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Sharp NEC AQUOS BOARD vs. BenQ Board Interactive display for your classroom

The latest models of interactive displays from Sharp NEC and BenQ are now on the market.  What are the key differences, and which one is right for you?

Interactive displays have become the most promising technology development to improve performance in hybrid working and learning environments. Both the Sharp NEC AQUOS PN-L2B board and the different models of the BenQ Board were recently updated with new features for 2022, so how do these two systems compare?  Here are the key elements we will look at for a fair and honest comparison between these two popular models:

  • Whiteboard Functionality 

  • Screen Recording 

  • Microphone & Audio Support 

  • Health and Safety Features 

  • Profile Management Software

  • Wireless Screen Mirroring

Whiteboard Functionality

Both systems have integrated in-person whiteboard software and advanced zero bond touch screen sensors similar to Promethean “Vellum” that quickly recognize a finger or pen and deliver a smooth writing experience.  Here are the key differences between the two:

BenQ EZ-Write – Advanced Remote and In-Person Whiteboard Software 

As organizations transition into hybrid teaching environments, interactive displays can use remote whiteboarding and remote learning tools to boost student performance.  Microsoft Whiteboard was one of the first programs to offer remote users the ability to share a whiteboard online.

BenQ is widely recognized for having developed the world’s first dynamic remote whiteboarding system in a touch panel. With a simple tap – a remote team member can interact with the board in real time from home or a remote location. All BenQ Boards come standard with license-free integrated cloud whiteboarding and are one reason BenQ’s Boards are the world’s most awarded education touch display.  The sessions can be saved as a PDF – or shared via the industry standard “IWB” file format that can be used on nearly any brand of interactive whiteboard. 

Sharp Pen Whiteboard Software

The Sharp NEC AQUOS board comes with basic whiteboarding software but does not have integrated remote whiteboarding functions where team members can work together simultaneously on the board.  The files can be saved only in PDF, graphic picture format (JPG, BMP), or a proprietary data mode for sharing. 

Screen Recording Functionality

One of the biggest advantages of better interactive displays is the ability to record ideation whiteboard sessions for review – or those who missed the meeting.   So how does the Sharp NEC AQUOS compare to the BenQ Board interactive displays? 

The BenQ ideation recording system is simple and integrated into all models.  A simple two-finger touch brings up the menu – and with a single tap, you can start recording.  For the BenQ RM and RP series, the system can use the internal array beamforming microphone (see below) to capture the audio.  These recordings can be shared via email or cloud drive services such as DropBox or OneDrive

There is no integrated recording capability with the Sharp NEC AQUOS PN-L2B board.

Microphone & Audio Support

To use an interactive display for a Zoom or Teams meeting, you need a microphone and speaker to enable everyone to hear each other. So how do the microphone solutions of these interactive displays stack up?  

The BenQ RP and RM series displays have a built-in beamforming microphone array audio recording system.  This system has advanced voice processing software that runs on the display, will filter out background noise, and can effectively record the speaker from up to 15 feet away from the display.  This is ideal for organizations looking for flexibility since the board can be moved anywhere – without compromising the functionality of the microphone array.   

All BenQ Board models also come with an integrated soundbar ranging from a 30-watt stereo soundbar on the entry-level RE Series to the rich Dolby Digital Plus sound that uses stereo speakers with a subwoofer for the clear rendering of any audio content.

The Sharp NEC AQUOS PN-L2B board does not come with any built-in microphone or speakers.  Instead, the company sells an add-on AV Soundbar with an integrated microphone and stereo speakers at an additional cost of around $1200.  

Health & Safety Features

After Covid-19, organizations are looking for new technology for a safer collaboration space.  So how does the Sharp NEC AQUOS PN-L2B board compare to the BenQ Board on key safety features to your employees?

Glass Hardness and Anti-Glare Coatings

The BenQ Board features 9H hardened glass to protect the display from breakage from blunt force objects – such as an elbow - and other office mishaps.   The Sharp NEC AQUOS PN-L2B board does not specify any glass hardness level in their specifications. Both displays are treated to reduce glare. 

