We wanted to see how the IS-01 Interactive Whiteboard System from IPEVO stacked up against traditional markers for chalkboards and whiteboards. From visibility to clean-up, what are the pros and cons of using one versus the other? Let’s take a look at a comparison test between the IS-01 and the liquid board markers found in many classrooms.
As any teacher will tell you, using different colors at the board really gives you a boost because you can emphasize and clarify material faster and easier. Naturally, there are many different-colored markers out there, but realistically, most classrooms might have two or three different colors at any one time. Through the free companion app to IS-01, IPEVO Annotator, you can draw with thirty-six different selectable colors.
Colors are vivid and bright in Annotator, so you’re not really suffering a downgrade in that department by going digital. It may take a small amount of time to get good with the IS-01's Interactive Pen, but after that, your handwriting or drawing won’t really be hindered versus a marker. This is a tie.
Like color, line thickness helps differentiate material. This is one area where IS-01 shines. Annotator features 11 selectable line thicknesses with a draggable slider. Many traditional markers have a triangular tip so you can draw with 2 different thicknesses, but that’s about it. IS-01 gets the nod here.
Today’s markers don’t have the strong odor or potential environmental impact of yesteryear’s, but they do still leave some residue. And as teachers know, marks left on the board too long leave an imprint that will need a more thorough cleaning than what the everyday eraser can do. With IS-01's digital drawing, you don’t have any of those concerns. And don’t forget, IS-01 never has the chance to stain a shirt or pants!
Markers wipe away quickly and easily so you can start right in with new material. With IS-01, it’s equally as easy. One click on the trashcan icon in Annotator will erase all marks, or you can selectively erase marks with the eraser tool. You also have an Undo function to go back a step.
Markers have a limited shelf life and will run out of ink eventually. Markers with attached caps will slowly dry out over time, and markers accidentally left uncapped will dry out that much faster. Even markers with replenish kits will eventually suffer from worn-out tips. None of that really applies with IS-01. The rare battery replacement for the Interactive Pen is all you need to keep the drawing going.
Permanence and Saving Your Work
The same quality that gives markers an advantage — easy to wipe away and start over — leads to a distinct advantage for IS-01. Through Annotator, you can create and save “boards” at any stage of your drawing/presentation. These boards are saved to the hard drive and can be viewed later. You can also do full screen or selective screen captures. With markers, your only option is to take a picture of the board before you wipe the marks away. It works, but it’s not nearly as elegant as saving right to hard drive.
As we’ve mentioned, liquid markers dry up and have to be replaced. The average marker set costs $14, and if you go through 10 sets a year, that’s $140, or about the cost of the IS-01 at $149. Considering that IS-01 is a one-time purchase that doesn’t need replacing, the IS-01 will pay for itself after Year 2 and continue saving you money beyond that.
The IS-01 Interactive Whiteboard System holds its own against traditional chalkboard and whiteboard markers in terms of visibility and ease of use, and it brings a few new advantages to the table that markers can’t quite match. Educators and businesspeople might just be “drawn” to the IS-01 for these reasons — pun definitely intended.