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Top 100 Products

Hardware Winners

Affordable and Productive

We're excited about the hardware in The Readers' Choice Top 100 K12 Products of 2007-08. Hardware advances, coupled with lower prices and increased Internet connectivity and interactivity, make the technology product winners more attainable and valuable for more districts. Readers will certainly find many choices to increase productivity for multitasking educators and to make learning more engaging and exciting for more students. It's a great time to think about adding or updating your district's education hardware, and we think that our product winners will help.

Wireless products are well represented in the Top 100-from response systems such as TurningPoint, to presentation devices such as the Qomo Prodigy tablet, and handhelds like the TI-Nspire graphing calculator, as well as laptop and laptop-like products such as the One2OneMate computer and the Nova5000 computer and portable science lab.

Printers are also no longer just printing. For example, with a push of a button, the Lexmark X646dte can scan answer sheets from a test and spit back the results instantaneously. Administrators at Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky are using the printers and no longer deal with a Web-based interface, which required collecting and inputing data in computers, according to Robert Rodosky, executive director of accountability, research and planning for the district. Now, school principals are competing with each other for the best student scores because of the immediacy of the results, he says.

Remote interactive technology, or the so-called clicker, allows students to answer questions on an impromptu quiz, and results are immediately displayed on a screen in class for everyone to see.

DA reader Tammy Dunn, fourth-grade teacher at South Polk Elementary School in Old Fort, Tenn., says that several years ago her class scored below 50 percent on a standardized test. She convinced district leaders to buy 32 Qwizdom clickers for her class, using an innovation grant. "It was amazing the turnaround our class made in the following three months," Dunn says. "Parents were dropping by to see why their child didn't want to miss school." And that year, every student scored above 50 percent on the standardized test, Dunn says.

To wrap technologies together, Extron Electronics' PoleVault Systems allows various hardware products, including whiteboards, projectors and computers, to be orchestrated together using one remote device. "It replaces cacophony with a symphony," says Ken Royal, DA's products editor, who compiled the awards.

New developments in screens and projection technology also have made their mark. Texas Instrument's newly updated TI-Nspire graphing calculator offers four ways of seeing the same problem on the calculator's largest screen in its history. And projectors are no longer just projecting information onto a wall, but they are doing so from only a foot away-without casting shadows-and offering a crisper, brighter image. At the same time, they are easily manipulated, so teachers and administrators can clean filters or change bulbs quickly.

Interactive whiteboards are replacing chalkboards and act as projection screens. Students can touch the board and be part of the lesson. And the whiteboards have become easier to use because the matching software programs are improving.

And here are the hardware awards.



MODERO NXD-1000Vi, Touch Panel Control Device, $6,300

The Modero NXD-1000Vi Touch Panel utilizes VoIP technology to give users the ability to instantly create a high-quality intercom network with no additional equipment required. The intercom capabilities enable users to place panelto-panel calls and broadcast a message to all touch panels within the same physical location. The device also supports one-way monitoring or a listen-only feature and hands-free communication. Users can engage in interactive panel-topanel conversations without holding down a button. A privacy option allows users to temporarily disable all intercom capabilities.



AVerVision300AF+, Document Camera, $699.99

The AVerVision300AF+ is a full-feature document camera perfect for any classroom environment or subject. With a 3.2-megapixel sensor, the images produced are the clearest and sharpest available in its price range. The auto focus quickly adjusts to produce a sharp image whether at standard zoom or the full 16x magnification. The camera is able to capture up to 80 images, or an unlimited number of images and videos with audio when connected to a computer. The remote control allows presenters to control the AVerVision300AF+ from anywhere in the room.



FPDK01, Digital Kiosk, Starting at $520

The FPDK01 digital kiosk is designed to provide secure network data access or general information. It includes adjustable monitor, keyboard and CPU mounts that slide independently on the track for optimal positioning. The keyboard tray folds up and out of the way. The kiosk quickly adjusts for the height and monitor, and easily rotates from portrait to landscape. It can also be mounted lower on the wall for wheelchair access.




