In our system, we are using the Promethean IWBs and the teachers love them. However, many only scratch the surface of really using the boards how they are intended. We are pushing them every day to allow the students to take control of the learning. The voting devices are a great addition. They are really what get the kids and teachers excited about the IWBs.
Our teachers’ main complaint is projector bulbs. When the projector bulbs blow, they have to wait for a replacement. This basically renders the board useless until the bulb is replaced. Usually the IWB is right in the middle of the room, so you have to continue on either side to continue teaching. So, we began to take a look at the Brightlink short-throw projectors. They use a pen like the Promethean boards but their image can be displayed on a regular dry erase board. So, if the bulb blows, you can still use the board. So far it seems to be working out.
While my only experience with the two different brands is from seeing them used in the classroom, I feel like the Promethean boards are more versatile and their software seems to be much more beneficial for especially elementary school classrooms. In my school system Smart Boards are used in math and science classes while Promethean Boards are used in English and special area classes.
We feel that the SMARTBoard companion software, SMART NOtebook- is what drives the product. It is SOOOOOOOO fabulous - it makes the SMARTBoard the top purchase.
Anybody has never tested multiCLASS interactive whiteboard? It can function under any software. It has resistive technology and is quite cheap. It's an european brand. We have had very good result with it. I recommend it to you.