If you’ve ever given a presentation, you’ll know that time has seemingly stood still for the remote clickers used to control your slides. In the age of the minimalist Apple-inspired design aesthetic, most clickers look like they were designed by a rugby player. Luckily Logitech, maker of so many sexy, small, shiny things — from PC peripherals to IP cameras — has reinvented the clicker as an object of minimalist excellence. It’s called the Logitech Spotlight.
Conference organisers are beloved of a style of remote that is the size of an ancient garage door opener, with prominent red and green buttons. What they gain in hardiness they lose in elegance, and in most cases, their functionality is limited to advancing your presentation or backing it up. In short, they’re just not very good.
The Spotlight brings the clicker screeching into the 21st century by resembling a remote for an Apple TV. It’s clad in slick aluminium, and is fittingly offered in (a decidedly space-looking) grey, silver or rose gold.
It’s svelte, lightweight and sits comfortably in your hand, with its three button perfectly positioned for operating with a thumb.
The largest of the three buttons sits in the middle and is obviously the forward button, with a back button below it and a highlight one above. The highlight feature is superb: when you hold the top button in the screen greys out except for a circle, which you position over the area of the slide you want to highlight.
Alternatively, via the accompanying software for Mac or Windows, you can set the highlight button to magnify a portion of your slide, or you can opt for a conventional laser-like red-dot pointer. If you want to use a combination of the highlight features you can switch between them by double pressing the highlight button.
It’s also possible to customise the forward and back buttons buttons to perform other functions when double-clicked, like playing audio or video, adjusting volume, using gestures to scroll through on-screen content, or you can even map them to a custom keystroke if your presentation requires it.
Logitech says the Spotlight has a range of 30 metres, which we’ve found has been more than sufficient for talks where we’ve had to leave our laptop at the back of the room with the AV team.
Thankfully, when it comes to power, Logitech has ensured its thoroughly contemporary clicker charges via the equally contemporary USB-C standard. There’s a short charging cable included with the device, which plugs into the bottom of the Spotlight when you remove the tabbed plug/USB dongle that provides connectivity in the (granted, unlikely) event your laptop doesn’t have Bluetooth, or you’re presenting on someone else machine and need to plug-n-play.
The battery is good up to three months at a time, depending on usage. But even if you’re doing an all-day presentation and you’ve forgotten to charge it in months, speedy charging means you can get up to three hours of presenting time with the Spotlight from a minute of charging. A full charge, meanwhile, takes around an hour.
For professional presenters, there’s even the option to set timers or milestones in your presentation and the Spotlight will vibrate in your hand to let you know you’ve reached them, and it comes as no surprise you can use it with Powerpoint, Keynote, Google Slides and Prezi presentations, or with good old PDFs.
If you present more than a couple of times a year the Spotlight, which retails for R1,200, is an excellent investment. Its combination of beautiful design and intuitive functionality means you can get on with the business of giving a stellar presentation, without worrying you’re going to lose your flow midway when the confounded clicker stops working… as it so often does.