These newly designed animal-themed headphones include bear, tiger motifs. They are designed ambient, noise-reducing earcups acquire listening, literacy



TT-02U, Document Camera, $699

The USB TT-02U transportable document camera enables teachers to bring visual technology into their classroom presentations. With a frame rate of 20 fps, it captures and displays moving objects in real time, making hands-on lessons easier to understand. Miniscule objects on microscope slides can also be displayed for science lessons. A logically designed control panel with simplifi ed buttons and LEDs makes operation intuitive.



PowerLite 83c, Multimedia Projector, $899.99

Epson's lightweight PowerLite 83c multimedia projector uses 3LCD technology and 2,200 lumens with XGA resolution to deliver vibrant images for classroom presentations. It has a built-in 7W speaker and closed-caption decoder to comply with ADA requirements. The PowerLite is network ready with RJ-45 connectivity. An energy efficient lamp delivers more lumens per watt for up to 4,000 hours of life.


PoleVault Systems, Technology Management, Starting list price $3,244

Extron's PoleVault Systems are an easy-to-use and install, economical classroom A/V system that incorporates twisted pair technology for signal transmission. It includes all the necessary audio and video switching for a complete classroom A/V solution and securely mounts and conceals switching and audio amplification components above the projector so that no equipment rack or tabletop space is required. Connection status, power state and current input selection are displayed in a central location.



Nova5000, Student Computer and Portable Science Lab, Starting at $499

Fourier's 9 1/2 x 7 1/2-inch, 2.7-pound. student computer comes with word processing, spreadsheet, and Portrait 4 graphing and calculator software, and Web browsing is via Ethernet or built-in WiFi 802.11g. It uses the Windows CE 5.0 operating system with built-in Flash memory. It features a bright LCD screen, eight-hour battery life, remote desktop connection, built-in speakers, and VGA external connection for monitors and projectors. The Nova5000 interfaces with sensors for data logging and analysis, making it a portable science lab.



GATEWAY E-155C, Convertible Notebook, Starting at $1,849

Gateway's thin (1.17 inches) and light (4.5 pounds) Convertible notebook with tablet and touch screen capabilities allows users to access information, applications and multimedia content, and to take notes and draw illustrations. It has an integrated optical drive, a 12-inch WXGA widescreen TFT active matrix display, Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and a biometric UPEK fi ngerprint reader. The Gateway Convertible comes with a SATA 5400RPM hard drive (60-120GB) and IntelPRO wireless 3945 802.11 a/b/g.



ITEMISER, Portable Narcotics and, Explosives Detection Device, $40,000-$45,000

The Itemiser is a portable narcotics and explosives detection telltale molecules of and vapors as well as parcels, bags, vehicles and processing both positive negative ions, it can use single sample to test simultaneously for the presence of all targeted drugs and explosives. Its mode detection can cut analysis time in half. friendly interface, folding touch screen, and built-in printer for instant hardcopy results.



HP-35s, Scientific Calculator, $59.99

HP's scientific programmable calculator switch between Reverse Polish Notation RPN) and algebraic entry-system logic at any time. With RPN, the calculator requires fewer keystrokes and is able to handle larger and more complex problems with less memory than other calculators. Features include 30 KB of memory, more than 800 independent storage registers, a large two-line display with adjustable contrast, 42 built-in physical constants, library of unit conversions, and edit, undo and delete capabilities.



LEARN BIG IN32, Projector, $920

The InFocus Learn Big IN32 projector offers 2,000 lumens, XGA resolution, DLP (Digital Light Processing, from Texas Instruments) and enhanced connectivity. Weighing 5.2 pounds, each projector features an LED display that answers users' questions and shows the projector's working status. A keypad also gives access to more than 90 percent of its functions. Other features include security PIN codes, color-coded cables, multiple computer inputs, serial interface and monitor out capability.



INTERWRITE PAD, Wireless Interactive Tablet, $249

Interwrite's Bluetooth wireless classroom pad features an interactive company's next-generation teaching the digital classroom. Teachers create an interactive whiteboard any surface in their classroom and move among their students while interacting with lesson materials projected at the front classroom using a standard digital provides remote access, lesson teacher's computer.



READING MENTOR, Reading Instruction System, $329.95

The Reading Mentor is an integrated hands-on reading method with an electronic device that speaks. Students use Reading Rods activity cards with the Reading Mentor to build words and sentences by adding word links. Students select one of three modes of instruction and then read letters, the large LCD screen. A special toggle feature allows them to dissect a sentence down to the word level, giving them targeted practice.



