Do you need a remote for controlling slide shows and other presentations on your Mac, but you don't have a newer Mac that came with an Apple remote? Do you have an Apple remote for your computer, but it doesn't have enough features for your needs? If you answered yes to either of these questions, the Keyspan Presentation Remote Pro might be what you are looking for.
The Presentation Remote Pro is packed full of features. The most important feature being that it will control your presentations. It controls Powerpoint presentations, Keynote presentation, iPhoto slideshows, Quicktime slideshows, and it even controls switching tracks in iTunes (I had to try, and it worked!). In addition to controlling the visual part of the presentation, it also has volume control buttons to remotely control the audio part of your presentation.
For those who want to point out details on a presentation from a distance, it has a laser pointer. You can even black out the screen with the push of one button on the remote.
Those features alone would make this a great presentation remote. However, the remote is also a mouse (in a matter of speaking)! The top of the remote has two buttons that coincide with the left and right buttons on a mouse. There is also a mouse button, similar to those on some laptops, that will control your pointer on the screen. On the side of the unit is another button that acts like a scroll wheel. Using the remote to control the mouse was actually easier than I expected.
As far as performance, the remote is fantastic. It works from 100 feet away, and I had no problems in my tests. The remote performed without delay, and always did what I expected.
Set up is also easy. The remote consists of two parts: the remote itself and the receiver. The receiver looks like a small USB thumbdrive, and plugs into the USB port. There are no drivers needed. It is plug and play. If the remote and the receiver are not talking to each other, there is an easy method for reconnecting. The remote runs on two AAA batteries (included), and the receiver is powered by the computer. An on/off switch helps conserve battery life (assuming you remember to turn it off).
My favorite part about the remote is that I don't have to worry about losing the receiver. When not in use, the USB receiver slides into the remote itself, where it locks into place (springloaded).
With all of these features, the Keyspan Presentation Remote is well worth the $79 price. It is compatible with OSX, Windows computers, and even OS 9. Some features will be disabled due to the operating system you use.
It is always nice to try out a product that does what it says it is going to do, and it does it well.
MyMac.com rating 5 out of 5
on July 2, 2008
This remote has been outstanding. Great range...super simple to use...great size.
Here is a tip for Keynote users on the Mac. The remote is set up with non-programmable buttons, so the F5 button (designed for PowerPoint) doesn't work for starting your Keynote presentations...but it can. The trick is to change the keyboard shortcut in Keynote for Play Slideshow from cmd-option-P to F5. On Mac OS X v10.4+ you can go to System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse and then the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. Click on the + icon to add a new shortcut. Choose Keynote as the application*, 'Play Slideshow' as the Menu Title, and then when you get to the Keyboard Shortcut box, hit the F5 button on the remote and it should insert F5 in the box (making sure, of course, that the USB receiver is plugged in to your Mac). Click on Add and you're all set. The next time you launch Keynote the new mapping will be in effect and you can now use the F5 button on the remote to start your slideshow. Hold down the F5 button for about 7 seconds to send ESCAPE, thus exiting the running slidehow.
*Keynote may not show up in the pop-up list of applications because it is inside the iWork 06 or iWork 08 folder inside the Applications folder. To find it, just scroll to the bottom of the pop-up list and choose Other... You can then navigate to /Applications/iWork 08/Keynote to select it.
on March 23, 2011
For some reason, beyond my understanding, most presenter are awful. Few if any, come with any type of mouse control. This presenter does and has many positive attributes. Its size is perfect. It controls slides beautifully. The laser is adequate. Has a side switch/scroll on the side.
The only part I don't like is the mouse's layout. It has an eraser type mouse control, as seen on older laptops. The problem is that the right and left mouse clickers are in an awkward position on the top of the presenter. you have to use both hands to click and drag. Since this is primarily a presenter and not a wireless mouse, this is not a deal breaker. But with just a little thought in the design, it could have been a great little device.
on November 1, 2008
I'm a professional keynote speaker, and while I generally try to stay away from using Powerpoint/Keynote in my presentations (these days, people seem to turn into zombies as soon as a those PowerPoint slides pop up!), sometimes one must them.
I'm facilitating a 2-day conference this week and need to show some video clips and such, so I'll be using my Macbook and Keynote. I just received the keyspan presentation remote pro. At first glance, it's AWESOME! Here's what I like about it:
1. Great ergonomics. This unit feels very solid in my hand. I hate, hate, HATE cheap-feeling electronics.
2. The usb dongle slides into the main remote control for storage.
3. Setup was fantastically easy! This unit is truly plug-and-play. I fired up my Macbook, plugged in the usb dongle, launched Keynote and .... it worked! Just like that. No software to download, install or any other such nonsense.
