Getting yourself a good presentation pointer is relatively easy. You just need to work out what it is you want from a pointer. Teaching lectures? Then there’s likely a presentation pointer here that will suit your needs.
Depending on what it is you really need, there are a wide variety of different laser presentation pointers that you can choose from. Some will suit you better if you prefer something old fashioned easy to use, but they’re releasing new and improved models all the time.
All of the pointers that I’ve listed here are all generally considered as the best available right now. They’re all below 1 mW in power, which means you don’t need to be concerned about blinding anyone either! Lets have a closer look at the options available.
Best Laser Pointer for Presentations
There are various different presentation pointers available on the market today. Whilst the power of these pointers doesn’t matter as much when compared to other types of lasers, you still want a pointer that will show a clear dot at the end of the beam.
Let’s have a look at a few of the better presentation pointers that are available on the current market.
Logitech R Series
The first group of presentation pointers that you’ll want to consider is anything from the Logitech R Series. They’re so good, that I wrote a whole post about what the best Logitech pointer is – check it out if you want a more in depth look at this brand.
If you want a wireless presenter for your Mac, then the Logitech R800 is one of my favorite options for this. I actually have this product at home and use it on a regular basis.
The reason that I chose to go for this presentation pointer is that I knew I was going to be using it with my Mac a lot. Not only would I be using it with my my Mac, but I’d often be using it with plasma screen and TV screen.
The main difference between the R800 and the R700 is the fact that the R800 uses a green laser, whereas the R700 uses a red laser. There are other subtle differences, but this is definitely the main difference between the two.
As green lasers will appear much clearer on plasma and TV screens, I decided that this was ultimately the better option for me out of the two laser pointers.
As well as the R700, there are also the R400 and the R500 available. You will struggle to find the 400 and 700, but the 500 and 800 are readily available on Amazon and other sources.
My Choice – Logitech R800
- The brilliant Green laser pointer is powerful and easy to see, even on LCD and Plasma displays and in brightly lit rooms.
- The LCD display with timer lets you manage your time with silent, vibrating alerts and controls that are easy to set and adjust–-you'll focus on your presentation, not the clock.
- With a range of up to 100 feet (30 meters), you can enjoy the freedom to move around the room and mingle with your audience for greater impact. A reception-level indicator ensures you don't wander too far.
The Logitech R800 ended up being my laser pointer of choice firstly because I was going to be using it on my Mac and it was compatible, and secondly because the pointer was clearly visible over long distances.
The R800 is actually almost ten years old in age, but it has been updated frequently and is still one of the best laser pointers available if you’re going to be giving lots of presentations.
Other presentation pointers will only have a reach of between 50 and 60 feet, but the R800 actually has a reach of up to 100 feet. This is due to the laser that’s used, which is limited to a low and safe level. The good thing about this is that it isn’t going to destroy your batteries in terms of life, as higher powered green lasers can take up a lot of battery life in a short amount of time.
It has a timer feature, but I can’t say that I’ve used it too much (although I have tried it out and it works as it should). I do like the fact that if I were to have a timed presentation, I could program my presenter to start vibrating when I need to wrap it up. Pretty cool.
Overall, I’m really happy with the R800 and I’m happy to recommend it to others. The timer, alerts and extended range make it the best choice if you want something from the R Series in my opinion.
- Use with Mac or Windows – Easily integrated with the majority of different operating systems.
- RSSI indicator – With the RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) built in, you’ll be aware if you ever stray too far out of range.
- Long 100 foot range is awesome – The R800 was one of the first pointers to be release with a huge 100 foot range. Since then, the majority of other companies have had to up their game to keep up with this model.
- High quality Logitech feel – Logitech likely make the best pointers on the market – they hold a huge percentage of the market, and there’s a good reason for that.
- Green laser is easy to see – Green lasers are much easiest to see compared to red and various other colored lasers. There’s a reason that green lasers are best for astronomy – you can see them clearly in the night sky!
- Good price – If we’re talking bang for buck, then I think that the R800 is undoubtedly the best value for money.
So now, as much as there are many good things that I do like about this pointer, there are a few things that I do not like. Here are a few of the things I didn’t like about the Logitech Spotlight.
- AA batteries – I would love the R800 sooo much more if it just had one thing – the ability to be charged with the USB cable! Although now I just use rechargeable batteries, things would be a little easier with a USB cable.
- Lack of functionality – Yes, the R800 does everything that I need it to. But after using the Logitech Spotlight, there are a few things that I’d like with the R800. The main one of these that I like is the easy integration with apps.
- No volume control – Yes, the R800 is ideal for those looking for a simple pointer. If you want something more advanced, you’ll have to up the budget a little bit.
