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I've had a couple of wireless presenters (the little devices with a USB receiver which allow you to move PowerPoint presentations etc along remotely) and I've found that they're great when they're close to the laptop, but rubbish at any significant range.

This isn't a problem when presenting tech talks, but when preaching it's much more of an issue - churches tend to be longer than the 15m of advertised range for most presenters.

There are a few wireless presenters which claim a 30m range, for example the Speedlink SL-6199. Does anyone have any experience of devices which really work at this distance? I'm slightly skeptical.

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Maybe an iPod Touch or an iPhone can do the job. I control the pointer on my PC using an iPhone app (JumiMouse, it's free). You just connect to the PC you want to control and you're set. There's no range limit, but you need WiFi for it to actually work. – alex Nov 9 '09 at 11:03
I'd rather not rely on a network connection... an ad hoc wifi network connection initiated by the laptop might work, but they can be kinda fiddly. – Jon Skeet Nov 9 '09 at 11:13
I know, that's why I said you need WiFi to reliably work. I'm not a big fan of wireless anything, to be honest. I've got a Microsoft Wireless mouse that's useless at more than 3 meters from my PC, even though it's maximum range is, theoretically, nearly 6 meters. – alex Nov 9 '09 at 11:20
Unfortunately wifi in churches is pretty rare - at least in the churches I preach in :) I think it's reasonable for wireless mice to have a short range (although not shorter than advertised) but a wireless presenter is a different matter :) – Jon Skeet Nov 9 '09 at 11:29
up vote 3 down vote accepted

As a trainer I have this problem with certain classrooms as well. I must admit the Apple IR Remote works brilliantly for me, but the few times that I don't have my Mac for presentations I have had huge success with the Logitech Professional Presenter R800 with the Wireless USB dongle. I have effectively used it at around 20 meters from the actual PC.

Unfortunately I don't own one. They are fairly pricey, and the one I had used belong to my previous company, who bought these for every trainer. It also has a built in timer with vibrate feature which is handy to track your time and also determine when your out of range without interrupting your flow.

Oh, and it's also a laser pointer.

There is also the R400 but this only has a 15m range.

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Very useful, thanks - that was another option I'd been thinking about. – Jon Skeet Nov 9 '09 at 11:56
I am not one to believe in buying expensive, but this is one case where it really is worth the money and does as promised. Well, it worked for me and my colleagues. The presentation pointer market is like the MP3 player market, there is cheap and nasty, and expensive and professional, with the latter always working best. – BinaryMisfit Nov 9 '09 at 12:00
Have ordered an R800, after trying an older Logitech one which was in the office and had massive range. (I would have bought that one, but it's not available any more.) Will see what happens... – Jon Skeet Nov 9 '09 at 15:49
@Jon - Nice. Hope you enjoy it! – BinaryMisfit Nov 9 '09 at 18:02

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