SpeakerNet News Compilations

Remote Presentation Devices

Nancy Stern

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Update from Lisa Braithwaite (lisa@coachlisab.com)

Last year, I asked about remote presentation devices and compiled answers for SNN. I recently bought one and I wanted to add it to the list.

I decided to go with Interlink's RemotePoint Onyx Presentation Remote Control. In doing my research, and comparing it with the others that were recommended, I chose it for the following reasons:

  • Ease of use - only a couple of features, and the USB plug is stored inside the remote
  • Fits well in my hand and the buttons are intuitively placed
  • 100-ft range - I'm a little paranoid about being too far away from the computer when I present and this alleviates that

Update from Lisa Braithwaite (lisa@coachlisab.com)

I'm looking for PowerPoint remote presentation device suggestions (the first SNN compilation below is from 2003). What recently purchased remotes do you recommend?

-- Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D.

My recommendation: Executive PowerPoint Presentation Remote with laser pointer, mouse and 32MB flash memory. I have had mine for nearly three years and have lugged it all over the country and it is still working great!

-- Jake Norton

In my keynotes, I am heavy on slides/images, so a good, reliable PP remote is essential. Before mentioning specific brands, to me the most important, critical element to consider is the transmitter for the remote: Is it infrared or radio-frequency? If the former, the presenter is very limited as IF remotes are directional. RF remotes, on the other hand, offer great flexibility and allow the presenter to aim the remote virtually anywhere in the room and still have the signal reach its destination and give the desired result. I have had horrible experiences in years past with IF remotes...RF is the ONLY way to go IMHO!

As for specific products, I started several years ago with a GyroRemote by Gyration Software. This is a full-featured remote and mouse with a HUGE range and lots of options. But, I found it to be way more than I generally need for my presentations, so I have it as backup these days.

A year ago I bought a Logitech Cordless 2.4 GHz Presenter and have been very happy with it. I have used it in every presentation since then, from small rooms to large auditoriums with never an issue or problem. I haven't even had to change the batteries yet! It has a built in laser pointer, timer with vibration reminder, volume control, forward and backward controls, black screen, and start/end (F5/ESC) buttons, all in one tiny package that fits nicely into your hand. This is a great device!!

-- Sheryl Roush

Being a Mac person, but wanting to be compatible clients when I need to use their laptop... I use a PC/Mac compatible remote by Interlink Electronics, Model #VP640.

Plugs into the USB port. It's a smaller remote, ideal for WOMEN, classy, small, fits discreetly in the palm of your hand, or suit pocket. Black with silver unit.

30-foot range, so I can used it from the back of large audiences to advance slides when the meeting planner is introducing me, advancing Bio slides, up to my title slide. I've run it with PowerPoint, as well as Adobe PDF slide shows.


-- Michael A. Podolinsky

I love my Logitech 2.4 GHz remote. You can click forward, backward, blank the screen, raise or lower volume and even escape the programme to go to your desktop. Good built-in laser pointer. Works on 2 AAA batteries. No software needed, just plug the self-storing USB connector in any Mac or PC and you are good to go. Cost me just under $100 USD in Singapore.

Original responses:

Following are the responses I received from my posting asking about remote slide advancing devices.

I bought the Interlink Remote Point Navigator because it is the only one I saw that had a Slide Hide function. It has a 50' RF wireless range and runs on 2 AAA batteries. I saw it priced from 99 (PCConnection.com) - $149 from manufacturer.

-- Tom Gille

I have purchased several remotes over the past five years and have had mixed results because of the limits of size, type (RF or IR) or range. Two months ago I purchased POWER Presenter RF and it is simply the best PowerPoint remote on the market if all you want is to advance and return slides. Also, it sells for only $98.00 and is very easy to hook up without having to worry about drivers, etc.

-- Steve Waterhouse

I love my Mind Path RF mouse. Since it is RF, it works over a longer distance and even from my pocket. It only has three buttons: forward, back and laser pointer. Simple and perfect for PowerPoint.

