Epson BrightLink 436Wi Interactive LCD Projector Review
Epson BrightLink 436Wi Interactivity
What seperates the Epson 436Wi projector from your typical projector, is of course, the interactivity. Epson has done a great job producing a simple to use, easy to navigate, interactive projector. This part of the review will discuss both the features, and provide new buyers of the unit a jumpstart on how to set it up. I don’t cover all the details, but it is so simple to setup, that you may not even need to look at the manual.
The interactivity takes place because the projector is hooked up to your laptop, or desktop, via a USB Type A to Type B cable. The projector comes with a special interactive pen which is used as both a mouse, and as a annotation tool. You will start by plugging everthing in to the projector. This would be the very long USB cable provided in the box, and of course, your desired choice of either HDMI, or VGA input to get a signal to the projector. Next you install the interactive software drivers and tools.
Calibration is a big part of making the system work properly. Epson has made this very easy to do. Simply enter the menu systems Extended Features tab, and choose Manual Calibration.
Once you have chosen the projectors Manual Calibration, you will then be presented with a screen that asks you to focus the projector. It then gives you brief instructions on what to do next. Basically, green dots will appear on the screen. You simply touch them with your pen until all the dots have been hit. You are now ready to start using the interactive features of the projector.
Once you have installed the software, and calibrated the projector to work with the pen, you now can annotate and take advantage of the extensive features the Epson BrightLink 436Wi offers. Although the 436Wi is not as featureful out of the box as some interactive projectors, it has all the most used tools available to you. This simplicity is what I personally feel makes this projector an award winner. When you start the software you can have the interactive menu bar appear on the right or the left side of the screen. You can even hide it when not in use. Take a look at a close up of the menu system to the left. All the icons are very familiar shapes from some of the most commonly used software programs.
You have the choice of using the annotation features over the current screen you are viewing, or you can go into Whiteboard Mode. You will notice two tabs in the picture at the top of the menu. The left is the default, where you annotate over your current screen, and the right is Whiteboard. Whiteboard Mode turns the screen completely white and allows you to freely writer and draw on the board with ease. You can easily erase, clear the screen, and best of all, save your drawings to a file for distributing to your audience. Two pens can be used at the same time, however the projector only comes with one, so you will have to purchase the other separately. To enter text with the pen tool, Epson offers a on-screen keyboard as well. Simply tap the letters with the pen on the desired letters or numbers. This is useful for searching the web, and making small edits, or notes, on the screen.
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