Epson BrightLink 450wi Projector: Cons
- Filter must be cleaned or replaced
- Lacks HDMI or DVI input
- WXGA nate resolution may not be high enough resolution for some of the really high end, high resolution scientific and engineering work.
Editor's notes: I'm a big fan of various interactivce solutions for business and classroom. My last company was a large projector reseller, and also a dealer for SmartBoard. These tools are extremely effective when used properly.
In considering interactive solutions you can go with a system like Smart Board's where one option is board and a projector (it can be a short throw projector similar to the Epson's (though usually DLP), or there are big "big screen TV" types. Smart's distinguishing thing is their very respectable software solutions. With the Epson, you get all the basic features and with their optional software package, from one of the interactive developers. you are elevated to competing with a lot of the SmartBoard's versatility. I don't expect that you'll get all the same amount of features, with the Epson, but it should prove well endowed, none the less.
In exchange the Epson setup, combined with a whiteboard, is dramatically less expensive than a SmartBoard solution with projector. Depending on the size of the boards, and aspects of the projector you choose, I would expect the Epson can save more than a third, in many cases, perhaps more. With the smaller boards, savings will be less, but you can get a large board setup with the Epson for pretty much the same price as one of the smallest SmartBoards and a projector. That's a huge difference.
In a K-12 or university classroom evironment, it's often a numbers game, and you may be able to equip 50% more rooms for the same price. If you need the Cadillac features of the Smartboard great, but many will find products like the Epson to do more than enough, for significantly less money.
My take, is that this Epson is one of the first, for the lack of a better term, Utility interactive systems. A good deal of functionality, and, you never know, even quite possibly, access to Smartboard software solutions or those of other board manufacturers. How much remains to be seen, but a company like Smart, probably realizes that their depth of software may be the bigger revenue source, than their physical SmartBoards. We shall see.
These interactive projector and board systems really do have a lot of powerful features even without considering a lot of the specialty applications.
It's time for IT and AV managers to be exploring the benefits of this class of interactive solution. Smart users, long ago concluded the productivity value of these systems. -Art