-- Mary Marcdante

My Gyration remote is huge but it's really cool and works like a dream with a USB port.

-- Paul Glen

I've been very happy with my $50 Acom Data unit that I picked up from CompUSA. It's basic, small and seems to work well.

-- Jackie Huba

We use the Keyspan wireless remote, seen here. It's fabulous! No software to install, and the range of distance from the computer was just great. Absolutely no problems in any presentation so far.

-- Warren Evans

Some useful links:

Here are some recommendations previously posted in SpeakerNet News

-- Rebecca Morgan

I love my new wireless radio-frequency remote for PowerPoint presentations, the "Executive Sales Presenter," which I got from Davis Cox (508/393-9818, davis@dynamx.com, www.dynamx.com). It's tiny -- only 2.5" x 1.5" and has forward and back buttons and a laser pointer. This is much smaller than the previous one I was using and easily fits in a pocket. It has a 100 feet of range, works with PC or MAC through USB or PS2 plugs, no software to load. Price is $159, which includes shipping.

-- Michael Podolinsky

I just bought a Keyspan remote control and *love* it. It is RF (radio frequency) so you don't need to point it at the projector or screen. It's light, small (shaped like a small kazoo), and needs no software. The receiver is small like a "Thumbdrive" and plugs into the USB port needing no additional power. The remote runs on a large watch battery, includes a built-in laser pointer, easily controls PowerPoint slides forward and backward, easy mouse control with thumb swivel, both Mac and Windows (advanced features for Windows), nice little leatherette carrying pouch and cost me about $70 USD. Made in China.

-- John Kalpus

I recently purchased the new Atek Electronics model RM100 RF laser remote. I also have the Keyspan remote mentioned in last week's SNN. The Atek is similar in size to the Keyspan, but it can advance *and* retard PPT slides (the Keyspan cannot).

I use the Keyspan when I want/need remote mouse movements because the Atek unit is not a remote mouse. I find the placement of the buttons on the Keyspan design is a little awkward in my hand. The Atek remote is very elegant and simple: a rotating dial on the right side either advances or retards PPT slides. There is also a built-in laser pointer, of course. Both units are tiny and will fit unnoticeably in a pocket or hand. I like the unobtrusive nature of both. When I hold the Atek remote in my hand my audience doesn't even know *how* the slides are being advanced. That's great for the "aaaaaah" factor. Both units run about $59-79 and local resellers can be found on a Google search.

Begrudgingly I've given up my (now out of production) Mind Path Pocket Point IR remote because it uses a serial port. Most new laptops don't have serial ports anymore. The Pocket Point had one incredibly redeeming feature -- it had a separate button which could be programmed to *blank* the screen! The two RF units above do not. Mind Path now has an RF remote called the Pocketpoint RF remote, and the device is quite small. However, at twice the price of the Atek and Keyspan unit and a relatively HUGE receiver which sits on the desk instead of simply plugging into a USB port, the Atek and Keyspan remotes are superior.

Keyspan RF Remote

Atek Tote - Remote

-- Patti Branco

One of the newer presentation remotes, the RemotePoint Navigator from Interlink Electronics, fits in the palm of your hand -- in fact, it is great for smaller hands. You can roam up to fifty feet and still move your slides (such fun!). This remote has no line-of-sight issues -- it can't be blocked by a person or an object since it uses radio waves.

The buttons have raised icons for ease of use, even if it is dark in the room. Every Navigator shares a code with its receiver, preventing interference from other remote controls. (I have been using an earlier model that I loved, and this one is even better.) Not a computer wizard? That's OK! Just plug in the USB receiver, pick up the RemotePoint Navigator and do your thing!

SpeakerNet News is produced by Rebecca Morgan and Ken Braly. It is not affiliated with the National Speakers Association. Send comments or suggestions