At first glance, this thing looks like it is easily worth 2x the price.
I'll update this review after my test run this week at the conference.
Okay ... I just walked this thing through several days of intensive presenting. I'm pleased to say that it worked like a champ!
I used several different laptops (all Mac), and the unit was recognized by every laptop. The range on this unit is wonderful. I could wander around the large conference room (I'm a very interactive speaker ... I like to engage my audience) and switch slides at will.
The volume control worked like a charm for those times I had video clips embedded in my presentation.
The size of the unit was great for simply slipping into my pocket in-between speeches ... ready to go again when the time for the next speech arrived. (The conference center I was at had another brand of remote ... it was bigger and shaped like a keyhole ... which wasn't as comfortable in my pant's pocket.)
Finally, once they saw it, several of the tech guys at the conference center wanted to play with the remote ... they said it was better than the ones the conference center had.
Only two things presented themselves as issues for me:
1. The forward/reverse slide control on the side of the unit feels 'backwards' for me ... that is, when I wanted to proceed to the next slide, I usually found myself back on the preceeding slide. It's probably a quirk unique to me, readily resolved by simply only using the forward/reverse buttons on the face of the unit.
2. The laser pointed seemed a bit dim or 'watery' from various places around the room. I used the laser pointer once or twice, then stopped using it, as it felt more distracting than helpful. I'll be curious to try out the laser pointer under other lighting conditions.
All in all, I would still highly recommend this unit! :-)
I'm fairly happy with this nice little product. The price was great, too. I've used for about two weeks now, and on a variety of computers. Every time, without fail, it starts right up without needing drivers or administrative access. It only takes about 5 seconds, and doesn't even prompt me.
The response on the mouse control stick is good, but very sensitive. If you are using it to press buttons or manipulate pull-down menus, you better have good thumb-eye coordination.
The remote control works fairly far away... at least 20 feet so far, and probably farther. I haven't had any issues with that thus far.
The on/off switch on the side is a nice touch, as is the bright laser pointer. And I really like how the USB dongle slides into the controller when you travel.
In all, this is a great product and does exactly what it's supposed to d in a very good way. And the price could not be beat.
on July 17, 2008
I read all the reviews of the various presentation remotes. I liked the timer function on the Logitech model but I ultimately decided on the Keyspan Presentation Remote because of some comments about how the wireless receiver plugged in and the built-in mouse capabilities. I don't expect to use the wireless mouse capabilities much but the feature didn't seem to get in the way of the standard forward/backward functions and could come in handy for some future use.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the size of the Kensington Remote. It's about 1.25" wide by 4.75" long and less than 1" tall. With the rounded corners it fits easily and comfortably in your hand. My thumb falls very naturally on the forward/back buttons and it is easy to operate without looking at it. The laser pointer button is just under the forward/back buttons.
The receiver clicks securely into the remote when not in use and there's no way to put it in upside down or backwards. Windows XP SP2 recognized the receiver immediately and installed the proper USB drivers automatically. I then turn on the remote, launched a presentation with the "F5" button and moved forward and backward through the slides with the arrow buttons. For those who prefer there is also a small, spring-loaded click-wheel on the side. At the end of the presentation I clicked the "black screen" button.
My only complaint is that I wish it came with a small nylon case to protect it in my laptop case. Overall I think the Keyspan Presentation Remote is the perfect presenter tool to free you from the computer keyboard and allow you to concentrate on your presentation and audience.
on April 12, 2008
This is the best presentation remote I've ever used. Here's what I like about it:
- It's PC and Mac Friendly, so I don't have to worry about compatibility issues. Just plug the USB receiver into whichever computer I'm presenting from.
- It uses AAA batteries, which are easy to find, unlike some other models that use watch-style batteries.
- It has a mouse nub, so I can move the cursor around on the screen. It also has left and right-mouse buttons so I can start videos.
- It works well with Google Reader, so I can also use it for browsing RSS feeds.
