We like to make fun of cats for endlessly chasing the red dot, but is that really so different from what your colleagues do when you're using the very same laser to direct their attention on a powerpoint presentation?
Your cat Tiger may love to watch that beam move across a wall, but we all know that Stan from HR is equally fascinated.
All jokes aside though, a laser pointer is an extremely useful presentation tool. It catches the eye of the viewer and makes it easier to explain chart, graphs, and other details, especially on large screens or those that are a long ways from you.
You want to knock that presentation out of the park, and in this article we're going to show you the best laser pointers that can help you do it.
- Go classic with the Restar Wireless Laser Pointer, which offers a traditional cylindrical design and a strong, 100-meter red laser with additional buttons that can be used to advance your slides and presentations.
- If you want a little more focus on the presenting aspect of the laser, the Restar LP0005 RF 2.4GHz Remote integrated the red laser feature with designated buttons and plug-n-play functionality for almost any operating system that you want to present from.
- Take it to the next level with the Doosl Green Laser Pointer Presentation Remote, which changes the classic red beam for a powerful and vibrant green one. It features a sleek aluminum body and buttons for advancing your presentation.
Who Should Get This?
Whether you're presenting from across the room or pointing to the night sky and examining constellations, a laser pointer gives you flexibility a physical pointer or spoken words simply can't provide.
If you consistently present from a distance, having your own laser pointer is almost always ideal. It's convenient, easy to use, and helpful. Plus, your cat or dog will go crazy if you bring it home from work.
The Best Laser Pointer: What to Consider?
Everyone knows you don't shine a laser in someone's eye, but thankfully this isn't actually as drastic as it's made out to be if you're using a cheap red laser. However, red lasers are on the much lower end of the power spectrum. They won't have the same range of another color such as green, but they are much safer.
On the other hand, if you tend to present from a distance such as at a convention, definitely look for something more powerful that will have the range you need. Laser power is measured in mW, but remember that most lasers will be adequate for a simple room setting regardless.
Although red is a classic, laser pointers these days are also readily available in green, violet, and blue (to name some of the most common). If you want to keep it classic red is a great bet, but it doesn't offer the same power of some of the newer colors.
On the other hand, green lasers are the most visible and can have powerful beams that allow you to point far into the night sky, but can be very dangerous - and don't go pointing it at any airplanes, because that's a felony and they will track you down.
Many commercial laser pointers come with lens that can be fitted over the beam that can diffract the light into curious patterns such as a grid of dots or special shapes. While this feature may not be particularly useful to you, a more useful accessory would be laser pointers that come with built-in presentation buttons. This lets your laser serve more than one purpose, and can also be extremely useful for advancing your slides.
Best Laser Pointer for Presenting: Our Picks
With its sleek design and easy grip, this laser from Restar has a range of up to 100 meters on a single AAA battery, and even comes with built-in buttons for advancing your presentation slides. It has plug-and-play functionality and supports almost every operating system, and weighs less than an ounce.
- Classic red beam is visible without being dangerous.
- The additional buttons for advancing slides bring an extra degree of functionality, and the slim rod design is easy to hold or pack into a bag when not in use.
- Uses a switch rather than a button, which can be annoying if you only need it for brief periods at a time.
Looking primarily for a presentation remote but want to make sure the laser feature is up to par? This popular remote from Restar offers an ergonomic grip and textured buttons that make it easy to hold and control, while also offering a strong red laser. It puts all your presentation needs into a single remote.
- Remote has a range of about 39 feet and is ready to work as soon as you plug it in.
- The laser feature has a range of about 100 meters and is a very bright red color.
- Weighs 2 ounces in total.
- If attempting to use the presentation remote near any wifi modem/router, you may experience interference and need to move for it to work effectively due to both devices operate on the same frequency band.
Not satisfied with red? This green laser from Doosl takes things up a notch with a sleek, professional, and powerful product. The slide-advancing remote aspect has an outstanding 100-meter range, and the laser can match if not exceed this. The green is very bright and vibrant, making it easy to see on your slides.
- Green color of the laser can be easier to see against some slides than red is, it's also more powerful and offers a brighter beam.
- The remote is made of frosted metal for a professional look and feel.
- Carries a higher safety risk than a red laser and should never be pointed near anyone's eyes or at aircraft.
What if your laser pointer is going to get here in time? Don't worry - powerpoint has a built-in solution. You can activate an onscreen laser from the computer you're presenting from very easily, and the dot will be even easier to control than it is with a handheld device. You can also customize the color, size, and other features. For instructions on how to set this up, check out this great tutorial from Microsoft or watch this YouTube video:
Happen to have your phone on hand too? You can turn your phone into a virtual remote for your presentation if you're using Google Slides by projecting your presentation with Chromecast and then advancing your slides.
Alternatively, you can use a chrome extension such as Remote For Slides in order to get a similar effect. If you're using Apple's presentation software Keynote, there is a built-in remote that you can learn how to use in this support article.
Whether you opt for the traditional red, a more adventurous green, or something more exotic like violet or yellow, a laser pointer can be a great asset in any presentation.
Whether you're pointing out stars a guide on night hikes, in a conventional hall giving a lecture, or a small conference room with your proposal, a laser can direct attention with ease you might not otherwise have.
Why do you prefer to use a laser pointer during presentations? Leave us a comment below and tell us how it takes your presentations to the next level.
Andreas is an Apple and Microsoft fanboy who works with his Mac and lives with a PC at home. While he is not reading technology journals, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends or hiking in the wild.