Review: Barco ClickShare CX-20 Gen2
ClickShare now features/supports USB3, ensuring a more streamlined integration of other in-room USB peripherals.
Review:/ Christopher Holder
There are many imitators, but Barco’s ClickShare reigns supreme. Plenty of competitors have looked at ClickShare over the years and thought, ‘how hard can it be?’, and wonder why the Barco product remains, seemingly, unassailably ascendent.
The answer isn’t totally straightforward. But a few things we do know: Clickshare was first to market. It’s an exceptionally elegant product. Barco fought hard to ensure it had a few years in the market to itself to flourish. Barco has supported it to the hilt and improved it over the years. Now, as the incumbent, it’s the yardstick by which all other button-based collaboration systems are judged.
ClickShare has gone beyond simply being a nifty collaboration product and turned into an ecosystem of sorts. If you want proof, take a look at the ClickShare Alliance program. As with any certification program, the intent is to help guarantee performance. There are now dozens of vendors that have submitted its video bars, cameras and displays for the Barco tick of approval. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, I suppose.
Barco has, of course, worked on and fine-tuned ClickShare over the years. It’s gone from being a nifty screen-sharing device to being the means by which guests can enter a meeting room and easily share content, start a VC, and plumb into the USB peripherals the room has to offer. If you see a ClickShare button on the meeting room table, you can breathe a sigh of relief — you won’t spending the first 15 minutes of the meeting battling tech.
Back in 2020, the original ClickShare Presentation system was superseded by ClickShare Conference — which turned ClickShare into a powerful ‘bring your own meeting’ system.
Now, without too much fanfare, Barco has released a second generation of the hardware. Gen 2 physically looks the same, only the USB-C port on the base station now supports USB3.
Although, in theory, this means you can connect to an external display via USB3 and, in so doing, bus-power the Clickshare base station, this isn’t its purpose and neither is it recommended. Rather, having the native USB3 capability up your sleeve means you’ll get a better, more stable performance out of your USB peripherals. If you have USB3 peripherals, then Clickshare now natively talks its language without any compatibility issues. If it’s a USB2 device then Clickshare Gen 2 will happily condescend to it without a hitch.
MORE GEN 2
We had the Clickshare CX-20 Conference Gen 2 in for review but there are now Gen 2 versions for the CX-30 and CX-50. The big drawcard of the CX-50 is dual screen support.
ClickShare CX-50 Gen 2 Features
- Dual screen support
- Wireless and wired alternatives for 4K content support
- Switch between BYOM and UC mode
- Single USB-C for power and video output
- Full BYOD support
- Remote collaboration with Button or Desktop App
- Works with your device, conferencing platform & a wide range of AV solutions
- Advanced network and AV integration
- Enhanced security, connected and cloud managed
- Full interactivity
GEN 2 BRIDGES GAP
The Gen 2 upgrade addresses one of the few lingering performance issues of ClickShare — namely random peripherals, not in the Alliance program, not working properly or at all. Doubtlessly, if you’re investing in ClickShare then it’s worth doing your homework and partnering it with approved companion hardware. But either way, Gen 2 will bridge the performance gap.
For AV IT admins the news remains good. Barco continues to support ClickShare with regular firmware updates. The admin set up wizard is a breeze. It’s a pro grade system that deserves to remain at the top of the food chain.