Other Presentation Pointers
Whilst looking around trying to find a presentation pointer, I did look at other options that may give the R800 a run for it’s money. There are a few options available, and I’ll try to give you a rundown of each of them.
- Highlight and magnify on screen - Go beyond traditional laser pointing. Use the advanced pointer system to precisely highlight or magnify areas of focus in pixel-perfect detail. Visible to audience in-person and via video conference. Set your pointer mode with the Logitech presentation app.
- Mouse-like cursor control - Use the on-screen cursor to play and pause videos, open links, and enjoy a range of rich content interaction.
- Smart time management - Spotlight reminds you when it's time to wrap up. The presentation remote vibrates five minutes before the end of your presentation and again when your time is fully up. Track presenting time and customize vibration alerts in the Logitech presentation app.
I don’t own this presentation remote, but I do have a friend that bought it and was kind enough to let me borrow it for a few days.
If you want to have a look, I did an extensive review on how I felt about using it. It’s a good alternative if you don’t necessarily need a laser as part of your presentation pointer. The Spotlight does have a pointer in sorts – it isn’t a laser pointer, but a circle that appears on screen where you’re aiming your pointer. In fact, some people may actually prefer this to a regular laser.
The reality i that the Spotlight is a better option than any other presentation remote. But, it’s also significantly more expensive. So it’s down to you to decide whether it’s worth the extra investment.
- Bluetooth integrated – Having bluetooth integrated is a must if you want to live a cable-less life. Not all pointers have bluetooth, so it’s worth ensuring you get one with bluetooth integrated.
- No more batteries – Perhaps my favorite thing about this presentation pointer is the fact we no longer need batteries! The Spotlight charges through the USB port, so you don
- Long Range – Like the R800, the Spotlight has a range up to 100 feet – great for large lecture halls.
- Simple – All Logitech pointers focus on simplicity – and the Spotlight is no different. You won’t struggle using the Logitech pointer as it’s really easy to get the hang of.
- Expensive – Undoubtedly the worst thing about the Spotlight is the high price. Although I’ve seen it advertised cheaper recently, there’s no denying it’s high price is going to put a lot of people off.
- No software, no fun – You can’t easily get all the functionality of the Spotlight without the software for it installed. That means you need to have it installed on every computer that you use it on. A bit of a nightmare if you’re a teacher constantly changing rooms and lecture theaters.
- No red dot laser – For people who like old fashioned stuff, you might not get to grips with the ‘spotlight’ element of the Spotlight. Some people will just prefer the old school red dot you get with older models.
- Green laser pointer is 10X brighter than standard red pointers
- Cursor control joystick lets you use the presenter like a mouse, moving cursor up/down and left/right
- Backlit button controls move slides forward/back, can black out the screen and activate the green laser pointer
The Kensington Expert is another option if you don’t want to go for something from Logitech. One reason that you may look at this pointer over the others is that it comes with an easy to use joystick. It also has a backlit panel that makes it easy to see what you’re doing in the dark – super handy if you’re using it in a dimly lit room.
It has a 150 foot range, which is usually ample for a mid to large sized room. If you get the regular Kensington Expert, you won’t get any memory included. Though, you can easily find the upgraded version that has a memory card which can store your presentations. This comes in handy if you’re often on the move or you’ll forgetful like some of us!
It’s easily capable of using with Mac or Windows, which makes it a good option if you’re looking for something you can use with different operating systems.
- Joystick – Having a joystick makes navigation with the Kensington Expert easier to use than the buttons you’d have to use with a different pointer.
- Great warranty – As with all Kensington products, you get an awesome three year warranty that they’ll actually respond to if you contact them.
- Long(ish) Range – Like other laser pointers, it has a pretty decent range of almost 150 feet.
- Easy to see laser – A bright, easy to see laser is one reason that many pointers have started to use green as opposed to red. Green is far easier to see – but not for everyone – so check which is best for your eyesight.
- Doesn’t work with Sierra (yet) – Unfortunately, this pointer doesn’t work properly with Sierra (at the time or writing, anyway).
- Shocking battery life – Battery life is important for a pointer – the life of this pointer just doesn’t match the others, even if it does use the same batteries.
- Not the best connectivity – There seems to be a little bit of a connection issue when using the Kensington Expert.
- The PR5-G features great battery life, with up to 35 hours of operation or up to 400 days of standby time
- The pure green laser is 6 times more visible than a standard red laser, so you will have the attention of your audiences - even in the brightest rooms.
- Stay on track with a quick glance of the Backlit LCD and know exactly how much time you have left with vibration alerts.
Much like Logitech have their own series of pointers, Canon also have the exact same thing. Although they’re not quite as popular, they still offer a good variety of pointers. The PR5-G is their most popular option, and it’s a nice simple pointer for those that don’t need anything special.
