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
7-Port USB Hub, which lets users connect up to five devices on the front ports and up to two devices on the rear ports. The USB Hub can be used to download digital content from a computer (Windows or Mac) to up to seven devices, such as an MP3 player, at the same time. This hub is ideal for transferring content, audio recordings, and other data to any device with a USB port, including the Califone MP3 Player.
The Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z is a an all-in-one computer with a small 70% footprint that separates CPU and display, starts up in 35 seconds and is only 2.4 inches thick with a 19 inch display. A highdefinition Web camera and 6 USB ports make this a great product for the high-tech classroom. Teachers concerned about the cost will appreciate the computer’s 5 Star Energy Rating, saving users about $65 per year over previous Lenovo desktops.PROS: The small footprint of this computer allows more computers to fit into the same classroom space than other machines.CONS: Since the computer is an all-in-one product, having one part break renders the entire machine down for repairs. The computer uses wireless keyboards and mice, so teachers need to ensure that frequencies do not cross in a lab setting. (But there are models that do come with wired keyboard and mouse.)OVERALL EVALUATION: The small footprint, the low prices, the HD picture, the wireless mouse and keyboard all make this machine too good of a value to pass up.www.lenovo.com Retail price: Starting at $499—Joe Huber
it’s learning inc. has expanded its individualized learning platform with new features to enable better collaboration among teachers and students, safer communication online, and faster support of attendance and behavior tracking. it’s learning integrates with each school’s existing student information system (SIS). In addition, the company now supplies Gmail from Google. The latest release also updated it’s learning’s software development kit (SDK) to include support for third party plug-ins, in addition to traditional application integration. Price: $10-$15 per user per year Category: administrative tool
Califone International, Inc. (www.califone.com) has upgraded and expanded its line of monaural and stereo listening centers. Designed for use with computers, the learning centers are now available with six positions in addition to the existing four-position listening center, which includes six or eight stereo headphones (2924AVPS). Each center can expand to accommodate additional students with the 10-position jack box with volume control (1210AVPS). Monaural listening centers are available with six positions, which include six or eight stereo headphones (2924AVP) and an eight-position jack box with volume control (1218AVPY). The 1218AVPY is now standard on all monaural centers and replaces the 1208AVPY, which did not feature individual volume controls.
Epson (www.epsonbrighterfutures.com) announces the introduction of four new projectors for the education market: the PowerLite 84+, 85+, 825+, and 826W+ (shown). This suite of projectors offers advanced features, including USB plug and play connectivity for PCs and Mac computers, improved microphone support, and preset line and graph patterns designed to aid teachers in instruction. In addition, the PowerLite 85+, 825+, and 826W+ can send content over the IP network and offer optional wireless connectivity, virtual remote control functionality, and message broadcasting. These PowerLites allow teachers to fully leverage wide-screen notebooks or tablets as well as wide-screen DVD content. In addition, each of the four projectors features extended lamp life of up to 6,000 hours, a built-in closed captioning decoder, and a powerful internal 10-watt speaker to deliver clear and crisp audio without requiring external speakers.
Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. (www.bretford.com) has added six new 4:3 and 16:9 format Video View wall-mounted projection screens. The new 4:3 TVShape Video View models are calibrated to the standard TV size, so viewers see an image that looks correct, whether they’re in a classroom or a conference room. The new screens have a 1.0 gain for the best all-around viewing surface.
Sharp (www.sharpusa.com) has entered the 3D presentation market with the introduction of six 3D Ready DLP BrilliantColor professional projectors, which offer excellent 3D projection from a single projector. These projectors offer 3D support with both 60 Hz and 120 Hz XGA (1,024 x 768) and SVGA (800 x 600) sources. All six models provide analog RGB and component inputs, S-video, and composite video, as well as RGB loop-through, an RS-232C port, and a USB input for mouse control. The projectors also offer 10-watt stereo audio on the PGD45X3D and PG-D40W3D and seven watts on the other models in the lineup. The projectors also have a built-in network connection.
The Intelligent Laptop Computer cart (www.bretford.com) decreases heat and electrical stress while proportionally distributing power to the laptops, so batteries last longer. A special Cable Clutter Closet in the back portion of each unit stores all power cords and wires. The “brain” in each Intelligent Laptop Computer cart redistributes power not only to ensure consistent charging but also to keep the laptops cool and prevent them from overheating. The brain also senses when the laptop batteries are almost charged, then automatically decreases power, extending battery life and saving energy. The Intelligent Laptop Computer carts require only a single circuit—one plug to the wall outlet for each cart—to minimize circuit tripping and reduce electricity consumption.