For me, that does it. Of course, it's also very reliable, has a good range, and sleek packaging (USB receiver stores within presentation remote). It's not the cheapest, but this is one case where you really do get what you pay for.
on September 24, 2009
After reading reviews for the Targus Wireless Presenter with cursor control (PAUM30U or AMP02US), someone recommended this as a better alternative, and I have to agree! The Targus has a switch you constantly have to fiddle with to switch between Mouse and Presenter modes, and it can be frustrating. The laser pointer button is in a weird place on the Targus and only works in Presenter mode. The Targus comes with a 3" USB extender cable and a carrying case, but the Targus' USB dongle is also a lot wider than the Keyspan. I don't think the Keyspan's USB dongle is wide enough to block any nearby USB ports, and that beats using an extender cable. Both have an on/off switch to prevent draining the batteries, so long as you remember to turn it off. The Targus uses 1 AAA battery, the Keyspan uses 2 AAA batteries. There is NO volume buttons on the Targus.
The Keyspan Presentation Remote Pro (PRPRO3) has no mode switch. All the buttons do the same thing all the time. The USB dongle stores inside the remote; it is spring loaded so you press to click it in and press to pop it out. There are no drivers to install, it plugs in and works in XP and Windows 7.
Some keys directly equate keyboard keystrokes, mainly to work PowerPoint but you could use them for any program able to utilize them:
F5 = F5. Hold down F5 for about 4 seconds = Escape.
Blank Screen = b. If you push this and you're not in PowerPoint presentation mode, you will just type b on the screen.
Left/Right = Left/Right cursor keys.
Volume up/down = Keyboard volume up/down keys.
Composite Up/Down (the wheel on the side) = Page Up/Page Down. Pressing the Composite wheel straight in activates "click lock", which I was able to make work, but it took 2 hands so it was easier to just intuitively hold down the left mouse button key with my thumb if I needed to drag something.
That's about it. If you can program F5, you could have the F5 key do whatever you want on your computer, but you can't make the Keyspan send anything but F5 or the other above key equivalents. AutoHotkey (free, open-source) should work if you need it, but I didn't attempt to do any programming with the Keyspan; I am just mentioning this in case the information is helpful to someone. I can't speak for Mac or drivers as another reviewer mentioned, so if Mac doesn't know what F5 is or have a way to remap it, then I guess this isn't as helpful to Mac users?
I can't yet comment on battery life. Range, well it worked 3 rooms away through 2 office walls. I couldn't go further without going outside. We also have a concrete vault and it worked through 2 office walls and then in the doorway of the vault, but not after I walked into the vault. So 6" of concrete does a pretty good job blocking the signal :-) I almost wish that popping the remote in automatically shut off the power, but then you'd have to remove the remote to use it as just a laser pointer, so I understand having the on/off switch.
on September 3, 2008
This product is only available in USA but since where I live (not USA) has limited options for presentation remotes but I wanted a good one, I went thru much trouble to get it and it was all worth it.
I was relieved to find that the "move slide forward" button is controlled by pressing the button, unlike my previous one that required scrolling which is extremely inconvenient. The design looks very nice as well. In fact, the best looking remote I've seen so far. And not to mention all the other practical functions such as "black screen" and "volume control".
But the reasons why I still gave it a 4 instead of 5 stars are because:
1. The "start slide" button always starts from page 1 no matter which page I previously exit. I want one that could start from wherever I leave off.
2. It'd be even better if it comes with a timer. I did buy another one with a timer but it works backward. I prefer one that works just like a stopwatch.
3. I know I'm getting greedy but it'd be really nice if it comes with a case as well. Now I use my other remote control's case to carry this one.
Despite these minor complaints, I strongly recommend this product to others based on my comparison to other remote controls I'm also using. This is by far the best so far.
I got one of these last December, and five months later after only light use, one of the buttons has almost completely failed, and another one is acting flaky. A change of batteries made no difference, plus the laser was nice and bright so I'm confident the batteries are OK. I tried a couple of different USB ports on my computer for the receiver, and didn't see any difference.
For the button that emulates F5, I must press hard, and sometimes multiple times, to get a response. The advance button has just started to become unreliable, seeming to skip a response every ten times or so.
The ergonomics are not terrible, though they could be better. The advance/go back buttons are reasonably well positioned, but could do with some indentation to rest your finger. The other buttons are difficult to distinguish by touch, so they're only good if you're looking at them. I don't care much for the positioning of the laser button - I'd rather it be at the top of the unit, next to the place where the laser comes out - but I don't use the laser pointer much anyway.
Bottom line is that I'd put up with it, especially for the good wireless range, if it didn't have reliability problems. As it stands, I'd return it if I hadn't thrown the packaging way. I guess it's now demoted to the status of emergency laser pointer.