I’ve recently had to give several presentations using MS PowerPoint and Keynote. Although nothing replaces preparation and knowledge in a successful presentation, a good gadget can go a long way to give your lecture professional polish.
Product Details & Features
The Kensington Pocket Presentation Wireless Laser is a handheld device that allows the user to control slides from up to 50 feet away. Additionally, there is a built-in laser pointer in the front so that user can point out specific details on a slide.
The remote comes packaged in clear plastic clamshell casing. The package
includes the remote, USB receiver, 2 batteries, and an instruction booklet. I especially like that the batteries (CR2032) are included. The last thing I want to do before a speech is hunt down obscure batteries.
Unlike many other presentation remotes on the market, the Kensington remote is curvy and fits well in the hand. The remote itself is about 10 cm (~ 4 inches) and weighs about 40 grams (1.4 ounces).
The bottom of the remote is coated in a black, slightly spongy, material that gives just the right amount of friction in my nervous, sweat-coated hands.
The USB receiver is about 8 cm ( 3″) and the the size and shape of a USB key-drive and has 2 LED indicator lights.
When finished, the receiver neatly stows away in the bottom of the remote for storage.
Sounds great in theory, but how does it perform in the battlefield… I mean boardroom? I tested the remote on both the Mac and a PC platforms using several presentation applications including Powerpoint, Keynote and ImPress.
My criteria for testing the presenter focused on complications during set up, ease of use when distracted or flustered, and range of signal.
Quick set up is a must in some of my presentations. The Kensington remote requires no installation drivers; Simply insert the detachable USB dongle into a USB port just like any other key-sized device.
However, I have noticed with some applications, the USB receiver needs to be inserted before launching the application, a minor drawback.
Despite its size, this Kensington remote feels secure and comfortable in the hand. There are 3 buttons for presentation control (forward, backward & stop) and one button for a laser pointer. The circular layout of the buttons is slightly sloped and is a natural resting place for the thumb.
This parabolic design is excellent for use one-handed, without looking at the buttons. When pressed, the buttons give just the right amount of resistance, which prevents accidentally advancing slides while fidgeting during a talk.
The range of the remote exceeded 50 feet in all of my tests, except when used with an older, bulky PC tower which was stowed under a metal-covered podium. In this situation I was only able to get approximately 10 feet of range.
Additionally, the remote is designed to prevent the laser pointer from being engaged accidentally (and consequently) running down the batteries. If the USB dongle is stowed in the remote, the laser will not function. This is especially helpful if you store the remote in a snug pocket where the buttons may be squeezed.
Overall, this product is a great tool. The Pocket Presenter’s simple controls and easy setup makes it the perfect partner for all my lectures and presentations.