Anti-Microbial Coatings 

All BenQ Boards are treated with a special process normally reserved for medical devices such as surgical lighting,  where each panel is coated with a silver ion anti-microbial coating, which then is baked onto the glass. This coating is certified by Europe’s TUV and Japan’s SIAA as effective against multiple types of bacteria, including e. Coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus. This feature is standard on all BenQ Board interactive displays and is not available on the Sharp NEC AQUOS board.

Eye Protection

As display screens have evolved, so too has our understanding of their long-term effects on our eyesight. Multiple studies have confirmed that chronic exposure to excessive blue light and screen flicker can harm our eyes. This is why your iPhone has a feature called “night shift,” which protects your eyes from excessive blue light. Let’s look closely at how each display addresses eye safety. 

Blue Light Protection 

Only the BenQ classroom interactive displays come with TUV-certified built-in low blue light filtering.   For example, the BenQ RP panel has a sensor that automatically activates the low blue light mode if a student or teacher approaches the panel.  The Sharp NEC AQUOS PN-L2B board does not have low blue light TUV certification or a mechanism to reduce the amount of blue light exposure for employees.

LED-Flicker

Another concern is that LED-powered displays can have a nearly invisible flicker that can be harmful to the eyes. Every BenQ Board has a premium backlight that has been certified by TUV as a flicker-free display.  The Sharp NEC AQUOS PN-L2B board does not have any flicker-free certification.

Room Air Quality Monitoring 

Recent studies have even demonstrated that higher levels of CO2 in a room cause people to become drowsy and pay less attention. 

The BenQ Board RP display is the world’s only classroom display that monitors the classroom air for unhealthy levels of CO2 dust and other air pollution.   This data, including temperature and humidity, can be displayed on the screen and centrally monitored by IT or facilities using BenQ’s DMS software (later in the article).  The Sharp NEC AQUOS PN-L2B board does not offer any integrated air monitoring systems.

Profile Management Software

Only BenQ Boards offer team members the ability to log in to their personal profiles on any connected display. This profile and settings are stored in the cloud, meaning a team can log in to their personal “board space” and connect to their One Drive, Google Drive, DropBox, and other systems.  The BenQ system has two unique ways that enable teachers to securely access and personalize any BenQ board attached to the district network without touching the board.  

BenQ Exclusive - Tap with your badge or NFC card

The BenQ RP series interactive displays enable a teacher to log in instantly to the BenQ board with a simple tap of an NFC card or their badge with a programmed NFC sticker.  With this card, any team member can access any board on campus – bringing up their personalized screen, cloud-connected drives, and app permissions.  This means that you don’t have to worry about having “your” display to have access to your presentations or working files.   

BenQ Tap with a QR code on your phone

All the BenQ Boards display a secure QR code that enables an employee to scan the code on the display itself – and type in their password on their phone.   This keeps others from trying to guess a password when they are typing it in on the screen.   Again, this login will work on any BenQ board on campus – bringing up their personalized screen, cloud-connected drives, and app permissions.  

Clear Touch Setting Protection

The Sharp NEC AQUOS board is not designed for use by more than one person and doesn’t have any profile management systems like similar competitors from NewLine and others.   

So, which interactive board is better for me – BenQ or Clear Touch?

While both the BenQ boards and Clear Touch 6000K+ interactive display share many similarities, such as the ability to wirelessly cast to the screen, 4K resolution, integrated soundbar, multiple HDMI ports and USB-C charging capabilities, understanding the key differences between the two will help you decide which brand of interactive touch display will be right for your classroom. 

As the world’s #1 brand of education projectors using DLP technology, BenQ has a well-established history of innovative education products – and reliable support for education customers over the past 15 years.  If your school is considering an interactive touch display and want to try one for the first time, contact us today to set up a demo.

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