Recordex Simplicity Touch vs. BenQ Board RP Series

  • BenQ
  • 2021-07-20
BenQ and Recordex were two of the first interactive classroom displays sold in North America. How do you determine which of their latest models is best for your classroom?

BenQ and Recordex are two of the early brands that were focused on helping schools transition from interactive whiteboards to interactive displays that don’t require a PC.  The latest 4th generation Recordex model is now on the market – so how does it compare to BenQ’s RP series board for classroom use?

Here are the key elements to compare:

  • Display Brightness and Contrast
  • Touch & Whiteboard Functionality
  • Classroom and Lesson Recording Features
  • Health and Safety Features for students and teachers
  • Device Management Systems
  • Teacher log in and cloud drive access

Display Brightness and Contrast

Just like projectors, interactive displays come with different brightness levels.  Brighter displays with high contrast ratios are easier for students to read – especially from the back of the room.   The BenQ RP display is 22% brighter than the equivalent size of the SimplicityTouch and has a contrast ratio that is ideal for better visibility when students are sitting farther from the display for social distancing. 

Specification

BenQ Board RP02 – 75”

SimplicityTouch Gen 4- 75”

Specification

Brightness

BenQ Board RP02 – 75”

450 nits

SimplicityTouch Gen 4- 75”

350 nits

Specification

Dynamic Contrast

BenQ Board RP02 – 75”

40,000:1

SimplicityTouch Gen 4- 75”

1200:1

Specification

Expected Life

BenQ Board RP02 – 75”

50,000 hours

SimplicityTouch Gen 4- 75”

Not specified

Touch & Whiteboard Functionality

Each display has an Android computer with whiteboarding software with common features such as the ability to annotate on an MS Office file or other programs.   So what are the biggest differences?

Touch Sensor Technology & No. of Touch Points

To better simulate the experience of using a real marker, the best classroom displays from BenQ and Promethean interactive displays use advanced IR touch systems that enable a near-instant response and a smoother, more intuitive writing experience.  The BenQ Fine IR system uses a system that is optically bonded to the glass and can recognize 20 points of touch.  The Recordex display uses a standard IR system similar to BenQ’s less expensive RE model but only recognizes 10 points of touch. 

Whiteboard Object Recognition

Both the BenQ and Recordex displays recognize writing input from either a pen or a finger.   The BenQ goes one step farther with palm eraser recognition – enabling a teacher or student to erase anything on the board by using their hand as an eraser.  

The BenQ RP also has a special “Paintbrush” mode that will recognize the width of a real paintbrush (from tiny to very wide) being used on the screen – enabling the panel to be used for calligraphy or writing variable-width non-Latin characters such as Kanji or Hebrew. This kind of flexibility is essential to communicating thoughts and ideas that a pen alone simply cannot.  

Paintbrush Mode

In-Person vs Cloud Whiteboarding

Five years ago, both Recordex and BenQ interactive displays were originally designed for in-person learning.  But now cloud-based whiteboarding is critical to student performance to handle the challenges around remote and hybrid learning.  

BenQ developed the world’s first dynamic cloud whiteboarding system in a classroom display. With the teacher in the classroom, students can interact with the board in real-time via their device at home, making it easy for remote tutoring or coaching.  For example, the teacher can send a link or a QR code and broadcast directly from the board to a student's Chromebook or iPad logged into their home network.  The teacher can also allow the student to interact directly on the board with the device with a single tap on the whiteboard – say to allow the student to solve the math problem on the board.   Since the system is network and software agnostic, it enables unprecedented flexibility to both teachers and students that complement other classroom systems such as Zoom or Teams.  Powerful cloud whiteboarding features like this are why BenQ’s RP series is the world’s most awarded education touch display.  There are no additional licensing fees for this software for the life of the display.

The Recordex SimplyTouch does not offer any cloud whiteboarding software.