ThinkCentre A61e, Desktop Computer, $399

The ThinkCentre desktop computer packs in fullsize PC performance with the latest technologies such as ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery, which lets users easily recover from software crashes or virus attacks. As the first EPEAT Gold Rated PC, it is Energy Star 4.0 compliant, consuming less power, emitting less heat and producing less noise than any of the company's other desktops. The PC weighs less than eight pounds and runs on 45-watt AMD Athlon 64x2 dual core and Sempron processors.



X646dte, Printer, $3,449

By using a color touch screen on the Lexmark multifunction X646dte printer, users can print, copy, fax and scan. It can be used with Bubble Sheet Technology software, which enables educators to prepare test materials, scan and score tests, create reports and analyze data to use for creating future exams. Users can also print their own bubble sheets on plain paper, thereby eliminating preprinted forms and enabling schools to control their own designs. The printer can also create, print, score and analyze parent or community surveys, attendance sheets, student registration, incident reports and parental consent forms.



DC160, Document Camera, $1,295

Lumens' portable SXGA resolution document camera offers 1280 x 1024 pixels and captures 66 percent more details compared to XGA presenters 1024 x 768 pixels) in this class. Features include 3x optical zoom, a split screen, seamless switchovers and a exible gooseneck design. Weighing 4.85 pounds, it also contains a slot a Kensington lock or crews to mount to a cart or table. With a small footprint-a base of 7 x 5 inches-it takes up minimal space.



mimio, Interactive Whiteboard System, Starts at $549

The mimio interactive system turns any surface into a whiteboard, allowing teachers to control their computer from the projected image and present interactive lessons to their class. They can capture Expo dry erase marker notes in real time, digitally record every stroke of the marker, then share and/or integrate the information into other materials. Teachers can edit slides and notes, watch online video, share board-to-board presentations, e-mail notes, and export presentations to other applications.



TELEPRESENTER M3-SERIES 2, Multimedia Capture Appliance, Priced under $10,000

The Telepresenter M3-Series 2 multimedia capture appliance allows anyone to make, store and distribute high-resolution multimedia files with minimal interaction. This new series extends the M3 graphics resolution to 1920 x 1200 (WUXGA) for both input and output, and the HD capture resolution from 720p to 1080i. The frame rate has also been increased to 100 percent, allowing 1080i or WUXGA capture at a full 30 FPS. Users can upload precomposed templates to centralize and better manage the creation of presentation layouts.



X300, Multiple Computer Access Terminal Kit, Pricing varies based on district/technology needs

The X300 Access Terminal Kit can help educators cut computing costs by allowing them to share one host PC with three additional users, or up to seven users with two kits. The kit's PCI card, access terminals, and software harness excess computing capacity. The kit connects users directly to the host PC via standard cable, includes terminal services software for Windows and Linux and supports standard applications, including multimedia. Each user still has a standard monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers.



ImagineX IW77, Interactive Whiteboard, $1,799

The ImagineX IW77 Interactive Whiteboard is designed to increase student attention and retention. It can be used with any of the company's projectors. It has the ability to annotate over any application to teach everything from handwriting to music directly from the board. With its Web collaboration feature, teachers can also broadcast and share materials. The host broadcasts the materials over a network, and participants log in to see notes and annotations in real time. Users control the desktop directly from the whiteboard with a stylus pen.



StudentMate, Student Computer, $399

The StudentMate low-cost Linux laptop computer was specifically designed for students. It features a 7-inch color touch screen and stylus, full-size QWERTY laptop keyboard, Ethernet, USB ports, SD port and audio in/out. It comes loaded with a word processor that is compatible with Word, a spreadsheet program that's compatible with Excel, All The Right Type Lite StudentMate typing tutor, Flash-enabled Web browser, MP3 player, scheduler, calculator and contact manager.



EP761, Projector, $1,200-$1,500

The EP761 data/multimedia projector uses Texas Instruments' DLP chipset and BrilliantColor technology for digital picture quality and color enhancement. The EP761 offers native XGA (1024 x 768) resolution and 3,100 lumens with a 2,000:1 contrast ratio.



