Portable Smart Board

What is a Portable Smart Board?

The idea behind the portable smart board is to turn an existing tablet or touchscreen laptop into an interactive whiteboard while presenting through either a TV or Projector through a wireless connection.

Benefits of a Portable Smart Board:

  • Teachers are free to move around the room while interacting with their presentation.
  • Students can show content or demonstrate skills without moving in front of the classroom.
  • No board has to be mounted, this can free up wall space (or marker board space) when not using the Portable Smart Board.

Common Materials Needed

  • HDMI Cord
  • HDMI to VGA Converter Adapter
  • HDTV or Projector (Preferably with HDMI) Minimum Resolution recommended is 1024 x 768
  • Either a Chromecast or Apple TV, depending on your device
    • This will enable wireless projection from your device.





You will need:

  1. iPad 2 or higher
  2. Updated to iOS 6.0 or higher for Mirroring AirPlay
  3. Apple TV (2nd through Current Generation)
  4. App for annotation / interactive whiteboard features.

You will need:

  1. 2011 or newer MacBook Pro
  2. Updated to OS X 10.9 or later
  3. Apple TV or Chromecast will allow desktop mirroring
  4. Google Chrome Browser with Google Cast Extension for Chromecast

You will need:

  1. All 2014 models and later
  2. Updated to latest Chrome OS version
  3. Chromecast
  4. Touchscreen Chromebook for annotations

You will need:

  1. Touchscreen Laptop for annotations
  2. Processor: Core i3 or equivalent, Corie i5 Recommended
  3. OS, Windows Vista or later
  4. Google Chrome Browser with Google Cast Extension for Chromecast

Recommended iPad Apps

  1. Spalshtop Whiteboard App (available for purchase in the App Store)

Recommended Mac Apps

  1. Any Chromebook App will work on Here as well.
  2. Any Suggestions?

Recommended Chromebook Apps

  1. iPevo Whiteboard App
  2. Whiteboard Lite

Recommended Windows App

  1. Any Chromebook App will work on here as well.
  2. Any Suggestions?

Other Options

Some projectors/TVs, as well as laptops and tablets, may have this functionality already built-in.


Example companies: Epson, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, others

Frequency: ~60GHz

Resolution: 1080p/60 (see "pros")

Max distance: 33 ft/10 m (see "cons")

Pros: Full-resolution 1080p, up to 60Hz, uncompressed. Essentially no lag. The technology is capable of Ultra HD "4K" resolutions, but most current products only do 1080p.

Cons: Basically requires line of sight. The 60GHz transmission might be far above wireless interference (like most Wi-Fi signals), but it can easily be blocked by, well, just about anything. A wall, a cabinet door, your body (seriously). Basically, if your remote doesn't work where you want to put the transmitter, WirelessHD probably won't either.

Bottom line: WirelessHD is great for picture quality, promising uncompressed full HD, but you'll have to make sure the transmitter and receiver can see each other. If you stand in front of one or the other, you could temporarily lose signal.


Example companies: LG, Samsung, Sony, IOGear, others

Frequency: ~5GHz

Resolution: 1080p/60 (see "pros")

Max distance: ~100 ft/30 m

Pros: The biggest advantage WHDI has over WirelessHD is that WHDI works through walls. It will do 1080p/60 no problem. The WHDI 2.0 standard has support for 4K, but at the moment there don't seem to be any products that support this.

Cons: Far fewer companies support WHDI, and the industry push seems to be for WirelessHD. The WHDI webpage hasn't been updated in three years. There's been no mention of 4K support recently. The 5GHz range could, in theory, interfere with some Wi-Fi standards.

Bottom line: In my testing for the Wirecutter, WHDI worked far better in the real world than WirelessHD (not least because you can walk in front of the transmitter and not have the signal drop out). However, it seems to have stagnated while the industry (inexplicably, in my book) supports the less user-friendly WirelessHD standard.


Example companies: Belkin, Google, others

Resolution: 1080p

Like AirPlay and Chromecast, this technology allow you to mirror your phone's display on a TV. It's not as brand-limited, though. Most newer Android phones have Miracast built-in, as do some televisions.

An Intel Wireless Display, or WiDi, adapter from Shenzen.

Sarah Tew/CNET


Example companies: Epson, Intel, Google, LG, others

Resolution: 1080p

Intel's WiDi technology is basically their version of Miracast, letting people stream what's on a PC to a compatible HDTV or projector.

Bottom line

If you want the simplest, cheapest, highest quality method for transferring video and audio from source to display, get an HDMI cable. They're just a couple of dollars and give you pixel-perfect pictures.

They aren't, of course, the most convenient in many cases. So if you want to rid your world of wires (or at least, the long-running ones), just keep in mind with any of the solutions here, there are going to be setup issues and possible dropouts.