Review – Epson EB-595Wi – the world’s first finger touch projector

Home        Resources        Product reviews        Review – Epson EB-595Wi – the world’s first finger touch projector

Until now, schools have had three choices when it comes to interactive technology in the classroom:

  • Interactive Projectors – Great value for money with a very large display but are only interactive with pens not fingers.
  • Touch Panels – Finger touch enabled and look great, but typically a smaller image size than the projectors and can be frighteningly expensive for the larger panels.
  • Interactive Whiteboards – Smartboard. Panaboard. The original interactive technology. Now seen as clunky, expensive and obsolete.

Now this has changed. Welcome the new Epson EB-595Wi ‘world first’ 3LCD Finger Touch Interactive Projector.

What’s new?

Epson have recently released the new Education range of interactive projectors, the 5 series – EB-575Wi, EB-585Wi and the exciting new EB-595Wi. There are two major improvements to this range: Epson EB-595Wi’s finger touch capability When set up and calibrated correctly (more on that later), the responsiveness is accurate. Not to mention that students/teachers can annotate up to 6 fingers simultaneously plus 2 pens! That’s a lot of interactivity. Despite the fact that you can now use your fingers for writing on the wall, users may still find themselves using the pen, as it can feel more natural. Some will prefer using their fingers for control instead (opening files, switching inputs etc).

New EasyMP Multi PC Projection and Interactive Tools 3.0 software: One of the major attractions of the new EasyMP Multi PC Projection software is the Moderator function. The teacher (moderator) connects to the projector using EasyMP Multi PC Projection; as do the students on their laptops or smartphones / tablets using the free iProjection app. Up to 50 devices can be connected to this session, with up to 4 images being displayed on the screen at any one time. The teacher has full control as to which devices are being displayed, and their location on the screen.

Also now available is the rather large control box, the Epson ELPCB02. Personally, I prefer just to use the on-screen control functions instead, plus it saves space on your wall. However, others prefer hardware buttons to press – each to their own. I would certainly not recommend the Epson ELPCB02 in the business world, it’s too obtrusive. The Epson EB-595Wi has also increased it’s brightness to 3,300 lumens, can display a full 100″ image size, and has massively improved its contrast ratio to 10,000:1 (previous EB-485Wi model was 3,000:1). The new interactive pens have also been redesigned with a smaller tip, a narrower body and now come with a very handy side button that can be set to functions such as switching between a pen and an eraser.

Considerations

As mentioned, the calibration during set-up must be done correctly in order for the finger touch capability to work accurately. This only applies to the EB-595Wi, but expect up to 15 minutes of meticulous calibration between the projector and screen. Thankfully this is a one-time set up requirement. However, this does impact one of the benefits of interactive projectors – portability. Unless you are prepared to spend 15 minutes each time you move the EB-595Wi around, (excluding on a mobile whiteboard as calibration is set), then you may want to stick with the EB-575Wi or EB-585Wi instead. There are a couple of limiting factors of the new EB-595Wi when compared to the Epson Business Interactive projectors; the Epson MeetingMate EB-1400Wi and Epson EB-1410Wi models:

  • The PC-Free whiteboard mode, for brainstorming is quite basic. However, using Epson’s Interactive Tools  v3.0 on your computer, the equivalent whiteboard mode is very advanced.
  • You can’t load, save, print or email files directly to/from the projector. However, this is more of a business application, as Teachers are used to performing those tasks from their PC or laptop.

Overall, this is still a fantastic new product range from Epson, in particular the EB-595Wi. I think we may now have the best of both worlds.

PROS:

  • Finger touch enabled
  • On screen control
  • EasyMP Multi PC projection and Interactive tools v3.0
  • New and improved pens
  • Improved brightness, contrast ratio and full 100″ image size.

CONS:

  • Limited PC-Free mode
  • Calibration time affects portability

Score: 9/10