Help me find a "Presentation appliance"
June 7, 2011 7:52 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a "presentation appliance". I want a small, simple device I can connect to a projector that will allow me to show presentations, and that's it. Bonus points for USB stick compatibility and native Powerpoint support.

I travel a lot and want a small, simply device that will drive a projector and show powerpoints. I really want native powerpoint support so I don't have to adjust timings or mess with conversion. Would like multiple outputs (VGA, HDMI, DVI) and decent resolution sensing. It should NOT require any network connectivity or login because that will make my IT department get the vapors. What do other road warriors use?
posted by cosmicbandito to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know of anything besides "the smallest windows laptop" that satisfies these critieria.
posted by rhizome at 7:55 AM on June 7, 2011

The Pico might be a good fit.
posted by samsara at 7:57 AM on June 7, 2011

A vendor in my office last week used an iPad with a VGA adapter to display his slideshow. It was pretty slick.
posted by anti social order at 8:06 AM on June 7, 2011

I misread the question on the pico suggestion. rhizome and anti social order have good starting points. There's also small PCs like the Acer Aspire Revo and various slate/tablets/hybrids. I personally would lean more towards something with its own power source to help set up a presentation as seamless as possible. Going the appliance route might have limitations over getting a tiny factor pc with Windows 7 (or OSX).
posted by samsara at 8:13 AM on June 7, 2011

I would do this with an iPad with the adapter. Battery life to dream for, supports powerpoint via the very nice Keynote program.

Eliminate USB sticks by using Dropbox (free), which is infinitely better.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:21 AM on June 7, 2011

blackberry (phone, not playbook per se) and the blackberry presenter. ppt is sent wireless to the very small gadget box (which has a VGA on it). uses your blackberry as the presentation remote. your PPT MIGHT need some small tweaking per others, but universally a cool solution. (i travel EXTENSIVELY giving presentations fwiw).

see it here.
posted by chasles at 8:41 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm thinking any decent netbook with PowerPoint installed on it is your path of least resistance here. If it has HDMI out you don't need DVI out as well, just a HDMI->DVI-D cable.

I've seen various allegedly PowerPoint-compatible alternative apps do quite odd things to PowerPoint presentations at times; running the actual Microsoft code should give you least necessary fiddling.
posted by flabdablet at 8:58 AM on June 7, 2011

An iPod Touch would work with the video connector. You can use the Keynote app to show PowerPoint presentations. Much smaller and cheaper than the netbooks out there.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:35 AM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Personally, I wouldn't recommend using Keynote to give a Powerpoint presentation - I always run into issues with formatting when converting between the two. If you can just make the presentation in Keynote in the first place, then I'd say that's the best choice, but if you're starting from Powerpoint, stick with a device that can actually do Powerpoint.
posted by hatsforbats at 4:33 PM on June 7, 2011

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