Best Presentation Remotes

Updated August 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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Pros
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

71 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
581 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best presentation remotes

Last Updated August 2019

The digital revolution has left an indelible mark on the world of presentations. PowerPoint and similar software programs give us visual aids that become the focal points during lectures and conferences. Enter the presentation remote, a speaker’s solution to cutting the cord. With a presentation remote, a presenter is free to work the room instead of being cloistered behind a computer during key discussions.

Presentation remotes solve a logistic problem for speakers, especially in larger rooms and auditoriums. Wireless control is freeing, and with a laser pointer in hand, a presenter can speak from a distance while guiding the audience with a focal point. Whether you’re an educator or keynote speaker, investing in a presentation remote is a must. We examined the best presentation remotes to help you decide which one is on-point with your public speaking needs.

Always practice laser safety to avoid harming others. It is prohibited to shine laser pointers on aircraft (FAA regulations) and at members of law enforcement (subject to state laws).

Key considerations

Battery type

Presentation remotes are powered by either alkaline or rechargeable batteries. A remote that takes alkaline batteries will likely require one to four AAA batteries.

Presentation remotes with rechargeable batteries power up quickly and hold a charge for several hours. Keep in mind that these batteries aren’t removable or docked to an external device. You simply plug in the cord into an available USB hub.

If you’re leaning toward a remote that requires alkaline batteries but want the perks of a rechargeable remote, you could split the difference and invest in rechargeable batteries. They cost more than alkaline ones, but the investment pays off long-term with fewer battery purchases.

Range

Consider the spaces where you’ll deliver presentations. Some remotes have very limited ranges of between 30 and 50 feet. These are better suited for classrooms and small conference rooms. For auditoriums and halls with a lot of square footage to cover, consider a presentation remote with a range between 100 and 300 feet.

USB receiver size

The USB receiver comes in a variety of sizes. Some are only millimeters in width; others are the size of a regular thumb drive. Many presentation remotes are designed to have the receiver pop into the handheld device itself. It usually clicks into place, so it’s secure during storage. Other USB receivers are completely separate pieces, safely kept in a case with the remote after use.

Compatibility

Some presentation remotes are designed to be compatible only with specific devices and software. Others boast blanket compatibility, citing compatibility with the oldest and newest technology in the presentation space. The latter is an attractive feature if you’re a traveling speaker who can’t always predict what will be in the room when you arrive.

EXPERT TIP

If you present infrequently, remove the batteries from the remote after use. Batteries expire or can or bleed if exposed to heat, so check to make sure they’re intact between uses.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Color

Color doesn’t play a huge role in presentation remotes, although there are some models that go beyond the rudimentary black and gray. For the most part, they’re monochromatic with occasional color pops on buttons and logos. Color accents of silver, gray, and white are usually contrast colors to indicate where the buttons are and in some cases, what they do.

Laser pointer

The laser pointer is another standard feature. Unlike other buttons on the remote, this one has to stay pressed to beam in most models. This design element is also a safety feature, as lasers should be used with discretion; you wouldn’t want to accidentally shine it in someone’s eyes or in their line of vision. Laser colors are either red or green. While some say green is easier to see than red, laser color is a matter of preference.

Buttons

The placement, design, and responsibilities of the buttons vary between models.

D-pad

Some presentation remotes have a D-pad (directional pad), a recognizable four-way button seen on video game controllers and TV and DVD remotes. The D-pad will either be a single button that moves in different directions or a series of slightly spaced individual buttons. The left and right buttons most often control slide commands (for example, go back or move to the next slide). The up and down buttons take on different responsibilities depending on the model; they may control the blank screen command, scroll through a screen, or turn on the laser pointer.

Power switch

The power switch has the most thoughtful placement on presentation remotes. Since no one wants a presentation to come to a screeching halt with technical difficulties, it’s usually neatly tucked away in a place with the least amount of hand contact. For some models, it’s on the side; for others, it’s on the back.

Blank screen

The blank screen button varies quite a bit between models, but it generally remains in the same location. It’s either part of a D-pad setup or situated close to the D-pad as an independent button.

