Value is the Word
There is no doubt about it, classroom technology shoppers look for value above all else. If this were not true, manufacturers would no longer produce SVGA projectors.
This emphasis on the value proposition offered to educators is the impetus I'm sure behind the emergence of the interactive projectors from Epson, BenQ, Viewsonic, Dell, Infocus as well as other manufacturers who also have products in the works which utilize varying interactive technologies. These models effectively eliminate the need for an expensive whiteboard by offering the same interactivity for a fraction of the cost. I don't think it will be a difficult decision for a school's technology buyer to save several thousand dollars by choosing an interactive projector over a projector whiteboard combination, but I'd be very interested in hearing if I'm not right about this.
Epson made a couple of product announcements in the past week which are "firsts" which I think might shake things up in the classroom projector world. There is the VS400, an XGA 4,000 lumen projector which is the first to offer such brightness levels for under $1000. Additionally, Epson announced the IU-01 interactive module. This takes the interactive projector value proposition to the next level. The module connects directly to a Windows or Mac computer via USB so that ANY new or existing classroom projector can become interactive. Our expert reviewers will be taking a look at both of these products in the coming weeks. I look forward to their in depth assessment.