There used to be a time when more was more with electronics? The more cables, peripherals, adaptors and dongles the better. Well (thankfully) that time is long gone. It’s all about simplicity. When you buy an iPhone there is nothing more in the box than the phone itself. And the AVer U70 delivers a similarly delightful, simple and clutter-free experience.
Hi-spec and real bang for your buck, the AVer U70 USB Document Camera ticks all the boxes for an everyday classroom document camera. Coming in at a much more reasonable price than many of its less powerful competitors, the U70 has a crisp clear 4K resolution with a sharp zoomable 8MP sensor. It’s compact, solid and requires nothing more than a USB cable. Let’s take a look!
In the box
Well, there’s not that much to say. There’s a camera and a cable. But believe me when I say this is not a bad thing. The more plugs and cables, the more setup, the more mess and the more hurdles to getting your camera up and running in the classroom. It’s simple but extremely effective. With just a camera and cable, the U70 gives you everything you need to start presenting and streaming:
- U70 document camera
- 4.92′ (1.5m) USB3.0 cable
AVer U70 Camera
The U70’s camera is the heart of what makes this document camera such a powerful piece of classroom equipment. The 4K 8 megapixel sensor means that video and images, whether projected in front of the class or being recorded digitally, are crisp, sharp and easily readable. While 4K resolution is only starting to take off in high-end TVs and monitors, it’s actually a big leap in document camera specs, meaning that smaller text and detailed images can be zoomed and viewed much easier than with lower resolution cameras.
There are 6 tactile buttons mounted on the camera head, each performing the go-to functions for using the document camera:
- Rotate – Rotates the image from the camera
- LED – Activates inbuilt LED lights on camera head
- Snapshot – Takes a snapshot of camera view
- AF – Auto focuses lens
- Zoom In – Digitally zooms in on camera view
- Zoom Out – Digitally zooms out on camera view
Alongside the buttons and lens, the camera head is mounted with six white LEDs for brightening up dark surfaces as well as an inbuilt microphone for adding audio into recorded material.
The physical design of AVer’s document cameras is one of the most well thought out and practical around. The camera head is mounted on a fully flexible arm that can be bent and curved to any angle. This is a huge advantage over rigid or fixed arms that limit placement or movement of the camera. It is also one of the killer features of the U70, allowing it to bend in on itself and pack down to an ultra-portable, flat and secure size (all set with carry handle).
The final (and in my eyes one of the most important) feature of the U70 is the simple fact it is powered fully by USB. This means there is one less chunky cable or power pack to carry around. This means that it’s much easier to pick up and move from classroom to classroom. This means you can potentially get away with buying less cameras and just share them between rooms. In our increasingly mobile schools, this makes a BIG difference.
The U70 comes with two free software packages from AVer:
- Sphere2 – Sphere2 is a complete presentation, content development and sharing software solution. Easy to navigate tools to present live video, control the U70 document camera, annotate, manipulate, record and share.
- ClassSend – The ClassSend app encourages 1 to 1 classroom engagement by allowing students to use their Chromebooks, notebooks or tablets to interact directly with lesson content from the U70 document camera.
In the classroom
With the ability to share documents, workings, experiments and anything that the flexible U70 arm can view, there are limitless opportunities for presenting, recording and livestreaming with your students. While the use of document cameras may no longer be groundbreaking, many modern methodologies such as flipped learning can be greatly enhanced with the use of the right technology.
AVer also provides a detailed library of free document camera based lesson plans across multiple disciplines (Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Art & Music, Social Studies) and grades.
- 8 megapixels (4K)
- 16X Digital Zoom
- USB3.0 (functions as PC connectivity and power)
- Frame rate – 60fps at 720P/1080P, 30fps at 4K
- Built in LED lighting
- Built in microphone
- Windows 7 (32/64 bit), Windows 8 (32/64 bit), Windows 10 (32/64 bit)
- Mac OS X 10.10 or above (Intel based)
- Chrome OS 29 or above
For more detailed technical specifications, check out the AVer U70 datasheet.
The AVer U70 is an extremely well designed document camera made for schools and classrooms. Its compact size and portability make it ideal for moving from class to class and its simple setup makes it quick and easy to get up and running each and every time. And its flexible arm really helps it adapt to even the most awkward classroom setting.
While small in size, the document camera is powerful and doesn’t skimp on the tech. The unit as a whole feels robust and solid, and sits securely on any desk or lectern. For it’s hi-spec features, mobile design and the bonus of being extremely competitively priced, it really is one of the best options around right now.