Hands on: Westinghouse’s WhiteBoard is an 84-inch Windows 8 LED monitor (and 4K TV)


What would you do with an 84-inch computer monitor with 4K UltraHD resolution?

Westinghouse Digital, a company better known for making high-definition televisions than PCs, is branching out into the interactive whiteboard business with massive PC-TV hybrids that understand touch. Although an LED WhiteBoard makes more sense inside classrooms and boardrooms than your home, the company is open to the idea of offering the device to consumers, as long as they don’t mind ponying up $16,000 for the bragging rights ($15,000 if you don’t need the built-in PC that powers the 4K screen) – and have the space for it.

We got a chance to see this 84-inch WhiteBoard up close, so scroll on down to see what we think.

It’s practically an interactive wall

First of all, you can’t help but notice the LED 4K Monitor’s size: it’s huge and makes you feel tiny when standing next to it – the 38.5-inch InFocus Mondopad has nothing on this beast. Unlike a big-screen HDTV where you’d step as far back as possible to take in all the screen, you need to stand pretty close to this WhiteBoard to use its touchscreen, which makes you feel as if  you’re playing with an interactive wall rather than just a monitor.

To make touch possible on such a large surface, Westinghouse uses its proprietary Infrared Touch rather than the capacitive technology that is in your mobile devices. What this means is the WhiteBoard uses IR cameras hidden along the edge of the screen that track the location and movement of your fingers, so it can understand your touch controls. You (and another user) can use up to six fingers at the same time to zoom in, out, and to poke at the virtual keyboard. For example, we were able to doodle on the WhiteBoard with our finger, while another Westinghouse representative used his hand to capture screenshots. The WhiteBoard’s touch system felt responsive to our gestures: we didn’t notice any significant lag in the brief time we were playing with the device.

WhiteBoard app 

Since the point of the demo was to show off the WhiteBoard’s touch features – rather than its 4K UltraHD, 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution LED screen with 178 degree (vertical and horizontal) viewing angles – we didn’t get to watch any 4K sample reels to check out its screen. Instead, we got to play with the company’s own WhiteBoard app that runs on top of Windows 8 (you can also opt for Windows 7).

Westinghouse Whiteboard toolbar

You can access the basic WhiteBoard touch features from Desktop mode, which, as you can see in the photo, looks just like a vertical toolbox. Say you want to scribble some notes about a webpage; all you have to do is select the pencil tool on the toolbox before you start your annotations.

If you want to do much more than just highlight some text with the basic tools, you can use the full-featured WhiteBoard app. To make the WhiteBoard particularly useful for meetings and for school, the app lets you set different backgrounds like blank sheet music for music class, or blank field-of-play diagrams for coaches to call plays.

Westinghouse Whiteboard demo

You can also import and edit photos, create stamps of shapes, and type out text and math formulas so that they’re neater than just your chicken scratches.

Westinghouse Whiteboard_app options-2

There’s a PC in here

Westinghouse Whiteboard ports-2Behind the gigantic 84-inch screen is a little PC with a third-generation Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM (expandable to 8GB), a 500GB hard drive, Wi-Fi (not 802.11ac), an Ethernet port, 6 USB ports, as well as dual HDMI and VGA-outs to make it easy to connect the WhiteBoard with other audio visual equipment. The whole setup is surprisingly compact, and you can hardly tell that there’s a computer inside unless you peak in the back.

If you’re willing to make do with a smaller display that offers just 1080p HD resolution, a 70-inch WhiteBoard can be had for $8,000. A 65-inch and 55-inch option are also available for $7,000 and $5,000, respectively. You can even knock $1,000 off these prices if you choose to go without an integrated computer and just hook up your own PC to the WhiteBoard via HDMI.

The WhiteBoard is definitely geared more for school and meetings than for homes, but it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine such a large touchscreen PC-TV hybrid taking over your family room or basement for gaming. We’re already seeing 20-plus-inch all-in-one computers and tablets geared for homes, so why not a gigantic 84-incher? These Westinghouse WhiteBoards won’t be available until this fall, and we could possibly see smaller models with more family-friendly price tags coming to our homes in the near future.

[Video from Dick DeBartolo’s YouTube channel]

Product Review

It's not the sharpest tool, but the Surface Go does it all for $400

Microsoft has launched the $400 Surface Go to take on both the iPad and Chromebooks, all without compromising its core focus on productivity. Does it work as both a tablet and a PC?

Here are the best laptop deals for December 2018

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some holiday shopping for a special someone, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

Is your PC slow? Here's how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings

Computers rarely work as well after they accumulate files and misconfigure settings. Thankfully, with this guide, you'll be able to restore your PC to its original state by learning how to factory reset Windows.

New version of ‘The Stanley Parable’ coming to consoles in 2019

Seven years after its original release, The Stanley Parable is back with an upcoming Ultra Deluxe edition which will have new content and will be available on consoles as well as PC.

Will Windows 95 be reimagined? Microsoft’s tweet hints at a throwback

The classic Windows operating system may just be getting a reboot of its own. Microsoft tweeted a cryptic message involving the Windows 95 logo and saying that it had a special announcement for its customers today.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Everything you need to know

The Surface Pro 6 is officially here, though it's not as big of a redesign as you might have hoped. With a new coat of black paint and an 8th-gen processor, this is a small update. If you've been eyeing a Surface Pro, you may want to wait…

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!

Want to make one hard drive act like two? Here's how to partition in Windows

If you don't want all of your files stored in one place but only have one drive to work with, partitioning is your best way forward. Here's how to partition a hard drive in Windows 10, step by step.

Does Qualcomm's latest laptop processor hold up against Intel's Core i5?

Qualcomm has been nipping at Intel's mobile CPU heels for years and now it might finally have overtaken it. To find out whether it's new SoC can hold its own in mid-range computing, we pitted the Snapdragon 8cx vs. Core i5.

Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.

Amazon takes $300 off Intel Core i7 Surface Pro 6 in latest sale

If you're looking for savings on the Surface Pro 6, Amazon is the place to shop. It currently is discounting the Intel Core i7 variant of Microsoft's latest 2-in-1 by $300, though no Type Cover is included.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.