One of the best aspects of my position at Duke is that I have the honor of testing a wide range of AV devices to see how they might fit within our enterprise academic environment, and share that information with my colleagues and the broader AV community. Yes, I get paid to
play with evaluate hardware. The devices we test vary from complex integrated AV systems to inexpensive consumer-grade gadgets, and I approach every product with the core belief that they are all five-star devices… for someone.
The Prijector from Boole is one of the devices that’s been sitting on my test bench for some time. The Prijector ticks so many of the most sought-after AV features, at such a reasonable price ($229), that we had to bring one in for a proper once over. The device provides wireless screen sharing for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. It has a number of built-in apps like Skype, ZOOM Cloud Meetings, GoToMeeting, Cisco Jabber, Google Hangouts and Webex Meeting. Also, additional apps could be downloaded to suit your needs.
Upon opening the box, I started having some doubts as to the quality of the device. The Prijector has an “inexpensive plastic” feel with little weight. The accompanying remote is constructed of a similar plastic and has an interesting pink hue. Never to be one to judge a book by its cover, I forged on.
Overall, I (with an emphasis on “I” [an AV engineer]) was able to get the Prijector to reliably function as a screen sharing device for Windows and Mac (I didn’t have an opportunity to test the Prijector with Linux). Audio seemed to function with acceptable quality, which I can’t say for some $500+ devices. It was interesting to have the ability to run pre-loaded apps and to load new apps from the Android app store. That functionality could be valuable in many environments.
The interface is somewhat cluttered, which is understandable considering the rang of functions it is asked to perform. The Prijector attempt to simplify the user interface by offering three modes, but this just adds to the complexity. To share a Windows computer screen, I needed to download their app (which is more of a Windows thing), but for those users with limited admin rights, that little function can be a show stopper. In the “bad” department, the Prijector has a bit of a “franken-box” feel where it seems to be built upon various acquired technologies, all stitched together with a somewhat inconsistent graphical user interface, more on that later. Routinely, I’d be forced to switch between the remote and the keyboard/mouse, frustrated that the other controller didn’t do what I assumed it would.
Many of the apps either needed a considerable amount of configuration, ran somewhat slow, or wouldn’t launch at all (I was unable to get Skype for Business to launch). Also, because the device is running a tablet version of Android, I was able to get the device in states where a keyboard and mouse were basically required. Sure, the remote is somewhat capable of acting like a mouse, and it’s reasonable to think that the device would have a keyboard attached in a professional environment, but the interface simply wasn’t consistent, drifting from AV system to Android tablet depending upon what I clicked. To add such a device to a mixed classroom or meeting environment would invite a constant barrage of questions and possible issues. Finally, I’m concerned that the underlying OS won’t be updated past a year or two… which makes me worry about the long-term security of the device. I could be wrong.
So, I don’t like it, right? Well, as I said above, I see most devices as five stars. You simply need an ideal environment. If I owned a small business and wanted basic screen sharing, this could work. Also, I could see this working well in a K-12 environment where a single, well-trained person uses the device a majority of the time. But, if you are looking for simple, elegant, and powerful, this probably isn’t the box you are looking for.