Review: Epson BrightLink 595Wi Dazzles in Small Spaces
The BrightLink 595Wi from Epson — maker of the world’s first 3LCD, touch-enabled, interactive projector — seems custom-made for teaching in today’s classrooms.
Other touch-enabled solutions require a special surface, but not the 595Wi. It can turn any surface into a touch screen. Imagine being able to touch your lessons not with a stylus, but with your finger — similar to the way you do on your smartphone or tablet. The 595Wi is bright enough for any environment, including rooms with outside light flooding through a window.
For testing, I set up the projector about 10 inches from the whiteboard and used a 92-inch (diagonal) at 16:10 aspect ratio. Although I set up the projector on a table, it’s definitely meant for permanent installation with a wall mount.
At Your Fingertips
The Auto Calibration and Driverless Installation features made setup a breeze. Although prepping the projector for finger touch takes a bit more effort, it is well worth the extra time. Once it’s set up, the experience is truly amazing. Teachers will appreciate the ability to scroll through long websites quickly without the need for a stylus. With two-finger gestures, I found myself intuitively resizing images by pinching to zoom out and rotating images. Drawing with a stylus is fairly simple too.
As a teacher who still uses whiteboard markers, I found it much more convenient (and clean) to draw with the stylus, and then simply use my finger to erase what I had drawn. You can also use a finger to navigate the PC, just like a mouse. It was fun to control a PowerPoint presentation directly at the board, as well.
Epson’s free Easy Interactive Tools 3.0 software ships with the BrightLink. In annotation mode, teachers can draw on the screen, and underline and highlight text digitally. Whiteboard mode provides a whiteboard space for building lessons.
The 595Wi supports up to eight interactive users at once, with two styluses and six finger touches simultaneously, so teachers will enjoy calling multiple students to the board. The toolbar itself can be moved from either the left or the right side of the screen, which comes in handy when there are multiple students at the board.
Epson BrightLink 595Wi Projector
Ultra-short-throw can cast large images even in tight quarters
Video controls float onscreen, and interactivity works with any image input, not just computers
Supports multiple inputs and even lists users sharing the wireless connection
Ultra-Short-Throw Ratio: 0.27
in the native 16:10 aspect ratio display; interactivity works with any image input, not just computers
WXGA Native Resolution: 1,280x800
Number of Styluses: 2
Ports: S-Video, Composite Video, HDMI (two inputs), USB, USB Display, LAN
Image Size: 60 to 100 inches diagonal
OS: Microsoft Windows for XP and beyond, Mac OS 10.5 or later