If you teach, speak at conferences, or make presentations to business associates, you know the worth of a quality whiteboard. It can go from blank slate to bursting with ideas and back to blank slate with a few markers and the simple wipe of a cloth, but what do you do when your presentations happen in different rooms, different buildings, and different cities?

Mobile whiteboards give you all the perks of a whiteboard plus the ease of taking it with you. These whiteboards tend to be a bit more complicated and pricey than your typical hang-on-the-wall variety. Knowing what to concentrate on when looking for one can be key to finding a mobile whiteboard that will last for more than a few months.

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Some mobile whiteboards can also be mounted to a wall, providing you with more versatility in how you use it.
The two main components of a mobile whiteboard are the board itself and the frame that holds it upright. A mobile whiteboard with a low center of gravity will be more stable, both while standing still and being rolled from location to location.

Board: The surface you write on should be constructed from quality materials, and the surface should erase easily so that ghosting (marks that don’t fully erase) is minimized and stains can be removed without too much difficulty. A surface like melamine is less expensive but more difficult to clean. Porcelain or glass cost more, but you can clean them with less effort. Consider both your budget and how much you’ll be using the whiteboard when comparing surfaces.

Frame: The frame can be constructed from a variety of materials, although aluminum, chrome, and steel are the most common. The frame should be rugged enough to take some abuse without being overly heavy.

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The glare from a whiteboard surface that’s too shiny can make it difficult to read from a distance.
Size and height
The size and height of your mobile whiteboard will depend on your needs and where you’ll be using it.

Size: A larger board provides more surface area for your presentations, but it can be a burden to use in a limited space and to move around. Unless the whiteboard folds up, you also need to consider where you will store it when it isn’t in use. Also, shipping is a weak link for these products because they are bulky and can easily be damaged in transit. Check online comments to find out how carefully the seller packages its products. A number of “arrived damaged” comments should be a warning sign.

Height: Will you be using the whiteboard while standing up or while seated? Is the height comfortable for you to use for extended periods of time? An adjustable mobile whiteboard can provide you with more flexibility here. And a whiteboard with an adjustable writing angle will provide you with even more options.

Mobile whiteboards range from 30 to 70 pounds, depending on size and the material it’s made of. If you plan to move your board frequently, a lighter weight would be advisable.

Ease of assembly
Because of the size, your whiteboard probably won’t arrive fully assembled. While we aren’t talking about the difficulty level of assembling a multitiered entertainment center, mobile whiteboards still have a variety of parts – from casters and trays to frames and other possible elements – and can take some time to put together. Know what you’re getting into by browsing through online comments for each product to find out how other buyers have fared in this area.

When your whiteboard arrives, lay out all the included hardware and verify that you have everything you need to assemble it. You don’t want to discover a missing bolt or caster an hour into the process.

If your whiteboard is built to be mobile, chances are good that it ships with wheels or casters. These should be durable and roll smoothly on a variety of surfaces. Check whether locks are built into some or all of the casters that ship with the whiteboard. These are a handy way to keep the board stationary while you use it.

Whiteboards that are also magnetic open up a whole new avenue of possibilities for use. With a magnetic board, you can easily incorporate paper, posters, and other items into your presentations. Not all whiteboards have this feature, so if it’s important to you, verify that any whiteboard you’re considering is magnetic.

With a double-sided whiteboard, you can flip the board and write on both sides. While generally more expensive, these offer twice the presentation space of single-sided boards.

Tray: Most mobile whiteboards ship with some form of tray to contain erasers, markers, magnets, and other items. Some trays run the whole length of the bottom edge of the board. Others are shorter and are either fixed in place or movable. The items you need to keep close at hand will determine the size tray you need.

Accessories: Speaking of accessories, not all mobile whiteboards come with markers, erasers, or other items, while others set you up with everything you need to run your presentation right out of the box. The more accessories that come bundled with your mobile whiteboard, the fewer you’ll need to buy later.

Mobile whiteboards are generally more expensive than whiteboards you mount on the wall, starting at about $100 and running to $300 or more.

The majority will be in the $200 to $300 range. At the higher price point, you find better quality, more durable materials, a larger surface area, and other features like double-sided. Paying for a better-quality board is generally advisable here because it will pay for itself simply by not having to be replaced as often.

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Built-in bumpers on wheels and other sharp edges can help to protect furnishings and walls when moving the whiteboard around.
Buy nesting whiteboards if you use multiple boards in your presentations. When not in use, these whiteboards can be easily stored in a compact footprint.

Opt for a premium whiteboard surface if possible. Cheaper melamine surfaces are more susceptible to ghosting, scratching, and staining. If money is less of a factor, go with porcelain, glass, or another premium surface.

Consider a grid. If you frequently use straight edges or diagrams in your presentations, consider a whiteboard with a subtle grid pattern on the surface to help you draw clean lines.

Clean off stubborn marks. There are some surprising suggestions for cleaning whiteboards – everything from coffee grounds to isopropyl alcohol to toothpaste to hairspray. Do some research before using them on your whiteboard!

Look for nylon or metal ball casters if you’ll be using your whiteboard on carpeting. These don’t dig into or damage carpeting as much as narrow-wheeled casters, and they’re easier to move.
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Included accessories such as markers and erasers can cut down on your additional expense when buying a whiteboard, but verify that they’re of good quality. Not all of them are.
Q. What is the easiest way to clean my whiteboard?

A. It largely depends on what the surface of your whiteboard is made of. Melamine is a less-expensive option that may require more work to clean using whiteboard cleaning spray. The easiest surface to clean is glass, which you should be able to keep clean with just an eraser.

Q. Do I need special magnets to use with my magnetic whiteboard?

A. Regular magnets work with most magnetic whiteboards, but not all. Some whiteboards are designed for use with stronger neodymium magnets. Regular magnets aren’t strong enough to work with these types of magnetic whiteboards.

Q. The eraser I have doesn’t work. Is there some other kind of eraser that will work better?

A. Erasers that ship with whiteboards aren’t really designed for the deep cleaning that some whiteboards require. Try using a microfiber cloth.