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Hardware Thread, Which Smartboard (+Projector)? in Technical; Starting to feel like a kid with a lot of questions and driving the teacher nuts So, primary school, budget ...
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    contink's Avatar
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    Which Smartboard (+Projector)?

    Starting to feel like a kid with a lot of questions and driving the teacher nuts

    So, primary school, budget of about £15k for 5 rooms (2 new projectors, 2 replacement for Sahara rubbish). Smartboards needed for replacement of the old Mimio boards.

    Question I have is which board(s) and/or sizes would you recommend... bearing in mind we have decent dualcore machines for handling the smartboard software n' the like so there's no Win98 - serial only; silliness to contend with here.


    In fact looking at the options there's not too many but I'd appreciate some heads up on ones to avoid any why if nought else..

    Thanks again

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    Re: Which Smartboard (+Projector)?

    I work in one school with Smartboards, and one with Prometheans:

    I have NEVER had to mend a Smartboard, but in the same period (3 years) I have had several monitor cables go (not easy when you remember that they are very long and behind trunking), speakers pack up, boards not work etc on the Prometheans. Not to mention the fact that the Prometheans are always losing the computer connection as well.
    We do have an issue with projectors as well: the Prometheans came with Sanyos and I have had loads go wrong or bulbs blow. The Smartboards have Epson projectors and I never clean the filters (brackets won't let me) and I havent had a bulb go in 4 years
    The Promethean software is good but not good enough to overcome this hassle!
    Both have good tech support lines

    As for size: we have the 500s (?) and the bigger ones. The smaller ones seem quite adequate to me - the only issue is how high off the ground they are fixed - some children are quite little.
    Hope this is useful - just my humble opinion from the coalface

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    DSapseid's Avatar
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    Re: Which Smartboard (+Projector)?

    I bought 6 new Smart board 680 series boards in the summer the 77" boards with Mitsubishi projectors and fitted it came to just over 2k a board. Which means that if you went down that front you will have 5k left to do another 2 rooms or something else.

    The primary school that i bought them for origanally only wanted 4 as they though that it was about 3k for the kit but they saved 1k per board and bought 2 more with the money and they now have a board in every classroom.

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    Re: Which Smartboard (+Projector)?

    I'd go with Promethean.

    I've worked in both Primary and Secondary with Smart and Promethean and in my experience Promethean are superior in terms of reliability and sturdiness.

    I'm also impressed with the quality and amount of resources for the Activboard.

    We've got a few dozen or so Prometheans in the school and we've only ever had minor probs with them - a few driver issues on the odd rogue PC.

    At my last school, which had Smartboards, I did have one or two monir problems with them - not being recognised etc nothing too bad but, touch wood, my Activboards have be trouble free.

    Witch does come up with a very good point with the height of the board. In a primary environment the height is far more of a factor than in a secondary.

    Promethean does have the Activboard+2 which is height adjustable and has the over arm short through projector (no expensive projector install) Not too certain on the pricing for the +2 though!!

    HTH

    PM me if you have anymore questions and I'll d my best to help

    Cheers

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    Re: Which Smartboard (+Projector)?

    as above, we have bought ours in bulk before, and can usually qualify for some good discounts as well.

    We use the 680i with Hitachi ED-X10 projectors(they are bright orange) with no problems. Every 100 hours the projector asks you to clean the filter on top so it keeps itself in good working order!!

    oh, and my advice is DO NOT get InFocus projectors, as they have caused us nothing but grief!!

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    Re: Which Smartboard (+Projector)?

    Regarding the height question, have a look at Smart's new height-adjustable boards. They have something like a 1 metre range, so the teacher can use it with comfort and then drop it down for the kids to use. We've got two here, I wouldn't consider going for fixed ones in the Primary. Also, since the projector is mounted to the board, there's less messy trunking and no need to pay your electrician to put a socket in the ceiling.

    As for size, personally I would go with the larger ones since the price difference is fairly minimal between them.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: Which Smartboard (+Projector)?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickJones
    Regarding the height question, have a look at Smart's new height-adjustable boards. They have something like a 1 metre range, so the teacher can use it with comfort and then drop it down for the kids to use. We've got two here, I wouldn't consider going for fixed ones in the Primary. Also, since the projector is mounted to the board, there's less messy trunking and no need to pay your electrician to put a socket in the ceiling.
    That's interesting... I didn't know they had anything like that.. Thanks for that tip Nick.

    Any ideas which model number that is? (are we talking the 'i' models here?).

    As for size, personally I would go with the larger ones since the price difference is fairly minimal between them.
    Yeah... got a quote back last night from one firm and the difference is around £150 - £200 per board although that may be enough of a wibble factor for one head.

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    Re: Which Smartboard (+Projector)?

    Quote Originally Posted by contink
    Any ideas which model number that is? (are we talking the 'i' models here?).
    Yes - it is an add-on to the i-series, only cost a few hundred extra.

    If you were closer, I'd say come have a look, but your supplier might well be able to point you at a local school which has them.

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    Re: Which Smartboard (+Projector)?

    I would say Smartboard all the way. We have loads and they just work all the time (touch wood!).

    In terms of projectors we use Hitachi almost exclusivley and love'em - again they just work.

    We've also got a couple of the Smartboard 680i with the integrated projector - they look superb in any room and can be fitted on the adjustable wall mount.

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