PT-D5700U, Projector, $11,500

Offering 6,000 lumens of brightness, this single-chip DLP projector permits users to select the preset that best optimizes color, brightness and contrast according to the level of ambient light. Features include edge-blending, improved reflector efficiency and Vivid Color Control, which increases color intensity by minimizing the color wheel's unused sections. It includes 10-bit video processing for smoother tonal expression and comes equipped with new circuitry for better processing of high-definition images.



32-UNIT MOBILE, IT Transport Systems, $7,103-$8,372

PARAT's 32-unit mobile computing transport system is a convenient way to transport, store, recharge and synchronize up to 32 notebook computers in an efficient and cost-effective way. Computers no longer need to be updated individually because the PARAT Solutions Paradidact can administer and synchronize the contents of an entire series of docked systems using Wake-on-LAN technology from a remote location. The 32-unit system transforms a mobile cart into a portable notebook classroom.



RMX 2000, Media Conferencing Platform, Starts at $53,000

Polycom's real-time media conferencing platform simplifies the delivery and management of multipoint video and unifi ed conferencing services within enterprises and through service provider IP networks. Built on a reliable and scalable advanced telecom computing architecture, it is optimized for use on IP networks and designed to be at the heart of a unified communications network. The system offers installation wizards to help IT managers configure, install, manage, service and administer it.



QIT30 PRODIGY, Interactive Wireless Tablet, $399

Qomo's interactive wireless tablet is a portable version of an interactive whiteboard. It implements RF technology, enabling a connect up to 30 tablets at versus seven tablets as often with Bluetooth technology. other wireless tablets, pad's battery is charged directly through a USB cable that's connected to a computer. Presenters can also annotate live from a document camera. www.qomo



Q2 REMOTE, Interactive Assessment Tool, $1,595/32-remote set

The Q2 interactive assessment tool gauges students' progress, enabling data-driven instruction. As an interactive learning system, it uses a three-row custom E Ink display that supports display of three-digit numbers and features low-battery and mode indicators. It also allows numerous question types, including multiple choice, numeric, yes/no, true/false and rating scale, and responds to screen, verbal or paper-based questions. Students can discreetly request help and receive instant feedback.



STOPPER II, Pull Station Covers, $93

Stopper II is a pull station cover that mounts directly to the wall over an existing pull station. When the cover is lifted, a self-contained alarm sounds that draws immediate attention to the area. The alarm offers a choice between a piercing 105 dB or a softer 95 dB. The cover does not restrict legitimate fire alarms from being activated.



SDP-6500DXA, Digital Presenter, $4,750

The SDP-6500DXA digital presenter is equipped with a high quality PS CCD with over 1.5 megapixels that reproduces vivid colors and translates into solid image quality. It comes with many new features, such as an improved frame rate, high resolution DVI output, USB 2.0 output for applications supporting new passive switching redesigned light arms to interference with larger display materials.



XR-40X, Projector, $899.99

Sharp's XR-40X lightweight DLP projector is part of its Notevision series. The 40X has a native XGA resolution of 1024 x 768. It offers a contrast ratio of 2,200:1 and includes a full-function remote with PC control, on-screen break timer plus pointer, and resize and image freeze functions.



SENTEO, Interactive Response System, 24 remotes, 1 receiver for $1,599 32 remotes, 1 receiver for $1,999

The Senteo Interactive Response System allows students to respond on easy-to-use remote handheld devices. Teachers can deliver quizzes, survey students, and test knowledge before, during or after a lesson. The system is compatible with PowerPoint and can import questions from Word and export answers to Excel. Its radio frequency technology does not require a line of sight to deliver questions or send answers, and the remote has a range of up to 98 feet.



SCHOOL ALERT, Security System, $300-$500

The School Alert security system consists of fixed panic/emergency buttons for common areas and classrooms and wireless emergency buttons carried by school administrators. When activated, the buttons trigger Sonitrol's verified audio sensors and/or video cameras. Sonitrol monitoring personnel can hear or see events occurring in real time and provide law enforcement with details on how best to respond.



VPL-ES4, Projector, $1,030

The VPL-ES4 3LCD projector was designed for use in classrooms and conference rooms. A short, focal-length lens allows largescreen projection from a very short distance, and low fan noise lets audiences concentrate on the speaker during lectures or presentations. The ES4 delivers SVGA resolution of 800 x 600 and displays images in about four seconds after being turned on.



