesand videos onto ascreen or wall at sizesof up to 100x largerthan the smallscreen of thesource device. Itfeatures 430 x 320 nativeresolution, 1,000:1 contrastratio, and 1.5 hours of battery power.MSRP: $399.
Portable LCD Projector
The PLC-XW57 portable 3LCD projector from Sanyoweighs 6.4 pounds and boasts a small footprint of 13 x 9.3x 3.15 inches. Rated at 2,000 lumens, the PLC-XW57 is outfittedwith a 200-watt UHP lamp for high brightness and balancedcolor reproduction. A 3D Automatic UniformityCorrection Control circuit ensures picture uniformity, balancinguneven color and brightness gradations for a morenatural image. Fan noise has been limited with Sanyo's IntelligentFan Operation Linear Control System, which reducesfan noise according to changes in the unit's internal temperature.MSRP: $895.
Super-Slim and Ultra-Bright
The XJ-S47 DLP projector is part of Casio's Ultra BrightSeries, designed for high-brightness applications andmobile presenters. At only 1.69 inches high, the super-slimdevice offers RS-232 connectivity, 2,700 ANSI lumen output,XGA native resolution, a 2x power zoom lens, and iscompatible with Crestron, Extron, and AMX products.The XJ-S47 includes a USB port for wireless connectivitythrough an optional wireless LAN adaptor that allowsup to four PCs to connect tothe projector at atime. The USB portalso supports PClesspresentationswith a USB thumbdrive. Price: $1,199.99.
PC-Free Lecture Capture
Echo 360's EchoSystem Capture Appliance is a compact non-PCdevice for lecture capture and podcasting that can beinstalled in a podium or as a single unit of an equipmentrack. The system schedules, monitors, assembles, andpublishes class content as rich media in a completely automatedworkflow. This creates a hub for lecture-captureoperations with a scalable, distributed computing architecturethat streamlines the time and staff needed to managecampuswide lecture capture. As an integratedcomponent of the EchoSystem, IT staff can monitor capturestatus with a web-based interface, and remotelyupdate capture software for all appliances across a university.In addition, the system now features automaticclosed captioning for lecture recordings, in compliancewith Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Price: $2,495(not including software).
Wall/Flush Mount VoIP Touch Panel
The 5-inch NXD-500iModero Wall/FlushMount Touch PanelWith Intercom fromAMX measures only2 inches deep andconnects with justone Cat5 cable foraudio, video, voice,data, and power. Thewidescreen touchpanel displays motionJPG over IP, integratinga digital, full-duplex intercom for panel-to-panel communicationvia any other i-Series Modero Touch Panel. Theultra-thin device can be installed inside 2-inch walls with amounting system utilizing locking tabs, allowing quick andeasy installation. Features include: playback of MP3 andWAV audio files, 800 x 480 screen resolution, built-in speakersand microphone, motion sensor, light sensor, and 128MB SDRAM/256 MB Flash memory. Price: $2,300.
Interactive Wireless Tablet
Qwizdom's Q7 Presenter is a wireless tabletthat combines radio-frequencytechnology,presenter controls, and response system interactivity. Thelightweight rechargeable tablet allows instructors to create,annotate, and interact with screen objects on an interactive whiteboard, andcontrol computerapplications withoutbeing tethered to aworkstation. Userscan view notes, presentationindicators,and input from studentson the tablet'sLCD screen. Theyalso can view studentresponse data, requests for help, and control all standardSRS features when the device is used with Qwizdom's Student Response System. Price: $429 ($300 when purchasedwith a Qwizdom SRS).
At 3.3 pounds,Mitsubishi'spico-port ableXD95U DLPprojector blastsa bright 2,200ANSI lumens and XGA resolution. For easy setup, color-wallsupport enables users to select a particular surface color(including light yellow, light green, blue, pink, and blackboard);once the color is chosen, the projector automaticallyadjusts its output to create the best possible image forthat background. The XD95U's quick-cooling instant shutdownfeature allows presenters a rapid exit, accommodatingtight classroom schedules. MSRP: $1,495.
The Meraki Solar is a WiFi mesh device powered by its ownsolar panel and solar-charged lithium iron phosphate battery.Completely energy independent, the Solar can provide WiFicoverage in hard-to-wire areas without easy access topower supplies. Each unit is self-containedand ready to mount onroofs, walls, poles, and anywherethat receives sun exposure-- noelectrical cabling required. Meraki'sweb-based Dashboard managementsystem ensuresthat connectivity across theWiFi network is optimizedand reliable. Priced from$848-$1,497, dependingon the size of solarpanel required.
Designed for education, the IdeaPad S10e netbookfrom Lenovo combines the portability of asmall and light PC device (starting under 3pounds) with internet, word processing, and multimediafunctionality. Userscan utilize thedevice to connectto the internet foronline research,or share ideasand converse via e-mail,social networking, andother applications. A built-inwebcam on the 10.1-inch display enables videomessaging. The Quick Start feature allows students toquickly check e-mail, browse the internet, conduct videoconferencing,view photos, or listen to music without havingto fully boot the operating system. Prices start at $459.
Designed for space-constrainedoffices, the OptiPlex 160 fromDell is the company's smallestcommercial desktop system,weighing less than 5 pounds andfeaturing a space-saving designwith innovative mounting options.The PC offers an energy-efficientinternal power supply, up to 160GB hard drive or up to 64 GBsolid-state drive, optional wirelessnetworking, up to 4 GB of memory,and a low-voltage Intel Atomprocessor. Contact vendor forpricing.
Network-Ready Visual Presenter
The AVerVision SPB370 Platform Visual Presenter fromAVerMedia combines a 5 megapixel camera sensor and1080p HD output with real-time 30fps video speed. The20x AVer Optical Zoom provides clarity when zoomingin on small details or text, with a total zoom capabilityof 160x. The SPB370's networking capability enablesusers to connect to and view a live presentationthrough a school's local area network, and presenterscan allow the document camera's features (such asannotation, zoom, or image capture) to be controlledby remote LAN participants via a web browser. A full8 x 11 inch lightbox accommodates the presentationof slides, transparencies, negatives, and X-raysin a clear, large format. MSRP: $2,999.99.