Whiteboard Functionality

BenQ Board RP02

SimplicityTouch

Whiteboard Functionality

Touch Sensor

BenQ Board RP02

Fine IR -Zero Bond Optical Touch Sensor

SimplicityTouch

Standard IR

Whiteboard Functionality

# of TouchPoints

BenQ Board RP02

20

SimplicityTouch

10

Whiteboard Functionality

Shape Recognition

BenQ Board RP02

Palm Eraser

Paintbrush width recognition for calligraphy / non-Latin Characters

SimplicityTouch

None

Whiteboard Functionality

Cloud Whiteboarding

BenQ Board RP02

Included at no cost

SimplicityTouch

None

Classroom and Lesson Recording Functionality

Research at the University of Albany showed that students who have used to recorded lessons in learning do substantially better than those who don’t.  So what should you look for to ensure your teachers can easily store and share their lessons?

How easy is it to record the lesson from the BenQ and Recordex displays?

EZ-Write Floating Tool

A two finger tap on the screen enables BenQ's Floating Tool to instantly start recording

The BenQ RP interactive display enables instant recording directly on the board from any application with a single two-finger tap.  This intuitive user interface enables a teacher to record any lesson – without having to open another application.  Just tap the screen and hit record – that simple.  These lessons can be recorded on the display storage – or on a cloud/network drive using Tap ‘N Teach connected technology.

The Recordex Simply Touch doesn’t have screen recording as part of the display but uses a third-party program, Screencast-O-Matic, that runs on a teacher's computer, This software may require a subscription for a premium version with more advanced features. 

Array Microphone and Speakers

Teachers have known the most effective lessons combine both visual and audio information. So how well do the BenQ RP and Recordex interactive displays capture the teacher’s voice?

The BenQ RP series display comes with an 8-microphone array built-in capable of recording the teacher’s voice from 15 feet away. This system has advanced sound recognition software similar to a smartphone that cancels out background noise and “follows” the teacher as they move around the room.  

The Recordex Simply Touch Gen4 does not come with any microphone.  This means a school will need to make an additional investment in audio capture technology for hybrid learning such as this array microphone from Nueva, which enables the microphone to be moved with the display.  

Classroom and Lesson Recording

BenQ Board RP02 – 75”

SimplicityTouch Gen4

Classroom and Lesson Recording

Recording method

BenQ Board RP02 – 75”

Simple Two Finger Tap from any application

SimplicityTouch Gen4

Third-Party app run on a separate computer

Classroom and Lesson Recording

Integrated Microphone

BenQ Board RP02 – 75”

8 microphone array built-in

SimplicityTouch Gen4

None

Classroom and Lesson Recording

Speakers

BenQ Board RP02 – 75”

32 Watt Soundbar

15 Watt Subwoofer

SimplicityTouch Gen4

30 Watt Soundbar

15 Watt Subwoofer

Teacher & Student Safety Features

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic created a new paradigm for schools and elevated the need for student and teacher safety.   BenQ has been integrating key safety features into their displays since 2017, and the latest models from BenQ RP Series and Recordex have a variety of important safety features on each display. 

Tempered Glass with Anti-Glare coating

Both the Recordex and BenQ’s displays feature anti-glare heat-tempered hardened glass that is designed to shatter into small pieces if broken to reduce the hazard of a student suffering a deep cut on exposed glass.   

To keep the panel from breaking, manufacturers can purchase harder glass that is more difficult to break.  BenQ has a 9 out of 10 hardness rating, while the Recordex has a 7 out of 10 hardness rating.  

Anti-Microbial Coatings

Antimicrobial coatings are used in surgical lighting and other sensitive areas to keep germs from growing on the display.  This feature has been available from BenQ since 2018 and is also available on other brands of interactive displays.  These anti-microbial coatings must be carefully applied and baked onto the glass. The BenQ RP series has been certified by Europe’s TUV against the five most common types of bacteria, including e. Coli, Salmonella, and pneumonia.  The BenQ display is also certified as classroom safe and toxin-free under Japan’s SIAA standard tests for potential risks such as long-term touch and oral toxicity.

