Part of the excitement of getting a new device is taking it out of the box and playing with it for the first time. My experience with the Kensington Ultimate Presenter was no exception. I was familiar with flat, sticklike presenters, so the first thing I noticed when my Ultimate Presenter arrived was its sleek ergonomic design—in part because its curvy shape stuck so far out from the box that I could see underneath the bottom of the handle!
The blue and white packaging pointed out the Ultimate Presenter’s Virtual Pointer technology, and also showed the presenter’s USB receiver next to the presenter. At this point, I couldn’t wait to open it up and take it for a spin.
What’s in the Box?
Once I slipped the presenter out of the top of the box, I picked it up and found that it fit immediately and intuitively into the palm of my hand. I experimentally clicked the buttons a couple of times and made some theatrical gestures. It felt like a natural extension of my hand. I guess good design just works! There’s a compartment at the back of the Ultimate Presenter for the USB receiver, and pushed the receiver in just to see how it fit too. It slid solidly into the presenter, and released easily back out again with a swipe of the thumb. Underneath the USB receiver, I noticed a little MicroSD card where I could store presentations and other files. Then, I turned my attention to the rest of the items in the box.
Inside the box, I found a black zippered case that fit the presenter snugly with no wasted room when I tried it out. I was pleased to find two AAA batteries too—all electronics should come with everything you need to hit the ground running! Turning the presenter upside down, I slid the battery compartment cover off with my thumb and inserted the batteries.
After I replaced the cover, I noticed that the batteries added a slight and satisfying heft to the Ultimate Presenter, balancing it nicely in my palm as I held it. When I opened the instruction booklet, I found that the Ultimate Presenter was so naturally designed that I had already completed the first two steps by inserting the batteries and USB receiver correctly. Great!
Getting the Goods with KensingtonWorks
The Ultimate Presenter can work right out of the box to play a presentation with the forward and back buttons, and the front button helpfully defaults to blackout the screen. But I wanted all the customizable bells and whistles, so I followed the booklet’s instructions to download a program called KensingtonWorks, which lets me customize my presentation remote. I had two choices: download the program from Kensington’s website or install it directly from the USB receiver.
I chose the latter, and inserted the receiver into my computer’s USB port. I’m a Mac person, so I saw the receiver appear as a device on my desktop labeled “untitled.” I decided to rename it “Ultimate Presenter” so I could identify it in the future. When I double clicked the icon, a window popped up showing me four items preloaded on the receiver. I clicked on the one named KensingtonWorks, and it walked me through the installation process in about twenty seconds.
Just to note: there were also alternate instructions in the booklet to open my internet browser and go to Kensington.com/kensingtonworks to download the program. I checked it out, and found that the website had two buttons at the top to download the program for Microsoft or Mac, as well as a detailed explanation of the menus in KensingtonWorks. Since I’d already downloaded it from the USB, I was good to go. I found KensingtonWorks in my computer’s list of applications, and clicked to open it. A small window popped up asking if I wanted to update KensingtonWorks, which of course I did because I wanted the most cutting-edge features. It updated in the blink of an eye, and I was ready for the fun part.
Tricking Out Your Ultimate Presenter
Let’s turn this thing on! Following the instructions in the booklet, I flipped a small switch on the presenter’s left side to ON. A light on the top blinked green for a moment to register that the power was on, and it seamlessly connected to the USB receiver already in my computer.
Now that my presenter was on and connected to the receiver, it was easy to see that I had several ways to tailor my Ultimate Presenter in the KensingtonWorks program. Under the Button Setting menu, I configured the front button as a mouse click, but I could also have picked blackout screen, start/end presentation, or magnifier. As a Mac user I got an extra present from Kensington by being able to use the pen feature.
The Pointer Style menu let me customize the Virtual Pointer to be any image I wanted (including the familiar blurry red dot, but without the dangers of an actual laser). I toyed for a moment with making it a picture of my dog for laughs, but I picked a cheery yellow star instead.
After monkeying around with the pointer speed options in the Pointer Styles menu, I found that I like my pointer on the slower side because it smooths out my hand movements and makes them look controlled and deliberate. I clicked OK at the bottom right to save my settings to the presenter, and try it out for real.
All there was left to do was to fire up a presentation and take the Ultimate Presenter for a test drive. I opened a multimedia-heavy presentation I gave at a recent conference, which included a lot of images and a short video clip. The Virtual Pointer is truly magical. My yellow star pointer appeared on the screen, but not on the walls nearby. Goodbye fears about laser safety!
I used the customizable button to start my video clip with a mouse click, and will be so relieved to have future videos play as smoothly. I’m looking forward to trying a bunch of other configurations when I have different types of presentations, but right now my Ultimate Presenter fits me perfectly!
Remember to keep your Ultimate Presenter up to date with the software so it is always running at its best!
Update: The Ultimate Presenter is no longer available on kensington.com