I tend to do a fair few presentations, from conferences like Salzburg last week, to customer briefings here in Hursley. I’ve always muddled through with the page down key on my laptop, but recently purchased the Logitech Cordless 2.4Ghz Presenter, as shown above.
Many times I’ve seen people present with wireless devices such as this, and more often than not they seem to cause more problems than they solve. Most of these problems are related to the range of the device governing the distance you can be from the USB receiver plugged into the laptop. I like to walk around a bit when presenting, and also like to use build-ups in my slides, so the 15m range of the Logitech device is great. In Salzburg I could comfortably change slides from anywhere in the rooms I presented in. This is particularly useful for checking your slides from the back of the room during preparation time.
As well as the basics of changing slides and a laser pointer the device also includes a programmable timer which you can set in five minute intervals (the step goes up to 10 min intervals after 60 minutes) It vibrates firstly with five minutes to go and secondly with two minutes to go. I’d like to be able to adjust the timing alerts for example to remind me at what point I plan to drop out of the slide deck into a demo, but you can always set a shorter time to trigger the alert at say 20 minutes to go then add on some extra time at that point.
Other useful functions include an “F5” key to start/stop the presentation and a screen blanking key. It would be nice to have the ability to step out of presentation mode and then restart at a particular slide rather than just an F5 equivalent which dumps you at the beginning of the presentation. It also has a volume control for in-presentation audio,but I’ve not used this. I believe one limitation is that it only works with MS Powerpoint on Windows. In any case that is all I have tested it with.
The USB dongle slips nicely into the top of the handheld device, and it comes with a nice soft neoprene case. The device is nicely shaped to fit in the hand, and the buttons fall well beneath my fingers. It takes two LR03 batteries (supplied) and has a quoted battery life of up to six months with a battery display on the LCD.
All in all, I’m very happy with it and would recommend to others if you happen to be in the market for a new presentation device.