Other classroom displays such as the Newline RS+ have a lower level of antimicrobial coating (with fewer certifications), but the Recordex SimplyTouch Gen4 does not offer any antimicrobial protective coatings on the glass.

Blue Light Protection

Most monitors and smartphones have the technology to reduce blue light exposure.  The sensor on the BenQ’s display senses when a teacher or student approaches the display – will adjust the blue light automatically, minimizing the risk to students and teacher from excessive blue light exposure.  This technology is certified by TUV.

The Recordex does not have any blue light reduction technology certifications.

LED-Flicker

A unique feature of both the BenQ interactive displays is the use of flicker-free screen lighting makes long-term use of the board much easier on one’s eyes. Unlike other classroom displays with traditional incandescent or fluorescent backlights, LED-powered displays can have a nearly invisible flicker that can be harmful to the eyes. This was originally a problem with LED-powered gaming monitors, and so BenQ invented a flicker-free backlight that provides great color and brightness – without the harmful flicker. The BenQ display also has been tested and certified by TUV for flicker-free performance. 

The Recordex does not have any flicker-free technology certifications.

Classroom Air Quality

Recent studies have even demonstrated that higher levels of CO2 in a room cause people to become drowsy and pay less attention.  Companies such as 3M have been working hard to improve the quality of the air in classrooms using advanced filters to clean the classroom air.

The BenQ RP interactive display will monitor temperature, humidity, and CO2 via a sensor that alerts the teacher it’s time to open a window or take other action. BenQ even takes this approach a step further, and will also alert the teacher if levels of dust and particulate matter in the room are dangerously high. 

Teacher and Student Safety Features

BenQ Board RP02

SimplicityTouch

Teacher and Student Safety Features

Tempered Glass Hardness Level (MOHS)

BenQ Board RP02

9

SimplicityTouch

7

Teacher and Student Safety Features

Antimicrobial Glass Germ Certifications

BenQ Board RP02

TUV Certifications (5)

SIAA Toxin Free

SimplicityTouch

No Antimicrobial glass available

Teacher and Student Safety Features

Blue Light Protection

BenQ Board RP02

Yes

TUV Certified

SimplicityTouch

No

Teacher and Student Safety Features

Flicker-Free Backlight

BenQ Board RP02

Yes

TUV Certified

SimplicityTouch

No

Teacher and Student Safety Features

Temperature / Humidity

BenQ Board RP02

Yes

SimplicityTouch

No

Teacher and Student Safety Features

Air Quality Monitor

BenQ Board RP02

CO2

Dust / Particulate (2 sizes)

SimplicityTouch

No

Device Management Systems

Managing a large number of classroom interactive displays requires an effective remote management software system or Device Management Systems (DMS).  Only BenQ includes a comprehensive device management system that permits admins to push settings, updates, apps, and campus-wide text messages to any or all boards in their network.  

The BenQ DMS can broadcast graphics as well as video streams to the display – perfect for morning announcements.  In addition, for schools that have both projectors and interactive displays, the BenQ DMS will enable scheduling and control of nearly any projector in addition to the displays – making it easier for IT to manage their facilities.   There are also no subscription fees with any BenQ display.

