has announced a USB-connected virtualdesktop client and the release of its fifthgeneration vSpace desktop-virtualization software. The U170 plugs into a computer’s USB 2.0 port and, with vSpace, enables additional users to share that computer. Each U170 delivers a high-definition multimedia experience and has connections for the user’s own monitor, speakers, microphone, keyboard, mouse, and other USB peripherals. The U170 draws only two watts of electricity and is powered through the USB cable, so it does not require a separate power adapter. Several U170s can be connected to a computer either directly or through a USB hub.www.ncomputing.com
Samsung Electronics America (www.samsung.com) launched the Samsung 650TS (shown), a 65-inch LCD touchscreen, and the Samsung 650FP, a 65-inch LCD screen. The Samsung 650TS and 650FP are Samsung’s first 65-inch large-format displays. The 650TS is an interactive whiteboard with a high-definition LCD touchscreen and communication features such as screen synchronization. It is compatible with widely used applications like Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe PDF.
The Hitachi (www.hitachi.com) CP-A52 3LCD projector offers ultrashort- throw capability, easy maintenance and the ability to project an 80-inch image from 25 inches away. This means that teachers no longer have to worry about obstructing the projected image when they stand in front of the screen. Additionally, there are no shadows to interfere with the image or any light in the presenter’s face. The CP-A52 also has a hybrid filter that requires maintenance only every 2,000 hours. The projector’s saving mode reduces power consumption to less than 5W by disabling RS-232C control except for power-on command, monitor-out and audio capability.
Dell introduces the Latitude Z, a 16-inch laptop with the security, wireless, service, and support options of the Dell Latitude family. The tapered design starts at slightly more than half an inch thick (14.5 mm) and 4.4 lb (2.0kg). Backlit wide-screen, high-definition 16-inch LCD with integrated 2 MP autofocus Webcam provides a larger visual workspace for viewing several files at once and for easy collaboration both in and out of the office.PROS: “Easy Scan and Copy” allows users to use the built-in Webcam as a scanner to capture documents to PDFs. There is also a cordless inductive docking station available. The overall design is very professional. It also has a feature that allows users to assign several applications to a “quick launch” bar on the right side of the screen.CONS: To reduce weight and thickness, there are no built-in speakers or optical drivers. This is not necessarily a negative, but it should be noted that these devices are add-ons.OVERALL EVALUATION: This is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a sleek, lightweight box that can do the work alongside the big boys. Even though the box is only half an inch thick, this 32-bit powerhouse packs enough computing power to handle those large spreadsheets and databases. Unlike those on some laptops, the touch of the keyboard is smooth and effortless, and the backlit keys are a nice feature. Everything about this computer says three things: power, speed, and elegance.www.dell.comRetail price: Starts at $1,799—Joe Huber
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The Dukane ImagePro 8755j Data Projector (www.dukcorp.com/av) is light (7.7 pounds) and easy to install and delivers 5,000 hours of lamp life or 6,000 hours in whisper mode. The 8755J also includes handy front-loading filter access and a 5,000-hour high-performance filter. New performance features include whiteboard and blackboard modes, a 16-watt speaker and instant on and off. The 8755J offers audio passthrough, so the sound system may be used to play CDs on the PC when projector is off.
Califone (www.califone.com) launches the Spirit SD Multimedia Player/Recorder. The Spirit SD’s built-in SD card slot and USB port allow the unit to work with the latest digital file formats. The product lets students record responses and projects with a built-in microphone, helping educators monitor their progress and create audio-filled lessons that engage them. Built with shatterproof ABS plastic for durability and safety in high-use environments, the Spirit SD features a teacher-tested CD player, a cassette recorder/player, and an AM-FM radio. This unit is available as a stand-alone multimedia player/recorder or as part of a four- or six-person learning center.
The Epson PowerLite Presenter portable projector and DVD player combo includes two 10-watt speakers with virtual surround sound, microphone support, and built-in closed-captioning capabilities. WXGA resolution displays content from wide-screen notebooks, and the unit supports a host of input devices, such as a camcorder, a digital camera, and an iPod.PROS: The USB plug-and-play connectivity makes for easy setup and eliminates toggling between projector and display. The controls are easy to use and well defined. The PowerLite Presenter projects in native 16:10 (WXGA) aspect ratio as well as 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios and offers USB connectivity for viewing JPG images without a computer. The built-in microphone is a nice feature.CONS: Cannot be mounted on a stationary mount. The 10-watt speakers may not be powerful enough for all locations.OVERALL EVALUATION: The variety of inputs and the clarity of the controls make this projector an excellent choice for anyone looking for a mobile projector in the mid-price range. The HD projection at an aspect ratio of 16:10 makes wide-screen viewing a real pleasure. Every school needs a couple of mobile projectors, and this one is designed for mobility.www.epsonbrighterfutures.comPrice: $808 through the Brighter Futures program
Epson’s BrightLink 450Wi is an intelligent projector that allows educators to turn any standard whiteboard or smooth wall into an interactive-learning area. This enables educators to easily integrate interactive capabilities and eliminates the need to purchase and install dedicated interactive whiteboards. The ultra-short-throw Epson BrightLink 450Wi interactive projector comes with two digital infrared pens and wall-mount hardware for easy installation.PROS: The BrightLink 450Wi has all the functionality of an interactive whiteboard without the cost or trouble of mounting an IWB. The projector can be permanently mounted as close as 2.8 inches to the wall. It is easy to set up, and the controls are well defined. Because of the USB plug-and-play, there is no need to use a VGA cable to project when using a Windows PC or Mac. The BrightLink 450Wi projects in native wide-screen aspect ratio as well as 4:3 aspect ratio. The built-in microphone input for voice amplification is good for narrating presentations.CONS: It would be nice if this projector included auto keystone adjustment, as found in other Epson projectors (users can adjust keystone manually). The built-in speakers may not amplify enough for all locations. Users must use the pen to manipulate objects, versus the finger-touch technology found in some IWBs.OVERALL EVALUATION: In addition to providing the functionality of an IWB, the BrightLink 450Wi projects an image larger than that of most IWBs. The variety of inputs and the clarity of the controls make the product an excellent choice for any school looking for an ultra-short-throw projector with interactive functionality.www.epson.com/brightlinkRetail price: less than $2,000—Joe Huber