PC World Evaluation Team Review

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Reviewed by Ben Ramsden

Head of IT

4.00

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

My first impression of the Sharp Huddle Board is that it is really impressive! This collaborative tool is most efficiently used for whiteboarding and/or video conferencing for small meetings of up to 2-6 people. With the 40” anti-glare screen, this could potentially also work fine in a large room!

From my past experience with meeting collaboration tools, they usually have a challenging user interface which requires specific instructions (which is why our office has laminated instruction sheets in most locations) or training, and a box of HDMI / VGI cables (that often end up being misplaced). The Sharp Huddle Board does away with all of that because these parts are built in, this makes the upkeep of the device so much easier and takes away the hassle of having to request for the IT team’s help in operating it.

I am usually in small meetings on a daily basis. These small meetings are mostly for brainstorming, planning, trouble shooting, and team catch ups. Our company have people spread across multiple sites around Australia and hence, are heavy users of Skype for Business. One of the perks of the Huddle Board is its potential to improve interactivity and communication with remote users. Until you have used a decent collaboration tool you probably won't know what you are missing out on. The SHARP Pen Software is very intuitive to use. I like the ability to quickly change pen colours, and erase mistakes. It is particularly useful that the drawing can overlay an existing document or web page. Gone are the days where you take a picture of a whiteboard with your phone and email it to yourself!

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

The screen resolution and touch sensitivity does not match an iPad with retina quality display, but it is more than adequate for a small meeting group. It is very easy and pleasing to use. It's just like using your normal windows PC except you use your fingers on the screen rather than a mouse. The wireless keyboard is available as a add on when required.

A touch screen laptop/tablet experience is essentially a personal one, for the user alone. A plus side of the Huddle Board is that it turns this into a group collaborative experience. The value of effective group work exceeds the sum of the parts. The need to actually hold a pen and write or draw acts as a natural regulator in teams that are prone to talk over each other. The psychology and anthropology of these use cases are beyond the scope of this review, but I think the Sharp Huddle Board definitely puts business teams on the front foot of a new way of team working.

I would rate this interactive screen a 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this device to someone who regularly conducts small scale meetings and are looking for an immersive collaborative experience.

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