TI-Nspire, Graphing Calculators, $135

Students can use the TI-Nspire graphing calculators to explore different representations of a math problem on a single screen. One comes with an interchangeable keyboard that provides the same keystroke functionality as the company's other graphing calculators. With the Computer Algebra System handheld, students can evaluate and express numeric problems and variables symbolically. The handhelds also link representations of a problem to see how changes to one affect others and they offer grab-and-move graphed functions to observe relationships and patterns.



TDP-EX20U,Projector, $1,599

The TDP-EX20U projector features DLP Brilliant Colors technology, 2,300 ANSI lumens, integrated wireless functionality for sequential presentations, management and multimedia capability. This portable projector has manual focus and extreme short projection capabilities that can produce a 60-inch image from just three feet, reducing eye glare and shadows. It features XGA 1024 x 768 native resolution, a sharp contrast ratio of 2,000:1, and PC-free USB thumb-drive presentation.



TurningPoint, Audience Response System, $695/24 IR keypads; $1,931/24-seat RF

The TurningPoint audience response system allows teachers to use interactive PowerPoint presentations for added student participation. With these IR wireless keypads, teachers can conduct digital testing, surveys, opinion polls games that allow every student the class to select a response. Teachers can evaluate the collective understanding of the entire class, track individual student learning at point of instruction, or display competitive standings of teams through dynamic scoreboards.


EtherneTV, Media Distribution System 4.0, $12,500

VBrick's turnkey platform records, streams and manages digital video across Internet Protocol (IP) networks. It includes access logging, which allows administrators to manage compliance reporting and copyright enforcement automatically by tracking user access and recording of live and stored video assets. Expanded wizard/help functions simplify navigation of content and special features, and VBPresenter enables users to incorporate PowerPoint and other rich media into video presentations.



LabQuest, Science Lab Handheld, $329

Science students can use Vernier's LabQuest handheld for fi eld investigations. By plugging it into sensors, they can acquire real-time graphing and analysis via the device's color screen for subjects such as physics, chemistry, biology and Earth science. Students can collect data from more than 50 sensors and view and analyze the data in a meter, data table or graph. They can also draw a prediction before taking data, display a tangent line on their graphs, and use linear and curve fits, autoscales, integral functions and statistics in their analysis.



PJ258D, Front Projector, $999

The PJ258D Front Projector, built on Texas Instruments' DLP platform, integrates a video iPod docking station to the projector, eliminating the need for a computer to project video content. It also charges the iPod's battery while digital content is being played and supports other popular digital media through its multiple connectivity options, including S-Video and VGA, which enable users to connect to PCs, DVD players and video game consoles. It boasts 1024 x 768 XGA resolution, 2,000 lumens of brightness and a 2,000:1 contrast ratio.



iRespond, Wireless Reporting System, $1,223-$4,753

The iRespond wireless scoring and reporting system automates the creation and distribution of assessment. Teachers can instantaneously identify and track each student's comprehension level, modify any lesson, and assist individuals who need further help. Students log in and begin an assessment using a wireless student remote. They enter their responses into the device and instantly communicate their knowledge back to the teacher.



VIDEO MANAGEMENT SYSTEM 3.0, Starts at $200 per camera

The Video Management System (VMS) facilitates the management of surveillance cameras from a PC. A site mapping feature provides oneclick access to live camera views and more extensive administrative management tools via its watchdog monitoring system, giving users the ability to respond more quickly to incidents. They can upload maps, blueprints and location drawings into the system and place icons indicating camera locations so they can click on an icon to display a live view from that location. Schools can also share video or live camera views with first responders.



Phaser 6180MFP, Printer, $999

The Phaser 6180MFP multifunction color printer, with 600 x 600 x 4 dpi resolution, delivers 16 shades of color per pixel. It generates color output at up to 20 ppm, black andwhite prints at up to 31 ppm, and up to seven color or 20 black-and-white scans per minute. Other features include EA-HG toner technology, True Adobe PostScript 3 print language, PANTONE Color approved solid-color simulations, and walk-up fax and LAN fax or fax from the print driver, which provides up to 400 x 400 dpi resolution and includes JBIG compression technology for faster electronic transmissions.