Lexmark released a new all-in-one printer series featuring legal-size flatbed scanning and a color scan option that makes scanning and copying of books easier. The X34x, $349, also includes a professional document management software package that helps organize electronic data and converts scanned documents into PDF files. Other new products include the C500n, a color laser printer ($399) that can also print large volumes of black-and-white documents; the X642e, a multifunction printer ($1,499) that offers the fastest speed in its class; and the 4600 scanner ($2,099), which can copy, scan, e-mail, and fax to printers. Read about them at www.lexmark.com.
A software upgrade is available for the InterWrite PRS student response clicker system. The latest version supports over 14 different languages and features a new, sleeker user interface to make it easier for educators to use. It is also now compatible with Intel Mac and Linux, as well as Windows and Mac OS X. Another new feature is the roster "wizard," which allows users to easily merge any class roster into the system. GTCO CalComp is offering an education price of $1,887 for a 32 Class Pack. Existing users can get their free upgrade at www.gtcocalcomp .com/supportprs.htm.
Professors giving combined live and online lectures will have the freedom to roam with the PowerCam Presenter from Polycom. The presenter wears an ultrasonic locator, which allows the wireless camera to automatically track, focus, and zoom, keeping the presenter in the center of the screen. Users can also store four preset framing options, or control movement with a remote control. It can be used with any video conferencing system. List price is $7,999. The company also released the Polycom HDX and VSX Ceiling Microphone Arrays. The ceiling-mounted units offer 360-degree room coverage, easy instillation, and adjustable drop height. Suggested price is $1,195. Learn more at www.polycom.com.
Two common problems- dust settling on the keyboard and lots of people touching the keys-are addressed with the Unotron keyboard. Specially designed with SpillSeal technology, the keyboard is sealed against liquid or airborne penetration, which allows for repeated immersion in water as well as frequent applications of commercial disinfectants without compromising effectiveness or user-friendly touch and feel. Corded and wireless versions of the keyboard and mouse are available, with prices ranging from $49.99 to $79.99. See a demonstration at www.unotron.com.
HID has launched the FlexSmart line of smart card readers. FlexSmart MIFARE HID Format Secure Reader (6075), FlexSmart MIFARE Custom Reader (6076), and FlexSmart DESFire Custom Reader (6077) are interoperable and ISO 14443A-compliant. Users have the option of using the readers "out of the box" or having them customized. They work at new and existing installations. Prices range from $165 to $610. Get the specifics at www.hidcorp.com.
Peerless Industries offers a safe, secure, and functional method to maximize the use of a projector with the PRS-UNV mount. It supports up to 25 pounds, comes preassembled, and ensures proper alignment on a screen by enabling 15 degrees forward and 5 degrees backward tilt, 10 degrees left or right roll, and a full 360 degrees swivel. Another new mount is the PLAV70-UNL, a universal dual-arm, articulating wall mount that supports almost any 42-to-71-inch flat panel screen. It can articulate a large flat panel out over two-and-a-half feet combined with 15 degrees of tilt and 10 degrees of roll adjustment. They cost $209 and $749, respectively. Visit www.peerlessindustries.com.
Continuing its CP-X line of projectors, Hitachi has released the CP-X251 ($2,295) and CP-X1 ($999). Both units have 2000 ANSI lumens and a transition detector, which locks the projector if it is moved, rendering it inoperable until the proper PIN is entered. The CP-X251 also allows users to customize the names of individual input sources, features two RGB inputs, MyScreen/MyMemory preset options, a remote control with "MyButtons" function, and customizable resolution, giving presenters the ability to automatically resize special resolutions or undetectable wide-size resolution images and set to the best position on the screen. The CP-X1 is 3.9 pounds, features a wide-angle lens that allows presenters to place the projector close to the screen to avoid obstruction of the image, and contains a USB reader, which simplifies the connection process by eliminating the need to connect a laptop to the projector. See them both at www.hitachi.us.
Sponsored blogs can be easily monitored using OU Blogs from OmniUpdate. Utilizing WordPress, the open-source blog publishing system, users can specify approvers for selected blogs. Approvers receive an e-mail when an entry is ready, and can either approve, decline, or edit it. Bloggers are notified of approval status. Institutions must have OmniUpdate in place to use OU Blogs. There is a base charge of $5,000 for the blogging module, plus additional licensing fees, if needed. The company will also offer installation and support services for WordPress for an additional fee. Get the details at www.omniupdate.com/ou/blogs.
E-mail, instant messaging, and an online calendar are all captured in Google Apps for Education. The free, hosted service can be customized with a school's logo, colors, and content. Even alumni can use it. Administrators will like that accounts can be added, removed, or suspended in bulk, the product is open source, and it can run on a variety of operating systems. Sign up at www.google.com/a/edu.