Asking the question “What is the best whiteboard for a home office” is a bit like asking what’s the best color to paint a wall, there are many different factors to consider and ultimately it comes down to personal choice.
At Kaptivo we see a lot of different kinds of whiteboards, and while our whiteboard camera system will work with just about all of them, there are definitely some that are better than others, and likewise some better suited for a personal home office environment.
Here’s what needs to be decided, and some guidance on making the best choice for you when it comes to using these remote work tools:
- Choose the type of whiteboard you need
- Decide how and where you will attach the whiteboard to the wall
- Choose how you will mount your Kaptivo
Choosing the type of Whiteboard
The first thing to decide is what type of whiteboard material:
- Peel and Stick
Most people will choose a standard whiteboard. Typically you will mount these on the wall with screws but there are other options (see Attaching the Whiteboard, below). Standard whiteboards come in magnetic and non-magnetic varieties. The magnetic ones are a little more expensive but a little more versatile. If you choose a magnetic whiteboard then you can attach the Kaptivo using our Magnetic Mount.
For those of you who want a really temporary solution and or don’t want to put holes in the wall, you can use peel and stick whiteboard wall coverings. You could also use Post-It easel pads but you will still need them attached to the wall and you need to make sure the bottom edge doesn’t curl up.
Glass whiteboards are very attractive but more expensive so not generally recommended for home. Kaptivo works with glass boards too if that’s what you choose.
A Kaptivo will work a whiteboard as large as 6 feet by 4 feet (or 8 feet by 5 feet with the optional extender mount) and as small as 1 foot by 1 foot. If you choose a size smaller and 3×2 you might need to use the manual calibration option in the setup tool..
When I was equipping my home office, I needed to find something small enough and light enough to mount on any wall without any special screws or anchors but large enough to give me a surface to express my designs without feeling cramped.
I’ve tested boards as small as 3-ft by 2-ft and Kaptivo works fine, but I wanted something larger for my needs. The peel and stick whiteboard wall covering looked like an interesting option, but I don’t know how well it will work on my textured walls, so I skipped that option. Instead I settled on a simple traditional 4-ft x 3-ft magnetic board. The magnetic aspect was important for me as I wanted it to double as a bulletin board when I wasn’t using the whiteboard. I found it online for under $50 and it was delivered two days later.
Things that won’t work well
A whiteboard on an easel or on my desk? Unfortunately neither of these will work with a Kaptivo. The Kaptivo needs a stable surface to attach to. An easel is too ‘floppy’ and the Kaptivo won’t work correctly if it’s moving or shifting when the board is being used. A desktop whiteboard won’t work for a similar reason.
A window – kaptivo needs a solid background so a window won’t work well.
A glass desk surface or piece of paper on a desk – great for taking notes, but there is no way to mount a kaptivo.
Attaching the whiteboard to the wall
Standard whiteboards come with the mounting hardware in the box. Typically it’s 4 screws and drywall anchors. They are easy to install (although an electric drill is helpful). If you have special wall surfaces (like carpeted walls) then you might need alternative hardware. If you don’t want to put holes in the wall, you can try adhesive strips like Command Strips.
Peel and Stick whiteboards are exactly what they sound like. You remove the protective backing and stick the whiteboard to the wall — no hardware required.
For my whiteboard I used my cellphone as a level and a little elbow grease. It was securely attached to my wall with four small screws.
One thing to consider is where to place the whiteboard. Ideally you want to avoid places that have heavy sunlight or shadows, or right next to a bright light. If you plan to teach or present using these remote work tools, and you want the audience to see you and the whiteboard, then you need to place the whiteboard in view of your laptop.
Attaching the Kaptivo to the Wall
When you install a Kaptivo camera, your goal is to roughly ensure the camera is mounted midway along the top of the board and that the Kaptivo is stable (so it won’t shift or jiggle when you are writing). Kaptivo offers a variety of mounting options to accommodate a variety of different needs and the design of each mount ensures the Kaptivo “looks down” at the optimal angle.
Standard Wall Mount: The Kaptivo comes with a standard wall mount and screws. It’s perfect for most installations and provides a solid attachment for optimal performance. The default wall mount design is tolerant of relatively rough textured walls but it does require screw holes in the wall.
Suction Mount: Kaptivo sells a suction mount, it’s like a suction cup for attaching your phone to your car windscreen. The suction mount is strong enough to hold the Kaptivo in a stable position but with ability to remove and re-secured if needs be. So, it is great for mobile whiteboards and works without the need for any tools for installation. It can be used on most whiteboards including powder coated and glass. But it is mounting on the board itself so you will lose some whiteboard area at the top and the foot of the Kaptivo is visible when in use.
Magnetic mount: This mount requires a magnetic whiteboard so it won’t work on a regular (nonmagnetic) whiteboard or any kind of peel and stick or glass board. It has the benefit of being removable and replaceable, without tools. Its design includes a non-slip pad to ensure the mount will not slide down the board and protection so it will never scratch the whiteboard. But the compromise here, as with the suction mount, is the loss of whiteboard area.
Glass Mount: If you do have a frosted or coated-glass type board, then Kaptivo has a special mount for this situation. Since these are often mounted a few inches away from the wall and constructed from toughened glass, the mount is clipped to the top edge of the board, so fully hidden within the Kaptivo’s view, no loss of area. The mount uses a single (finger-tightened) bolt, so again no tools are required.
Arm mount: Some of my colleagues think it looks like a ghost, or a cactus. The arm mount is simple but ingeniously designed for cases where the default mount cannot be screwed to the wall, (the whiteboard must still be securely attached to the wall at its corners). The mount slides between the wall and whiteboard and tightens with a screw. This has the advantage of simple installation and no additional holes in the wall. It only works with regular whiteboards however.
For my home office I evaluated all the different options. The included standard wall mount would have worked great but I didn’t want to drill any more holes in the wall. Since I spent a few extra dollars for a magnetic board, the magnetic mount could work for my home office. I tested with a fridge magnet first to see if it holds itself securely to the whiteboard and when it did I figured the magnetic mount would work. This is better than the suction mount because it attaches more securely. My home board is smaller than a board in the office though and I’d rather not lose the space at the top, so I’ll skip the magnetic and suction mounts for now.
The arm mount will slide behind the board, and rest on the top. As long and the whiteboard doesn’t move or wobble when I’m writing, then the arm mount should be sufficient to hold the Kaptivo in place. It doesn’t require any tools, and I won’t’ lose any area like the suction and magnetic mounts. This is the winner for me but there’s a best solution for each unique situation when it comes to configuring these remote work tools for your particular home work space.
If installation of Kaptivo for a home office sounds pretty easy, that’s because it is just that. Learn about the meeting room systems that work great with Kaptivo, satisfied customers across the globe, and several facets on Kaptivo that make it so special, by visiting our Kaptivo Enterprise page.