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Review: Aver TabCam Offers Tablet-Controlled Convenience

This wireless unit transforms tablets and notebook computers into live-video streaming and presentation tools.

With the TabCam, Aver offers a new twist on a classroom staple: the document camera.

Teachers who are accustomed to using document cameras will love the newfound freedom the wireless streaming device for tablets provides. Those who have flipped their classrooms can use it to capture videos or photos for sharing via social media or uploading to their school’s website or learning management system.

The companion TabCam app allows users to annotate on screen and deploy a host of tools that reside within conveniently placed toolbars at the top of the screen. A built-in whiteboard feature allows teachers to access and project a virtual whiteboard without needing to change apps on the tablet.

End-User Advantages

Aver intends the TabCam to be used with a tablet device, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note series of tablets; however, it also can be used with a notebook or desktop computer. Couple tablets with ­wireless media-sharing hubs, such as the Samsung AllShare Cast Hub, and the tablet projects wirelessly as well. The TabCam can be moved quickly to student desks to help share (or capture) those special teachable moments. Teachers will love the eight-hour battery life, and can simply plug the TabCam into its charger when they leave for the day. The device fully charges within a couple of hours, and also can be used while plugged into the charger.

Why It Works for IT

This document camera is ­incredibly portable and can be used anywhere with a Wi-Fi signal. The device is well built, and its heavier base prevents it from tipping over, even when the arm is fully ­extended. TabCam software isn’t bundled but is available in most app stores. Desktop or notebook software is available for download through the Aver website, ensuring the most up-to-date version can be readily accessed.

Because the TabCam is wireless, it doesn’t contribute to classroom wire or cabling clutter, and it connects easily to existing Wi-Fi networks. Simply launch the app on a tablet and press the device setup button.

A setup wizard requests the wireless encryption type, wireless service set identifiers and a password, then ­displays a QR code that can be scanned with the TabCam, which configures itself. As long as the TabCam remains on the Wi-Fi network, it can be controlled through the tablet-based app.

Aver offers an attractive three-year warranty (and one year on the ­battery), with free two-way shipping and advance replacement protection.

Disadvantages

On a few occasions, it seemed that the TabCam experienced a bit of a delay when focusing on a ­subject. Eventually, the object came into focus, but in a few cases it took 15 to 20 seconds, which seemed like an eternity when trying to capture time-sensitive subjects.

Dec 27 2013

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