NEC UM352W Ultra Short Throw Projector Review

NEC UM352W Projector – Special Features:  Interactive White Board, Networking, DICOM Simulation Mode, Presentations without a PC, Collaboration Features

Interactive Whiteboard

NEC UM352W - pen-1

The UM352W has built-in support for using interactive pens (pictured above) for creating an electronic white board.  The projector’s camera/sensor determines the pen’s position within the image for accurate control and annotation.  This feature gives users the ability to control their computers (PC and Mac compatible NEC software provided) and annotate accurately at the electronic white board.   Two wireless stylus pens (pictured above) are included with the UM352W to control and annotate at the white board surface.  The pens have a built-in rechargeable battery that is charged via a supplied USB cable.  The wireless electronic pen has a pressure sensitive tip and an indicator LED on the side.  Since the wireless pen uses pressure against the “white board” to initiate its drawing mode, it is not suitable for use with conventional fabric projection screens.  Rather, it works best when using an rigid surface, such as an actual white board, for the projection surface.  Several companies now offer white boards specifically designed to also serve as a projection screen, such as Elite’s “WhiteBoardScreen Universal”.  Such products provide the ideal solution for the classroom or conference room where a an electronic white board, using a projector such as the UM352W, in going to be used.  NEC includes the necessary software to allow your PC or Mac (e.g., laptop) to work with the electronic white board.

NEC also offers, as an extra cost accessory, a touch module (model NP01TM) that, when installed, will detect the position of a finger touching the white board.  This allows multiple users to be interacting with the image being projected onto the white board using of combination of interactive pens and/or finger touch.  The optional touch module was not evaluated for this review.  NEC also sells the UM352W bundled with the touch module and wall mount for $2398 (model UM352W-TM)

Networking

The UM352W has an Ethernet connector on the rear panel for wired network connections.  An optional wireless (Wi-Fi) adapter is available at extra cost.  “NaViSet Administrator 2” software in packaged with the projector .   This enables a MS Windows based PC equipped with this NEC software to manage up to 255 NEC devices (e.g., projectors and displays) that can be accessed on the local network..  This projector also supports management with Crestron RoomView(TM).  These management functions allows an administrator to not only control the projector’s settings but also monitor the health/status of the projector for scheduling/initiating projector maintenance and generating reports.

DICOM Simulation Mode

In addition to the usual Picture modes, NEC has included  DICOM Simulation mode intended to display images approximating the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) Part 14 Grayscale Standard Display Function used with B/W medical imaging (such as X-rays).  This mode optimizes black/gray/white detail with a custom gamma curve.  The DICOM SIM. option is for training/reference only and should not be used for actual diagnosis.  Thus the DICOM Simulation mode offered by the UM352W is intended for medical educational training purposes, such as at medical schools.

Presentations without a PC

The UM52W allows individual images, slide shows, videos, etc. to be displayed from either the projector’s internal memory or from a connected USB flash memory drive.  This allows for presentations without the need to connect the projector to a PC.

Collaboration Features

The UM352W offer extensive support for multiuser collaboration during business meetings or classroom exercises.  Users can connect to the projector via the wired or wireless (with addition of the optional Wi-Fi dongle) network or using MHL via the HDMI-1 input.  The projector has a number of built-in apps including one called ‘Collaboration’ that simplifies configuring the projector to display and share information among multiple users.  Several tools are offered including a split screen mode that can display up to 16 thumbnail images in a 4 x 4 grid.  Also inputs made using the supplied stylus pens can be displayed on the users PCs.

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