Interactive Whiteboards vs. Interactive ProjectorsComparing Collaboration Solutions

What interactive collaboration solution is best?

From the classroom to the boardroom, Interactive whiteboard (IWB) systems have long been considered the standard for collaborative working environments. However, the cost-effectiveness and flexibility of interactive projectors are making them a popular alternative to the traditional interactive whiteboard, offering added value.

Comparing Interactive Whiteboards & Interactive Projectors

comparing interactive whiteboards and interactive projectors

Interactive whiteboards and interactive projectors provide similar functionality. They both use a digital projector to display an image and both allow users to interact via fingertip or through the use of a stylus pen. However, interactive whiteboards additionally require the use of a fixed-size touch-enabled board. Interactive projectors contain all of the technology needed to display and interact in one piece of hardware.

cost savings
Cost Savings

The cost savings offered by interactive projectors is due to the following:

  • Fewer required components
  • Flexibility in sizing the projected image to fit the space available and larger display sizes are possible with no increase in cost. This is quite different than with interactive whiteboards where a larger size almost always means a higher price.
  • Ability to display on virtually any flat light-colored surface or table.

Interactive projectors offer increased flexibility over interactive
whiteboards in a several areas:

  • Interactive projectors can display images anywhere between 60" and 100" with no added cost
  • You have the ability to choose different display sizes based on the amount of available real estate.
  • This helps IT/IS departments standardize for easier asset management
Computers Optional, Not Required

Interactive whiteboards & interactive projectors are typically attached to a Windows or Macintosh computer, but it's not necessary for many interactive projector models.

  • Most IWB systems require a dedicated computer and special software installed.
  • Some interactive projectors offer computer-free features like digital whiteboarding and sharing notes – all without a computer. These models are good for rooms with high turn-over.
  • Look for the ability to easily connect interactive projectors to document cameras, Blu-ray players, mobile devices, smartphones and tablets such as iPad®, iPhone®, iPod-touch and Android devices.
Software Cross Compatibility

Interactive whiteboards are usually only compatible with the brand's own curriculum software, and with interactive projectors many can work with multiple brands.

  • Look for software packages that are also compatible with interactive projectors.
  • Especially important for education, this protects a school's investment in professional development and allows schools to continue using familiar software titles and files.
Features Ultra-short Throw Interactive Projector* 87" Interactive Whiteboard System**
Average Price $1,500 - $1,800 $3,500
Image size Variable up to 100"D Fixed Size, 87"D
Projection surface Plain walls, tables, dry erase boards Dedicated Board
Compatible with standard dry erase boards Yes No
Operating System
Windows, Mac, PC-free Windows, Mac
Interactive Input Finger or stylus Finger or stylus
# of users Multiple, up to 8 Single, or multiple-user for extra cost
PC-free Interactivity Yes No
Compatibility with all the top educational software packages Yes No, only with the system's brand

* Includes Ultra-short throw interactive projector and wall mount
** Includes interactive whiteboard, Ultra-short throw projector (non-interactive) and wall mount.

Interactive Solutions for Education & Business

Select your market below to learn more and find the right Epson BrightLink model for you.