A good drywipe board will last for several years. The white surface is usually acrylic with a special coating. The thickness of the board is usually chipboard, which is given an enamel-like surface with resin and plastic. Older boards were made from enamelled steel and some still are. Others are made from glass or enamel.
You might think all drywipe boards and flip boards are equal, but some are definitely superior to others. Cheap boards serve a purpose, but expensive boards tend to last longer and have a better ‘feel’ to them.
If you are looking for a new dry wipe board, here’s what to look for:
You don’t need to think about this too much because all drywipe boards are compatible with erasable markers. You don’t want to use any other type of marker. However, certain surfaces feel different under the hand. Acrylic surfaces can sometimes skip. Most prefer the feel of a vitreous enamel surface or glass.
Some drywipe boards are also magnetic. This allows you to place magnets on the board, perhaps to secure documents to it, or illustrate a point. Although not everyone will use this feature, it’s inconvenient to need it and not to have it. Boards are often made magnetic by way of a steel-coated writing surface or layer.
This is particularly important for free-standing drywipe boards and flip boards. The stand should have a locking mechanism. It is useful for it to stay put if it falls, so no moving parts collapse and trap fingers. Flip boards (the revolving type) will be fixed. A heavy base should always feature here, to prevent tipping.
Flip, or no flip?
Flip boards have the advantage of two blank canvases. This enables you to perhaps keep one side drawn, and another blank. Standard drywipe boards (those that are affixed to the wall) only have one canvas. Which is best for you depends on how you present content to an audience. Flip boards are also on wheels.
Perhaps you don’t need a board at all? You can actually buy rolls of drywipe. You can store these in tubes and transport them around. These are self-adhesive products that can be used to fashion a drywipe board anywhere with space. They don’t last as long as boards, but the fact they can be rolled up is useful.
Some boards also offer the feature of projection. In reality, all whiteboards (and indeed most surfaces) can be projected onto but a projection glass board with a silver background gives a more high-quality image because the surface is matte and absorbs light. This gives a more pleasant viewing experience.
The most expensive surface is written on glass, which commands a premium of around 20% over vitreous enamel. Some people prefer a glass surface for its aesthetic appearance, but in truth, it offers no functional advantage over enamel. You’ll find projection boards command a premium over standard boards too.