SmartDraw 2009 has new features for incorporating more visuals in presentation charts and graphics, such as automatically sequencing or animating diagrams into PowerPoint presentations. A “Live Maps” feature takes satellite images from Google Maps to insert in an illustration. Sticky notes can add explanatory notes to any shape on a diagram, with notes only appearing when the cursor scrolls over the object. Flowcharts can be drawn quicker as shapes are automatically formatted. Compatible with Microsoft Office, the software is available for $297. A $100 discount is applied when purchased from SmartDraw’s website. A seven-day free trial can be downloaded. Licensing options and programs are available. To obtain a free trial and more information, visit www.smartdraw.com.
NComputing’s X550 desktop virtualization kit enables up to six simultaneous users to be connected to a single shared PC for a cost-effective computing experience with one kit. Each user has access to his or her applications, settings, files, and preferences and is provided with a virtual desktop workspace. It is as if all users had their own computers. The system can support standard applications including multimedia and full-screen video. The kit contains vSpace desktop virtualization software for Windows or Linux operating systems, five access devices, and a PCI card. Add a second kit and the amount of shared users can go up to 11 on one PC. The kits are powered by 1 watt per added user for energy efficiency. Each kit costs $449. Visit www.ncomputing.com.
The Epson WorkForce Pro GT-S50 and WorkForce Pro GT-S80 sheetfed scanners are capable of scanning both sides of a sheet in just one pass. They can scan business and rigid ID cards along with documents, and they have a 75-page feeder. Both offer USB 2.0 connectivity to any PC (compatible with Mac and Windows) and automatic paper-size detection. They can scan without waiting for the machine to warm up. The scanners differ on some features, such as software and cycle rates. The GT-S50 ($499.99) can scan 50 images and 25 pages per minute, with a high duty cycle of 1,200 sheets per day. The GT-S80 ($899.99) has sensors for double-feed protection and can scan 80 images and 40 pages per minute, with a cycle of 1,800 sheets per day. A roller assembly kit ($49.99) and carrier sheets ($29.99) for the scanners are sold separately. Learn more at www.epson.com.
The Virtual Visitors Center and Donor Recognition Wall by Vital-Signz displays multimedia content such as an institution’s history and maps highlighting points of interest on campus—and it assists in providing a high-tech approach to development by exhibiting photos and biographies of major donors. A permanent installation, the touch-screen kiosk consists of a high-definition flat-panel plasma or LCD monitor and a Windows-based control system with a proprietary software application that provides easy user updates. The system costs $15,000, with additional costs for custom design and content creation. Learn more at www.vital-signz.com.
The ThinkCentre M58 and M58p desktops from Lenovo contain Power Manager, an energy-saving feature that enables system administrators to monitor and remotely control the amount of electricity used by all PCs in a specific fleet in order to control their consumption—which can lead to lower costs. For example, they can be set to shut down on evenings or weekends. The desktops have earned EPEAT gold certification and Greenguard Certification for Children & Schools. The desktops operate on Intel vPro technology and run quieter while producing less heat. The M58p comes in three form factors. Hardware Password Manager, a solution for these models that allows for the oversight of passwords, is scheduled for release in April. The desktops start at $499 for the M58 and $899 for the M58p. Learn more at www.lenovo.com.
Three lightweight projectors from ViewSonic offer varying levels of brightness (from 2300 to 3200 lumens) to display vibrant colors and sharp-looking images in any setting. Designed for use on a tabletop or for ceiling mounting, the PJD6220 (shown above), at $1,199), PJD6230 ($1,359), and PJD6240 ($1,659) contain DLP (digital light processing) projection technology and have closed-captioning. A built-in RJ-45 jack allows for IT personnel to remotely manage the projectors. All projectors have a 1024x768 native resolution and 2000:1 contrast ratio, built-in 2x5-watt speakers, a number of output options, and closed-captioning.
Also new, the PJ359w projector ($1,299) is specifically compatible with widescreen format laptops and imaging applications. It has 2000 lumens and a 1280x800 WXGA resolution and weighs just under 4 pounds. The short-throw lens enables large images to be projected from short distances; a screen size of 50 inches is possible from just under 5.2 feet. A built-in automatic vertical keystone correction ensures that images are well proportioned, while an HDMI 1.3 high-definition signal makes sure certain images are at their best. Learn more at www.viewsonic.com/projectors.
The Plustek OpticPro A360 Scanner ($1,199) has been created to make the process of large format scanning smoother. The device has seven one-touch scan buttons to easily automate common scanner functions, such as optical character recognition, copy, fax, and e-mail, and it boasts high-speed scanning capabilities. This USB 2.0 scanner comes with a suite of image processing and document management software, including I.R.I.S. Readris 10 Pro Corporation Edition, for tasks such as quicker PDF conversion, highly accurate OCR scanning, and sharing files over a network. Visit www.plustek.com.
ResponseWare Web, a web-based polling system by Turning Technologies, lets participants submit answers electronically by using the browsers on common mobile devices such as Apple’s iPhone and Blackberry smartphones, laptops, and desktop computers. To present polling results, responses can be formatted into interactive polling slides that can be screened through an LCD projector. There are a number of response setups to choose from: single or multiple answers, fill-in-the-blanks, and essay questions. Question and answer choices can also be displayed on devices while polling. Designed for use with TurningPoint (another Turning Technologies application), educational pricing for ResponseWare Web is by subscription, with $19.49 for 12 months, $35 for 24 months, and $40 for 48 months. Learn more at www.turningtechnologies.com.