Posted on September 27, 2019 By Nikki Zelinger
Maxell MP-TW4011 UST Interactive Laser Projector Review – Special Features: Wireless Capabilities, Perfect Fit, High Dynamic Range, Interactive Features, Starboard Interactive Software
The Maxell MP-TW4011 has wireless capabilities via an optional wireless adapter that plugs into the USB port on the back of the projector. Using the “Projector Quick Connection” app from the App Store and display the screen of their mobile device to the projector and control it from a table or smart phone.
Perfect Fit is a form of geometric correction not unlike “4-Corner Correction” you find on other projectors. In addition to Keystone Correction (vertical and horizontal), you can adjust each corner and sides (top, bottom, left, and right) independently of each other. This helps to get the projected image to fit your screen surface perfectly. It is best to try to get things as close as possible without using geometric correction, as this has a tendency to slightly blur the projected image. This is common with all projectors, across every manufacturer.
Maxell has provided a feature they are calling High Dynamic Range. It is important to note that though they’re touting the same terminology you’re hearing from home theater projector and 4K UHD TV manufacturers, this is not the same technology. What those manufacturers are referring to is HDR10, which is the standard for High Dynamic Range encoded on Blu-Ray disks and into 4K UHD with HDR content. This is something else entirely.
This is called HDCR2, which is High Dynamic Contrast Range. It is a feature they are using to help with the color deterioration that occurs when projectors battle ambient light, such as what is seen in your typical classroom or conference room environment. HDCR2 enhances contrast, giving a bit more pop to the image, and corrects some blurring that may occur as a result of ambient light. See the slider above for a before and after of this feature.
The Maxell MP-TW4011 is first and foremost an interactive projector. These types of projectors are highly effective in school environments for engaging students of all learning styles – visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Education is moving towards the “less talk, more doing” trend in their lessons, looking to provide students with less lecture and more activity. Interactivity is a great way to get students involved with the lecture so that they are actively learning rather than passively taking notes and perhaps not integrating the lesson material.
There are many ways to make a lesson interactive using the MP-TW4011. The first would be to take a regular, static presentation and use the interactive pens (or finger touch) to emphasize points, add notes, or draw figures to further demonstrate the lesson material. My husband had interactive software in his screenwriting classroom, and he used it to critique student scripts on the board, circling errors and making suggestions as they came up.
This would work for many different subjects – English, Math, and Science among them. As I am writing this, it came to me that these interactive projectors would also have their place in medical classrooms. When projecting an X-Ray, a professor could use the pen function to circle anomalies that they want to bring their students’ attention to. Similarly, engineering classes might also find the interactive functions useful. For these higher education applications, you can even create an extra large screen to annotate using multiple projectors, synchronized by a connected 3.4mm stereo audio cable.
Maxell has included interactive pens and finger touch on the MP-TW4011 – that means that the projector can detect and translate movement from a finger on the screen surface (usually a whiteboard or whiteboard-type screen). I’ll get deeper into the functionality of the interactive hardware on the Hardware Page of this review, but for now, know that you can have up to six pens or fingers, or any combination of either. Six people can be up at the board at one time.
In addition to writing or drawing on static presentations, the projector is compatible with interactive software – both the included Starboard Interactive Software, and third party applications. This allows teachers and presenters to create interactive lessons with various media contained within, and use the interactive features of the pens. The projector comes with built-in drawing functions that eliminate the need for a PC. Images and annotated lessons can also be saved so that teachers can go back and see what they previously taught, and to create detailed notes for students who were absent or have IEPs.
The Maxell MP-TW4011 has some sophisticated tools when it comes to interactivity. Freehand shapes can be automatically converted into geometric objects, and handwriting can turn into text. That is excellent for those teachers and students whose handwriting is perhaps a little sub-par. The interactive pens can be used to operate a compass, ruler, protractor, stopwatch, and other tools that will help with student learning. The projector also has a Multi Functions timer, which can be used to monitor presentation time between student presenters, or be used as an exam timer.
This projector supports Windows 8.1-10, and with Windows Multi Touch, you can operate your PC from the interactive screen. It is also compatible with Mac and Chromebook. There are some minor limitations, however. With Macs, you cannot use multiple screens for the interactive activity (annotation and mouse control), you can only have one screen. For most, this will be a non-issue. With a Windows PC, you can have two or more screens (limitation is up the PC output) to create one large image, write across or use the mouse across all screen images seamlessly.
Now, onto the interactive software itself!
Maxell has included their own proprietary interactive software called StarBoard Interactive Software with your purchase of the MP-TW4011, and is compatible with both Windows OS and Mac OS. Interactive software costs a few hundred dollars, depending on the solution, so having it bundled with the projector increases this Maxell’s value proposition.
StarBoard Interactive Software has built-in Google Image Search for quickly finding images to place within your content. You can also personalize your workspace for your specific needs, as well as change the size and orientation of your toolbar. This software can take handwritten words and turn them into text, and turn hand-drawn shapes into geometry and symbols – as mentioned in the previous section. It allows for annotation of Microsoft Office, PDF, and multi-media software. You can even annotate over video.
In addition to StarBoard Interactive Software, the Maxell MP-TW4011 is also compatible with third party software. I think the last interactive projector review I did was in 2018, and back then, I wrote a section on the Smart Learning Suite Software because the projector I was reviewing came with a one year subscription. It was really quite advanced, so if your teachers are technology savvy, that might be a software to check out. However, I do think StarBoard has pretty much everything you’d need, and it’s free with the purchase of this projector – you really can’t beat that.
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