Connect

In some models, there is a separate button to initiate a connection between the remote and computer. Other models simply connect as soon as they’re turned on.

Keep the receiver nook clean with compressed air. A couple gentle bursts clear dust so the USB stays clean and uncorrupted.

Presentation remote prices

Presentation remotes typically cost less than $100, so if it’s something you plan to use on a regular basis, the price is palatable.

On the low end, there are presentation remotes between $10 and $25. These tend to be made with lower-quality materials and components and may not be as reliable as their pricier counterparts. Between $25 and $90, you’ll find better-performing models with a focus on ergonomic design. Products in this range are also compatible with more devices and software. There are some presentation remotes over the $90 mark, and these integrate other technology into their design. For example, the remote may also serve as a mouse, or it might have programmable functions.

EXPERT TIP

If your presentation is in a facility with security checks and bag scanners, remember to remove the presentation remote from your bag along with your other electronics.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Remember your USB receiver. Once your presentation concludes, be sure to remove the USB receiver from the computer right away. Set a timer on your watch or phone as a reminder to take it before you leave the room.
  • Double-check your presentation. Make sure there are no issues between your presentation remote and your computer. Arrive early to the lecture hall or conference room to leave time for setup.
  • Keep your presentation remote in a case. If it didn’t come with a case, invest in a compact, padded one to keep the remote protected inside your bag or briefcase.
  • Clean your hands before use. Use your presentation remote with clean hands to keep dirt away from accumulating between buttons. Hand sanitizer can remove excess residue in a pinch if you don’t have time to wash your hands.
  • Keep spare batteries on hand. Be prepared with an extra set of batteries in your bag. While many people have spare phone chargers, sometimes it’s harder to locate batteries when you need them right away.

Other products we considered

Because so many models of presentation remotes share the same features — and even similar shapes and designs — we took a special look at some remotes outside the norm. The DinoFire Wireless Finger Ring USB PowerPoint Presentation Clicker breaks from the handheld tradition and wraps itself conveniently around your pointer finger. It’s rechargeable, taking only one hour to charge and lasting for seven days. Periods of low activity kick off its sleep mode, so this futuristic presentation remote-ring is a top battery-saving and space-saving option.

For time-conscious speakers, the Doosl Wireless Presenter Laser Pointer Green PowerPointer Clicker Remote LCD Display with Timer is essential. This model has a green LCD display that is programmable with vibrating alerts to help you keep time. It has a 300-foot wireless range thanks to a top-grade microchip, so it’s an ideal pick for speakers who like to move around in a large auditorium.

Save money by turning off the power after use. Even though you’re not actively using your remote, the battery will deplete if it’s left on. You’ll save money by not making unnecessary replacements.

FAQ

Q. My presentation has moving text and images on each slide. Can I control those features with my presentation remote?
A.
It depends less on the remote and more on how you design your presentation. For example, a plain PowerPoint presentation will move to the next slide with a single click. If your presentation has moving images or text, each one requires a single click to progress. After all interactive parts of the slide are completed, a final click transitions to the next slide.

Q. I’m left-handed. Are some remotes easier to use than others?
A.
Most of the presentation remotes on the market have axial symmetry, which means you can reach buttons just as easily holding it in the left hand as the right. For remotes with a side power switch, it’s usually located on the left lateral side. If you’re concerned about accidentally hitting it during use, opt for a remote with the switch on the back. 

Q.  Because my presentation remote is wireless, do I need to worry about any other device interference?
A.
Sometimes there is interference or interruptions during use if your USB receiver is plugged into a computer with other wireless devices, like a wireless keyboard. You could disconnect them temporarily in settings or manually remove their USB receivers during your presentation.

Q. My presentation remote worked fine at home, but I can’t get it to work in this room/auditorium. Now what do I do?
A.
If there is someone technical in the room who can help, hopefully they can resolve the issue. If not, call for IT assistance. While you’re waiting for them to arrive, try the USB receiver in another computer. You can also try one in another room to determine whether the issue is the computer or the remote itself. 

The team that worked on this review
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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