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Freebee Friday: Bird’s Eye View

Interface-advancedIf you were to walk through your school and look at all the displays, you’re likely to find that most, if not all, are out of whack or poorly adjusted in one way or another. Enter the Asus Display Widget, which puts all the adjustments front and center. It only works with Asus’s Adaptive-Synch gaming monitors at the moment, but the company will widen its use over time. The key is that the Widget sits on the Windows desktop and gives you immediate access to do things like change the color temperature, pick the display mode and even pick what settings to use for different applications.

 

Big Screen, Ultra Resolution

Mimio display 84aAs its name implies, the UHD MimioDisplay model 8401 pushes resolution beyond mere HD to 3,480 by 2,160 pixels and screen size to 84-inches. That adds up to an interactive display that can work with up to 10 individual finger inputs and measures 77.2- by 45.6-inches and is just 4.5-inches thick. There’s also a smaller 75-inch MimioDisplay as well as HD versions. Unlike other interactive screens, the MimioDisplay comes with the company’s Studio software and works with its Classroom app.

 

 

FETC 2016: Flat Screen Education

Qomo panelQomo’s Journey interactive panel sets a new standard for education with a new 84-inch model that can show a stunning 3,840 by 2,160 resolution. By many measures it can outdo most classroom projectors. Based on an Android interface, it’s easy to use so that students and teachers can interact with the display’s infrared technology that allows up to 10 independent touch points. It has a pair of speakers and can work with a variety of video inputs. It costs a cool $25,00, but Qomo has special deals that include document cameras.

 

Screen Sharing, Wireless or Not

WIFI2HDVGA.mainStarTech’s Wireless Presentation System (WIFI2HDVGA) can connect any classroom computer with a projector or big screen monitor so that everyone can see the same lesson. It works via WiFi or a wired LAN cable and doubles as a wireless access point. Able to show full HD resolution, the Wireless Presentation System connects with PCs and Macs.

 

The World is Now Flat

Acer B346C Series Displays Right AngleThe new generation of ultrawide curved screens have met their match with Acer’s 34-inch Acer B346CK display. It does a lot for $600 with the ability to put an amazing 3,440 by 1,440 resolution image on-screen with 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut. In addition to showing two streams at once, the B346CK has both a USB 3.0 hub and can work with MHL-enabled phones while charging them.

 

Wrap-Around Sights and Sounds

Benq xr3501It may have been made with gamers in mind, but BenQ’s Curved XR3501 monitor is about as good as it gets for doing detailed work like image and video editing as well as CAD and digital art at school. At $1,000, the XR3501 joins curved screens from Dell, LG, Samsung and HP, but the BenQ one has a very fast 144-hertz refresh rate as well as a curvature with a radius of a little over six and one half feet. It’s enough so that the 35-inch display feels like an immersive wrap-around display that sucks you into the material. Plus, you can keep four windows open at once without it feeling crowded.

Curved-Sound-Bar_1While a curved screen can look great, it can also mean flat sound. LG’s Music Flow HS8 Wireless Curved Sound Bar has a curvature that matches that of LG’s 34UC97 curved display and can radiate audio to a group of students. Inside the semicircular case are five speakers that can fill just about any room with 360 watts of audio. It has WiFi and Bluetooth built-in, works with Google Cast and is compatible with many popular universal remote controls. On the downside, it’s only available at Europe at the moment.

 

Build a Big Screen

MSTMDP122DP.mainSometimes the best way to get an ultra-HD screen is to make one from several separate displays ganged together into a multi-monitor array. While you can do it with some computers without extra hardware, StarTech’s new line of Multi Stream Transport (MST) devices are a great first step. Basically, these small devices let you connect up to four monitors to a single input, stretching the image across them. For instance, a pair of XXGA screens (1,280 by 1,024 pixels) would yield a composite image of 2.6 million pixels. All have Displayport (DP) inputs and outputs, with models that range from the $100 two full-size DP output model and the $185 four full-size DP output to mini-Displayport models for two and four outputs.

 

 

 

Bigger Surface

Surface hub cropIf the Surface 3 and the Pro 3 aren’t big enough to hold your lessons, think big, really big. The Surface Hub is the perfect screen for schools and can replace projectors with a huge touch screen that can connect to systems wirelessly. Aside from putting an end to pesky projector shadows, the Hub pushes resolution into the 4K realm. It may look like a big monitor, but inside is a full Windows 10 computer with a high-performance Core i7 processor, Nvidia graphics and a pair of Web cams. If you have to ask the price, you probably can’t afford one (much less a school’s worth of them). The displays should be available in September with pricing starting at $7,000 (for an HD 55-inch model) and reaching $20,000 (for the top-of-the-line 84-inch 4K model). Fear not, I expect these prices to drop to the point where in a few years this type of display will give projectors a run for the money.

UHD on the Cheap

Vizio m43Think Ultra HD imaging has to cost a small fortune? Vizio will change your mind with its 43-inch M-series TV/monitor that sells for $600. With 3,840 by 2,160 pixel resolution, it has four-times the imaging elements of regular old HD screens or projectors and has a spatial scaling engine that can turn just about any input into beautifully sharp high-resolution imaging. The display has an 802.11ac dual-band WiFi radio, a six-core processor and the remote control has a cool mini-keyboard on the back. 

Big Window on the School World

HP Ultra-Narrow Bezel Z24n DisplayTeaching video and image editing requires a big screen that doesn’t skimp on resolution, and HP’s $379 Z24n fits the bill with full HD resolution, factory-calibrated color and the ability to connect a pair of them to a single computer. The 24-inch monitor has a 16:10 aspect ratio and can show 99 percent of the sRBG gamut and can connect via HDMI, mini- and full-size DisplayPort connectors as well as a DVI port. It has a built-in four-port USB 3.0 hub and its bezel is thin enough to use for multi-display arrays. The stand can not only tilt, swivel and pivot, but can rotate the display between landscape and portrait modes.  

 

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