Whether you’re in a conference to pitch the latest “business paradigm”, orient new employees on proper office etiquette or discuss quarterly reports with colorful bar graphs, PowerPoint presentations, for better or worse, have become a mainstay of corporate life. With their rise in popularity in the past dozen years, it was only a matter of time before AV accessories like the Logitech LCD Remote Control Presenter would crop up to magically advance those slides from across that dark cherry paneled boardroom.
With its black matte and silver look and smooth edges, I was going to remark how the Logitech Presenter at first glance resembles a futuristic intrauterine device for a giraffe. But that’s a bit too precious. And besides, it really just looks like, well, a remote control. It’s small, lightweight, ergonomic, runs on two AAA batteries and has one primary function: it allows the speaker to move around and engage his/her audience without the hassle of scurrying to the laptop to push a button. You couldn’t ask for a more trivial device, I’m sure, but it does have its place and uses.
A small USB stick acts like an antenna/receiver that attaches to the USB port of any PC or laptop. It’s plug and play, so there are no drivers to install and when the presentation is loaded, the Remote takes over the slide advancing chores. No line of sight is required and it has a range of 50 feet.
The rest is even easier. The right button advances your slides while the left button allows you to go backward. For all its neat bells and whistles, the remote control doesn’t act like a wireless mouse, and since its function is limited to such a narrow scope, I’m guessing other features have been added to justify this as well as its steep price (ranging $50 – $60, depending on where you buy it from). It doesn’t boil water and scour the toilet yet, but it has a:
• Built-in laser pointer.
• Built-in timer. Located on the right side of the remote, the timer button advances in five minute increments. The time is displayed on the small LCD screen. At the two minute mark and again at zero, the remote vibrates in the presenter’s hand.
• F5/esc button. Acts in the same way as the F5 key on any keyboard. It alternates the presentation from work mode into slide show mode.
• Screen Icon button. This is located beside the F5 button and it alternates between powering off and on projection.
• Power saving switch with battery power display.
• Volume control. Button located on the left side.
The Logitech Presenter provides a frivolous creature comfort for any AV addict, but in a business environment, it does reflect a degree of professionalism and convenience for the incessant presentation freak. So for all you tech heads and company suits, we all know you have a PowerPoint with a slide of that duck destroying a computer with a mallet. And when you make it dissolve into a beautiful pie chart from across the room, you too, can know what it feels like to be the Doug Henning of the corporate world.