It has pretty much everything that you could need from a pointer. You can use it easily with Powerpoint in your Windows device, but it’s also easy to use with a Mac too.
The vibration alerts are really easy to set up with the PR5-G – in fact, it’s one of the easiest pointers to invest in if you want to avoid the annoying softwares you need to install. The are older brothers of the PR5 like the PR10, but this model seems to have been the most popular for many years now.
- Easy setup – This presentation pointer is extremely simple to set up with any device – you can be up and running within a few minutes. You just plug in the USB pointer to your laptop or computer and you’re good to go!
- Fits in the hand nicely – The PR Series in general are all ergonomically designed to fit into your hand easily with a comfortable rubber grip.
- Good battery life – Unlike the Kensington Expert, the PR5-G has a great battery life. It uses two AAA batteries that should last you up to 400 days standby time.
- A bit expensive – Seeing as this pointer is generally the same price as the Spotlight, you might expect a bit more. You would expect a simple pointer to be a little cheaper than this.
- You can’t reduce the timer vibration – If you use the timer vibration often, then unfortunately you can’t turn the vibration level down on the PR5-G. It can be a bit off putting if you’re in the middle of a presentation – I’d prefer a more subtle vibration.
- Can’t play video – If you want to play a video with the laser pointer, you can’t generally do this (for example with YouTube).
Satechi Smart Pointer
- PRESENTATION REMOTE - works with iOS Keynote, PowerPoint, Google Docs, Prezi on Mac & PC. US Patent# D723,478S
- MEDIA PLAYBACK - includes play/pause, fast forward/rewind, volume up/down, mute. Home button can be used to activate Siri.
- ACCESSIBILITY MODE - navigate around your iOS screen, open applications, control iBooks and Keynote slides
The Satechi Smart Pointer is a more budget friendly option that the PR5-G. If you only need a really simple pointer, then it may not be worth spending $100 on a pointer.
It’s available in both black and silver – perfect for people who want something different from the standard black pointer. One of the better aspects about this pointer is that even though it’s relatively cheap, it’s still quite high quality. It’s slim appearance make it a good option for those who want something portable and easy to use.
If you want a pointer that’s pretty easy to use with your smartphone, then it’s worth looking at this one. Although it’s not one of the most popular brands around, this Satechi is definitely underrated in the current market.
- Connect Home Button with Siri – Having the Home Button easily integrated with Siri will have Apple fanboys celebrating!
- Bluetooth – The Satechi connects to a bluetooth device of over 30 feet way. For some people, a Bluetooth connection will be really important.
- Integrates well with the iPhone – If you use Apple products, then it’s worth getting a pointer like this that’s easily to use with iPhone apps. You can use it easily with the camera app to take a picture, too.
- Expensive – Lack of a battery indicator might not be great for those who need to monitor the battery life of their remote.
- Doesn’t use USB – For some reason, Satechi have decided not to use a USB cable with this. Instead, it has a mini b connector.
- Not great with music apps – If you’re getting a laser pointer to integrate using with Spotify and other music apps, this pointer doesn’t work too well with music applications.
So.. What’s the Best Laser Pointer for the Money?
Depending on your situation, each of these laser pointers will offer you different things. For me, I found the R800 the best option – mainly because it does everything that I could ask it to. I didn’t need a fancy pointer like the Spotlight, although when I used it I found it to work extremely well.
The other pointers that I’ve listed are also good options too. In reality, a presentation pointer is not the most important purchase that you’ll ever make. But, it still pays to ensure that you’re getting the best presentation pointer for your needs.
What to consider before purchase
When purchasing a pointer for yourself, there are a few things that you’ll want to consider to ensure you’re getting something suitable.
- Bluetooth – For some people, Bluetooth won’t matter at all. But if you hate carrying wires and cables around with you everywhere then Bluetooth is a necessity.
- Battery – The majority of pointers use AA or AAA batteries which you’ll need to change every few months. Only the Spotlight has a rechargeable battery, which you can easily recharge with the USB cable.
- Range – You’ll need to check the range of your pointer is suitable for the room you’ll be presenting in. The majority of newer pointers work up to 100 feet, which is more than suitable for most rooms.
- Price – Of course as you’d expect, it’s a little more expensive than the R400 but not by much.
- Features – For most people, you’ll only need to get yourself a simple pointer. But there are some added options you can consider – a timer, vibration alerts and easy navigation is all something you should consider.
- LED panel – I prefer to use a pointer with a panel so I can check the battery life of my pointer, as well as see the time.
Hopefully I’ve helped you make a decision on what pointer you should choose. These are undoubtedly the best options on the market, though to be honest there’s not a lot to choose from. I’d definitely opt for a better laser presentation pointer as opposed to something super cheap, because they don’t last particularly long (trust me, I know from experience).
Last update on 2020-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API