Hello and welcome to this blog post on a SMART Board® 7000 Pro Series Alternative. The product that we are going to put head to head with the Smart Board 7000 Pro is the TouchIT Rapide, from TouchIT Technologies. We’ll look at aspects of the hardware and the software and try to conclude what is the best value for money and what has best functionality in our humble opinion.
Before we get started, if we have any information incorrect here and you are representative from SMART, please do get in touch and we will happily correct any errors that we have. We’re always happy to make sure we have the best and most accurate content for our readers.
What is a SMART Board ® 7000 Pro?
Image Credit – https://www.smarttech.com
From their website, the 7000 Pro series is available in two sizes, a 75″ and an 86″ and it is available with or without the Integrated PC option. It would seem that the functionality of the device is driven from Microsoft Windows 10 and the software that they need to make the screen function has to be running on the PC that is connected to the LED. From first look, it would seem that the The SMART Board ® 7075 Pro is powered by an embedded Windows i5 PC which then runs proprietary software in order to create the interactive experience. It seems like the product is very much designed for the meeting room or boardroom.
According to the Spec Sheet available from their website “The SMART Board ® 7075 Pro display with iQ and SMART Meeting Pro® is the hub of your meeting room. PC-free embedded computing provides one-touch access to collaborative tools, including a whiteboard, wireless screen sharing, and a web browser.
With minimal network integration, there’s no need for wires, cables, or manual software and firmware updates.The 75″ 4K ultra-high-definition LED display provides optimal image clarity and wide viewing angles. With the Pen IDTM feature, you can assign different appearances to the four pens and write or draw over any application in digital ink.”
We think the design looks great by the way and SMART have chosen to keep their physical pens and eraser setup that they have been using since the 1990s with their first SMART Board® interactive whiteboard.
What is the #1 Alternative to a SMART Board ® 7000 Pro in our opinion?
Simple, TouchIT Rapide, by TouchIT Technologies.
The product that we are going to look at as a head-to-head comparison is the TouchIT Rapide. The TouchIT Rapide is the latest offering from TouchIT Technologies and is available in 4 sizes, 65″, 75″ 86″ and 100″. The approach that is taken by TouchIT and SMART Technologies is somewhat different. In the first instance, SMART look to address all your needs from their own software suite which is quite comprehensive in our opinion. However, the approach that TouchIT take to their offering revolves around their software, but also the 1000s of FREE Apps from popular developers that are available in their own App Store.
What TouchIT are promoting is the use of free content and the use of Apps on their embedded Android 8 operating system. Rather than saying that they can do everything you need with their own software, they give you a pretty cool collaboration and casting option with Contribute Cloud, but then offer 3rd party Apps to achieve everything else. Want to use Skype for Business, download the App. Want to use Microsoft Lync, download the App. Gotomeeting, Zoom, Download the App – you get the idea. If you want to use a piece of software from another company, download the App from the TouchIT App Store. If it is not there, request it to be added – its simple.
What is also very different is the approach to cost and price structure. TouchIT is one time purchase and there are no additional costs for the software or any re-occurring fees. It would seem that the software suite from SMART does attract additional purchases after the first year of use and the Meeting Room Pro® software suite is separate purchase too – as detailed in their FAQs on their website.
What can a SMART Board ® 7000 Pro do?
In this section, we are going to look at the features as highlighted by the demo video on the www.smarttech.com website. We will then contrast these features with those of the TouchIT Rapide LED.
The SMART Board ® 7000 Pro allows you to cast 8 devices at once up to the LED. This is possible across multiple Operating Systems which is pretty cool. You are then able to switch between the shared screens directly on the LED. But guess what, you can do the same thing on the TouchIT LED using a browser and Contribute Cloud software. We also allow you to connect an unlimited number of screens to your session so if you want to share and cast 20 members of your team, you can do that with the software.
Built In Whiteboard
Smart have a built in whiteboard but again, the TouchIT Rapide has one of them too. We have ours available from the home screen, quick and easy to access and virtually no learning curve. Then, if you need a more advanced whiteboard, there is one of those which does allow collaboration in Contribute Cloud.
We do like the voice command that the SMART Board ® 7000 Pro series offers and TouchIT does not have a direct comparison of a feature like this. Once does ask the question about how much this would be used in a meeting room through with lots of ambient noise?
The Dynamic objects that the SMART Board ® 7000 Pro series offers in its white boarding software is quite a cool way to do things. TouchIT relies on a single unlimited canvas or separate slides whereas SMART Board ® 7000 Pro series whiteboard does allow you to group your objects dynamically. We like this feature. TouchIT developers, nudge nude, take a look at this we like it!
What do we think the TouchIT Rapide can do that the SMART Board ® 7000 Pro Can’t?
3rd Party App Support
This for us is really the deal breaker on the SMART Board ® 7000 Pro series product. SMART has an excellent software suite but do like to keep you in their own environment. TouchIT Rapide on the other hand is very open to you using 3rd party software and Apps on the Interactive LED. This in turn can achieve one could argue the same functionality offered by its SMART counterpart.
No On Going Costs
TouchIT Rapide does not have any ongoing costs. That cannot be said the SMART Board ® 7000 Pro series where elements of its software suite do come as part of the package for the first year and they then attract a charge. This does add to the total cost of ownership of the product.
What is the Difference in Price? TouchIT Rapide Vs SMART Board ® 7000?
There are two sizes SMART Board ® 7000 Pro series – 75″ and 86″ and of 2 options, with and without Integrated PC. You can Google on the web to find prices for these but I’ve seen them from $7K up to $11K depending on the options. Drop it into google to get the latest costs.
SMART TeamWorks™ This is a separate software purchase too.
SMART Meeting Pro® This is a separate software purchase too.
To give you an idea, the 75″ TouchIT Rapide runs around the $4K mark and the 86″ is under $6K so you are getting a lot of product for that one time, all in cost. The TouchIT Rapide even comes with a wall mount included.
Conclusion – Why you Don’t Need a SMART Board ® 7000 in our opinion.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and in our opinion, you don’t need a SMART Board ® 7000 Pro series. You should buy a TouchIT Rapide instead. What we do like about the SMART Board ® 7000 Pro is the sleekness of the software. However, the features that they are promoting on this model can be achieved by using Apps from 3rd party developers or indeed our own Contribute Cloud and TouchIT Air software at no additional cost. The Dynamic objects and the voice control where something that TouchIT does not offer, but is that really a huge loss?
You do have to be mindful on the ongoing costs here as well as the total cost of ownership as it would seem (its not 100% clear from the marketing materials) that there are ongoing charges for SMART that do not exist for the TouchIT offering.
When looking side by side at the features, the integrated “all in one” nature of the SMART Board ® 7000 Pro does have a certain finesse, but the functionality can definitely be achieved by using the native apps supplied by the companies with whom SMART Board have partnered for integration.
Food for thought. Thanks for reading!
- SMART Board® is a registered trademark of Smart Technologies ULC – https://www.smarttech.com
- SMART Meeting Pro® is a registered trademark of Smart Technologies ULC – https://www.smarttech.com
- SMART TeamWorks™ is a trademark of Smart Technologies ULC – https://www.smarttech.com
The opinions offered in their article are that of the author and not necessarily shared by TouchIT Technologies Holdings Inc. If any of the material in this article is not correct we are more than happy to amend anything we have incorrect within 24 hours of notification. There is no deliberate misrepresentation of any facts.