Logitech has launched the second in its latest generation of presenters, the snappily titled Logitech R500. The first in the generation is the Logitech Spotlight.
This is a standard wireless presenter offering remote control of presentations with a built in red laser pointer. The differentiating factor here is that the device offers connectivity either by a built in USB A receiver or Bluetooth 4.0.
My preferred pointer is a the Kensington Presenter with red laser, however I will use the presenter expert pro due to its green laser. If am using a large television to present, then the only option is the Logitech spotlight.
This is clearly a commodity item with the presenter being completely encased in a plastic carton, although Logitech have clearly given some thought to user experience by including two convenient tabs to get into the pack.
The battery (AA or LR03) is already installed, with a pull tab preventing the device from drawing power while it is sat on a shelf.
Design and feel
The R500 is designed like an elongated tear, with a flat front surface, and rounded rear. The buttons are in a vertical line, with the ‘forward’ button being larger and in the centre. Its is this button arrangement that shows it is the same family as the Spotlight.
There are two colours available – Black and Grey. The version I have is the black one.
The vertical button arrangement may look neat and tidy, but it does have some drawbacks compared to that of the Kensington Presenter. The first is that you loose the immediate sense of which button moves to the next slide, and which moves back. The second is that natural resting position of your thumb is on the next slide button, as opposed to a neutral inactive space, this may lead to more accidental clicks.
The device is made of plastic, which came as somewhat of a surprise given the premium price of the device. That said the device does feel a little more premium due to the weighting and balance which is firmly in the centre of the device.
The USB dongle fits into the base, but unlike the Kensington Presenter it just pull out, as opposed to having a sprung mechanism. The device does not automatically turn off when you insert the dongle, as Bluetooth connectivity may mean that the dongle is never used.
There is a white LED at the top of the device which comes on whenever the laser point is active, and will flash to indicate Bluetooth pairing mode.
For macOS and Windows the R500 can be used with the Logitech presenter software. This adds that ability to add a long press function to each of the navigation buttons, and to display a timer when presenter display functionality is used. This is not essential to the R500 being used, and in a corporate environment may not actually be supported.
Pairing and Setup
I have tested theR500 with the following devices:
- MacBook Pro running macOS 10.13.4
- iPhone X running iOS 11.4
- IPad Pro running iOS 11.4
The software was not tested, but does
MacBook Pro (macOS 10.13.4)
There are two options for setup with a MacBook Pro – Bluetooth and using the dongle. The dongle set up is the most straightforward – just put the dongle in and you can use the forward and back buttons on the device to control a presentation. Both PowerPoint and keynote worked as expected.
The MacBook Pro used does have a USB A port, if your device only uses USB-C then you will need a dongle for the dongle.
Bluetooth setup is easy, press and hold the laser pointer button and the back button and you can pair the device. The device will then function as you would expect.
iPhone X (iOS 11.4)
The device refused to pair, giving an error that the device took too long to pair. The iPhone was tested as some people may wish to use the iPhone as the presenting device and the control with an iPad in split screen view.
IPad Pro (iOS 11.4)
The R500 connected perfectly. However iOS is not the best operating system to use presenters with. As the presenter connects as a keyboard it will cause the onscreen iOS keyboard to be hidden. Otherwise it will control PowerPoint and Keynote. Unless you have control over the environment you work in, then I can not recommend iOS devices for any form of serious presenting, unless you have a specific need which the iPad addresses. This is due to the way that it handles the device and the overall lack of control over what happens.
Range and Distance
If you are in the type of environment where range and distance may be an issue, then you are likely to have enough resources to get one of these devices and try it for yourself. The range of the laser pointer appears good enough, as does the range of the connection.
If you need Bluetooth connectivity with a laser pointer, then this will be a great device for you. If you need a presenter with laser pointer I would still recommend the Kensington Presenter due to the better positioning of the buttons.
The RRP of this at £44.95 is a little steep for the device given its construction, but this price is likely to come down.