I am often asked about the difference in writing surfaces of whiteboards – porcelain, high-pressure laminate, and melamine.
Porcelain is by far the best writing surface available. It generally comes with at least a fifty-year warranty on the writing surface and can withstand the day-to-day use of a classroom or conference room. The surface is enameled sheet metal so it accepts magnets and because it is a non-porous material, the ghosting is minimal and can most often be cleaned with a proper cleaning solution.
High-pressure laminate is a bit newer to the whiteboard scene. It is made of the same process as Formica or the laminate top you would use for kitchen counter tops. It is a very durable surface, but it can scratch. The surface is not metal and therefore cannot accept magnets. However, the ghosting is minimal and it is a good alternative to porcelain when a less expensive alternative is preferred.
Melamine is often found on smaller, more light-duty use boards. It is often found in offices, home offices and dorm rooms. It is perfect for areas that are not used daily and where the writing is going to be cleaned off after every use. Writings left on the board will most like seep into the pours of the board and ghost the surface. Once this happens you will be unable to get the ghosting off and will need to replace the board if the ghosting bothers you.
Black Markerboards also look cool for a lot of businesses!
When purchasing a whiteboard it is important to keep in mind what your uses are, what kind of life you are expecting to get out of your board and how large of a board you will need.