Promethean has become something of a household name for interactive displays in schools over the last couple of years. Their ActivPanel product line combines connectivity with ease of use to suit virtually any classroom and learning environment.
The model we are reviewing today, the AP7-B70-EU-1, is also known as the ActivPanel Titanium. It’s Promethean’s range-topping interactive display, sitting above the ActivPanel Cobalt and entry-level ActivPanel Nickel. It has more features and greater computing power than either of these two models.
If you ever happened to use an older interactive display in the past, you’ll probably know the issues that tended to plague them such as slow load times and unresponsive behaviour. Some of the early interactive displays (although it should be said, not Promethean’s) would freeze up with no trigger to reboot, leaving a teacher in limbo.
The newest panels are nothing like this. They are as smooth as an iPad and as fast as a top-of-the-range computer. And the AP7-B70-EU-1 is best-in-breed.
A glorious panel
The Promethean AP7-B70-EU-1’s 70” TFT LCD display is one of the best we’ve ever seen on any device, from televisions to tablets and interactive displays.
It’s a 16:9 screen with a 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz) resolution and 350 cd/m2 brightness. It’s sharp and colourful with a glass screen which has an anti-glare coating to cut out glare and make the display usable anyplace, anytime.
Included with the display are four interactive pens which use Vellum Writing Technology, which is the industry standard at this time. The scan rate is 200 Hz and the tracking accuracy is 1mm, making for a responsive experience. Importantly, the pens don’t need a battery, so you don’t have to worry about keeping them charged.
Whiteboard, Annotate, Timer, Spinner, Screen Capture, ActivCast, Screen Share, Browser, PDF Reader and Media Players come preinstalled as classroom essential apps so you can get started using the display right away.
The AP7-B70-EU-1 has support for 20 simultaneous touch points, allowing teachers and students to collaborate on the display using their pen. There’s also multi-device mirroring, allowing the teacher to connect one or more devices with the display and show these side-by-side for student collaboration and participation.
The AP7-B70-EU-1 runs Android Oreo out of the box — or at least, a heavily customised version of it. It’s far from Vanilla but that’s a good thing, since Oreo wouldn’t work on a screen this big if it were completely stock.
The user interface is relatively simple. You have a desktop with your apps and from here you run different apps and tools, just like a computer. There are also physical buttons on the monitor which give you quick access to the Unified menu, volume controls, source selection and the screen settings (colour mode, brightness, etc).
The user experience is teacher friendly at the source (at the display) but there’s also a remote control which you can use to navigate the display. Whichever you use, you’ll find the Promethean AP7-B70-EU-1 is a fast and capable display, thanks to its quad-core ARM Cortex processor and 4GB of RAM.
Storage and connectivity
Most teachers will use a USB stick to port files and lessons over to the display, but the AP7-B70-EU-1 also has 64GB of onboard storage and Bluetooth for file sharing.
There are multiple connectivity options, including x2 rear HDMI ports, x1 front HDMI port, x2 rear USB 2.0 ports, x3 rear USB Touch Type B ports, x1 front USB Touch Type B port, x2 rear USB 3.0 ports, and x2 front USB 3.0 ports. There’s also LAN in, LAN out, RS-232, Wake-on-LAN, Wi-Fi W802.11a/b/g/n/ac, DP in, HDMI out, VGA in, VGA audio in, CVBS, mic, a headphone jack and a proximity sensor for a warm boot.
In other words, the ActivPanel Titanium has all the connectivity options you need to hook up to your existing classroom and school technologies.
With its easy to use operating system, useful apps and beautiful touchscreen, the Promethean AP7-B70-EU-1 ActivPanel Titanium is a dream for the classroom.
It’s teacher and student friendly with thoughtful features like powerful front-facing speakers and the Unified menu which is always accessible.
If you’re looking to upgrade the technology in your classroom to deliver more interactive lessons, the AP7-B70-EU-1 is an excellent choice.