My friend Jeremy let me try out his Keyspan Presentation Remote this past week while we were speaking together. I loved it. It’s very easy to set up and use. Just plug in the USB receiver to your computer and you’re all set. The remote itself was intuitive and easy to use in a presentation setting.
When I got home, I hopped online to pick one up for myself. However, I discovered that there is a slightly higher end model from Keyspan with some interesting benefits so I picked up that one and have now given it a try. I have a feeling that Jeremy will be upgrading shortly after reading about what he’s missing out on.
A bad model presentation remote does one thing well: moves back and forth between presentation slides. Beyond that, additional features include a laser pointer, countdown timer, mouse, mouse click buttons, sound controls, F5 key, and presentation black-out keys. It’s questionable whether all of those features are truly valuable in a presentation remote, and if they are there, can they be put there in a way that’s functional while speaking?
Here is what the Keyspan Pro looks like:
It includes all of the specs listed above with the exception of the countdown timer. That’s found on some Microsoft models and is pretty cool but wasn’t a deal maker for me.
What’s different between the Pro and the non-Pro versions?
1. The USB receiver stores within the presentation wand, taking up less space in your briefcase.
2. The mouse has a nub that’s easier to control.
3. Audio controls.
4. AAA batteries instead of harder to find watch batteries.
5. 100 ft range (questionably valuable since you may run into mic range issues before presentation remote range)
Here is how it fits together for storage. And notice the AAA batteries:
However, there is one thing that scares me about this model. An on/off switch:
Frankly, the last thing on one’s mind after wrapping up a presentation is remembering to flip the switch on your presentation remote. If forgetting to do that means ending up with a dead remote the next time you go to present, there could be problems. I’m keeping an extra set of AAA’s on hand until I have a chance to test this spec further. It doesn’t seem like a big issue, since no one has rated this lower than 4 out of 5 starts on Amazon, but I’ll update this post once I know for sure.
Will this get Jeremy to upgrade from his current remote to the Pro? I’m not sure, since he’s told me that his current one has been a road warrior for him for something like five years. That’s a solid relationship, so there would have to be a very compelling reason to change.