Device Management System

BenQ  DMS & X-Sign

Recordex SimplicityTouch

Device Management System

Interactive Display Control & Monitoring

BenQ  DMS & X-Sign

Yes

Recordex SimplicityTouch

No

Device Management System

Remote App Management

BenQ  DMS & X-Sign

Yes

Recordex SimplicityTouch

No

Device Management System

Multimedia Message Broadcast

BenQ  DMS & X-Sign

Yes

Recordex SimplicityTouch

No

Device Management System

Task Scheduling

BenQ  DMS & X-Sign

Yes

Recordex SimplicityTouch

No

Device Management System

Display Analytics

BenQ  DMS & X-Sign

Yes

Recordex SimplicityTouch

No

Device Management System

Projector Support

BenQ  DMS & X-Sign

Yes – including Epson, NEC, and Maxell projectors

Recordex SimplicityTouch

No

Device Management System

License timeframe

BenQ  DMS & X-Sign

Lifetime of Display

Recordex SimplicityTouch

N/A

Teacher Log in and Cloud Access

Easy for Teacher’s and IT Managers to use and maintain

Both the BenQ RP is designed to make it easy for teachers to securely log into the display and access network and cloud files directly from the display.  While the Recordex has a traditional setup that allows anyone to access the settings once the panel is turned on – the BenQ is designed to protect the display from being modified (such as changing a network or language) by bad actors – while keeping the login process fast and simple.

Here’s how it works:

The IT manager creates a teacher account in BenQ’s Account Management System software database by linking it to their Active Directory infrastructure.   This enables the teacher to personalize their display – but restrict other settings – such as changing the network or installing age-inappropriate apps on the panel such as FaceBook being on a first-grade teachers' board.

The best part about Tap N’ Teach is how easy and fast it is for a teacher to use.   Using the same secure technology used for Apple Pay– a teacher simply tap’s the panel with their card or badge – and in a few seconds, the display is personalized for that teacher, complete with background, apps, and network connection so the Google, Microsoft OneNote, and school network drives are automatically connected.  When they are finished – they tap the display again and the display returns to its generic state.  Any teacher can use any panel at any time with full access to their lessons – without a PC.

Teacher Login and Cloud Access

BenQ  Tap ‘N Teach

Recordex SimplyTouch

Teacher Login and Cloud Access

Access Google Drive from the panel

BenQ  Tap ‘N Teach

Yes

Recordex SimplyTouch

Yes

Teacher Login and Cloud Access

NFC Card Secure Login

BenQ  Tap ‘N Teach

Yes

Recordex SimplyTouch

No

Teacher Login and Cloud Access

QR Code Secure Login

BenQ  Tap ‘N Teach

Yes

Recordex SimplyTouch

No

Teacher Login and Cloud Access

Active Directory support for Account Management

BenQ  Tap ‘N Teach

Yes

Recordex SimplyTouch

No

So which interactive board is better for me – BenQ RP or Recordex SimplyTouch Gen 4?

While both models share similar features such as 4K resolution, whiteboarding, and annotation software, the BenQ starts with offering advanced wireless screen mirroring, and centralized management software as built-in basic feature advantages common on other classroom displays that are not offered with the latest Recordex model. 

It’s important to do research and consult important stakeholders before deciding which board your school district should adopt. But there are some major advantages that BenQ brings to the table that can make a difference to a school that might want more flexibility in its curriculum. When deciding on your chosen solution, consider the following differences:

  • The BenQ display has advanced IR sensors that are optically bonded to the glass and has advanced object recognition that allows the use of a palm for an eraser as well as a generic paintbrush to apply a variable-width stroke for drawing calligraphy or Kanji characters.   
  • The BenQ display has an integrated cloud whiteboarding software ecosystem that works without any subscriptions or requiring a PC connection
  • The BenQ has more advanced classroom safety features, including anti-microbial glass, certified blue light filters, and a flicker-free screen that helps protect the user’s vision.
  • BenQ’s Tap ‘N Teach NFC technology enables instant, wireless, secure teacher login – and even integrates with Active Directory. With a single tap, a teacher can transform any board on campus into a personalized interactive board in under 10 seconds.
  • BenQ Device management software allows school IT admins to manage BenQ displays, projectors, and even equipment from displays from legacy brands including Epson, NEC, Hitachi, and Casio – without requiring a subscription
  • BenQ panels are designed and tested to run a wide variety of classroom education curriculum including SMART Notebook, ActiveInspire, Google Classroom, Microsoft Whiteboard, and dozens of other curriculum software platforms to enable curriculum directors flexibility to use the software they want to increase student performance.
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