Jun 18 2020

Review: Creating Professional Conferencing with Poly Studio X30 — No Computer Required

Initiate or participate in videoconferencing without a computer.

Until recently, most U.S. K–12 schools had not attempted long-term, full-scale remote learning. That lack of experience contributed to widespread implementation problems as educators attempted to discover the ins and outs of new digital collaboration tools. That pivot comes with a pretty steep learning curve.

But the Poly Studio X30 videoconferencing device was designed to not only flatten that learning curve but to squash it altogether. The X30 is a fully self-contained device that needs nothing more than a power plug and an internet connection to begin working.

When I first received the X30, I initially thought parts were missing. The 1.6-pound device looks like a television sound bar with a camera lens in the middle. It turns out that’s all a user needs to begin hosting professional meetings or virtual classroom sessions. You don’t even need to attach a computer; just use the power cable and either a wired or wireless internet connection.

Features Bring Remote Learning Closer to the Classroom

I used a smartphone with the Zoom Rooms app for Android to control the X30, setting up a virtual classroom in minutes. The X30 has an HDMI port too, so it can be connected to almost any monitor or projector. Doing that would allow a teacher to see when each student joins the room and monitor whether everyone is paying attention.

Everything recorded by the X30 looks amazing. The camera is able to capture images in up to 4K resolution, and it has advanced features including a digital zoom and automatic tracking with people framing. Remote students should have no trouble hearing everything inside the classroom either, thanks to four high-quality MEMS microphones. Each microphone is tuned to perfectly capture human voices from anywhere within a moderately sized class or meeting room.

At one point there were four presenters in the room talking, and remote participants could see and hear everything. I even held up a textbook for those joining the meeting remotely, and they were easily able to read the pages on their screens.

While classroom instruction with the Poly Studio X30 might not top actually being there, it’s easily the next best thing. It removes all the complexities of teleconferencing and lets educators focus on teaching and building a comfortable virtual classroom environment to encourage remote student participation.

MORE ON EDTECH: Learn how to protect users during videoconferencing.

Poly Studio X30

 

Poly Studio X30

SUPPORTED VIDEO STANDARDS: H.264 AVC, H.264 AVC high-profile, H.265 HEVC
VIDEO OUTPUT: HDMI
VIDEO RESOLUTIONS: SVGA (800x600) to UHD (3840x2160)
AUDIO INPUT: Four MEMS microphones
DIMENSIONS: 17.34x2.46x2.42 inches
WEIGHT: 1.6 pounds

Poly