Combination laser pointer + presentation mouse?
October 17, 2006 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a wireless presentation clicker/mouse + laser pointer for Mac OS X?

Would need decent range (say, 30 feet), and be able to control (at minimum) PowerPoint and KeyNote.

The device will be paired with a MacBook Pro.
posted by NucleophilicAttack to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've got a Kensington 33062 which is great to use and that works fine with Macs (I've used it with my MacBook) and Windows machine. Plug and play, so no software install required, which is ideal if you ever need to use it in a locked-down environment (assuming they haven't locked-down the USB ports!).
posted by TheDonF at 8:12 AM on October 17, 2006

Best answer: Second that Kensington for use with OSX or anything else. I've used 'em all, and this one is hands down the best. One great feature is the USB thingie slides into the presenter body for storage, and when it is inserted, the unit cannot turn on -- with other makes, I can't count the times I've drained the batteries on other units by the button being pressed on in storage. It has great range, and the buttons are ergonomic and simple and very intuitive -- again, something like the Targus which has a huge button on top that turns it into a mouse, requiring a visit to the keyboard to fix, is possibly the worst design of anything I've ever used (if anyone wants one, I'll send it to you -- in pieces after I threw it against the blackboard in my intro class) (I realize it can be occasionally useful to have a wireless presenter/mouse combo *but* keep the damn switch away from where your thumb naturally rests when using the device!!)

And yes, the Kensington readily plays with OSX and XP, at least. And it has a back button, a forward button, and a laser pointer, unlike some of the button farms out there. Far easier for someone to get used to if they've never used it, or any presenter, before.
posted by Rumple at 9:49 AM on October 17, 2006

OK, you mention clicker/mouse in your question -- do you *really* need a mouse? if so, maybe use a presenter for most things and a high power wireless mouse (a real mouse) for mouse things. The combo handheld things are bad news in my experience -- no one wants to watch as someone fumbles a cursor across the screen using a weird hand-held trackball)
posted by Rumple at 9:55 AM on October 17, 2006

how about something like Mouseposée or Omnidazzle. I find them much better than laser pointers.
posted by KimG at 11:01 AM on October 17, 2006

Response by poster: You're right -- a mouse per se won't be necessary: a few buttons for things like back, forward, and so on should be sufficient, provided there's software to bind these to various keys.

And KimG, the person prefers the point and wave nature of a laser pointer as opposed to something like Omnidazzle, but thanks for the suggestion.
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 11:35 AM on October 17, 2006

Any other candidates? That specific Kensington is a little hard to find. The mfg has one listed at their website, but I'd like to get one ASAP -- which means bricks and mortar retail. Would love to hear any recommendations.
posted by diastematic at 9:10 PM on October 17, 2006

Best answer: Where are you? Probably the main market by volume for these tools are university teachers. Try calling your local university and college computer stores or university bookstores. Or, call Apple outlets -- I've seen them there since, I am guessing, they are well designed and are compatible with OSX (a number of these presenting tools are XP only).
posted by Rumple at 12:29 AM on October 18, 2006

I just picked up one of these bad boys (NexxTech Laser Pointer and Remote Control) from Circuit City for $6.99. It requires a line of sight, but the receiver is made so it can see the IR signal 360 degrees. For the money, I couldn't ask for more. The clicker is made out of metal and feels extremely solid. It also uses one AAA battery, versus those expensive cell batteries.
posted by drkrdglo at 7:14 AM on October 18, 2006

I've used the remote that comes with the MacBook Pro to control Keynote presentations, which impressed lots of people. This doesn't solve your laser pointer problem, though.
posted by laz-e-boy at 7:59 AM on October 18, 2006

Response by poster: Kensington replaced the model with the K33374US. This one appears to use AAA batteries instead of those expensive watch batteries. Otherwise it seems about feature-identical with the model mentioned by TheDonF and Rumple.
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 12:18 PM on October 18, 2006

Well, that was easy. Though I couldn't find anything online, I waltzed into a CompUSA here off Hillsdale in the Bay Area Peninsula, and they had plenty of the Kensington 33062's in stock. Done. Thanks, Ask Metafilter ;-)
posted by diastematic at 7:48 PM on October 18, 2006

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