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Peer Review-Hitachi T-17SXL

Peer Reviewer: Trish Drevelus, technology teacher and curriculum coordinator for technology integration and career planning, Union County Vocational Schools, Union County Magnet High School, Scotch Plains, NJ. Union County Magnet High School is a magnet school on the county vo-tech campus, specializing in engineering and architecture with a strong emphasis in mathematics and science.

My Pick: Hitachi Starboard T-17SXL interactive LCD display system, $2,195 MSRP

What I Like About It: The best thing about the Hitachi Starboard T-17SXL system is its ease of use. I use it everyday in my classroom. The ability to have the software I'm demonstrating enlarged on a central screen is so much better than having the students looking at a small monitor. And with the ability to do our “chalk talks” right on the software, my overhead projector has become obsolete. Being able to save and post the chalk talks for students who were gone, or as a reference as to how far we got into the lesson is great, too. The stopwatch tool is the coolest. When giving a timed exam, the students can see exactly how much time is left at a glance.

I Would Change: It would be nice if the system had longer cables. I use the unit as my monitor at my desk, and use the portable tablet for lecturing. Because both applications are on opposite sides of my desk, I always have to turn the unit around to work in the other direction. But the cables will only allow a very controlled turn, so it's cumbersome.

I also find that I'm always putting the stylus down, but never in the provided holder. Adding a way to attach the stylus to the unit might be more helpful.

Where I Used It: The system is at my desk/lectern in my classroom at Union County Magnet High School in Scotch Plains, NJ.

My Results: Because I teach architecture to senior-level students, having the ability to display the software that we're using on a large screen is immensely valuable for my students. And using the stylus to interact with the software is often easier than using the mouse.

In one lesson, my class was discussing different styles of architecture. I had a series of pictures in a presentation, and as we went through each slide, I'd give the stylus to different students and they could come up and point out the specific architectural detail on the screen by drawing or stamping the feature with the stylus.

Typically when giving a timed exam, an instructor also has to pay careful attention to the time and constantly update the “time left” message on the board. I've used the T-17SXL's stopwatch tool to do the message updating for me. Setting the amount of time for that portion of the exam can be done by simply clicking on the hands of the analog timer or just typing in the time on the digital timer.

Having both digital and analog readout is nice, too. The students can see at a quick glance exactly how much time they have left, and I don't have to remember to update the message on the board.

MANUFACTURER SPECIFICATIONS

Display Driver Type: Active-matrix LCD (TFT)

Effective Screen Size: 17 inches diagonal; 4:3 aspect ratio

Resolution: SXGA (1280x1024)

Pixel Pitch: 0.264 x 0.264 mm

Standard Colors: 16.7 million colors

Brightness: 260 cd/m2

Contrast Ratio: 450:1

Viewing Angles: Right 70 degrees, left 70 degrees, up 70 degrees, down 70 degrees

Inputs: VGA D-sub 15-pin (analog RGB), stereo mini-jack (stereo audio)

Output: VGA D-sub 15-pin (analog RGB)

Speaker Output: Stereo (1 W + 1 W built-in amplifier)

Dimensions (WxHxD): 15.5 x 15 x 2.2 inches (without stand)

Weight: 15.4 pounds

Specification Requirements

CPU: Pentium2, 300 MHz or higher

Memory: 128 MB or higher

Hard Disk: 100 MB or more available space

USB Port: At least one

Operating System: Windows Me/2000/XP, NT4

Peer Reviewer: Trish Drevelus, technology teacher and curriculum coordinator for technology integration and career planning, Union County Vocational Schools, Union County Magnet High School, Scotch Plains, NJ. Union County Magnet High School is a magnet school on the county vo-tech campus, specializing in engineering and architecture with a strong emphasis in mathematics and science.



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