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Conary Enterprise iPin Laser Pointer Presenter R11101
Gadget Reviews

Conary Enterprise iPin Laser Pointer Presenter R11101

Business-types with presentation needs and/or regular folks looking to join the laser pointing craze might want to take look at the iPin Pointer Presenter, which adds a cool laser beam and miscellaneous controls to your iPhone via a tiny dongle. Installation is relatively painless: simply plug the iPin Laser into your iPhone’s 3.5mm jack, download […]

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Business-types with presentation needs and/or regular folks looking to join the laser pointing craze might want to take look at the iPin Pointer Presenter, which adds a cool laser beam and miscellaneous controls to your iPhone via a tiny dongle. Installation is relatively painless: simply plug the iPin Laser into your iPhone’s 3.5mm jack, download and install the free iPin mobile app, and you’re ready to start pointing that blazing red dot nearly anywhere you choose (just not at flying aircraft, please).

Using the iPin is as easy as the instructions make it: snap the laser dongle into your iPhone’s 3.5mm slot, install the free App, and you’re good to start pointing in style. You’ll have to press a virtual button to ‘activate’ the actual pointer, but the size of the button is generous enough to let active pointing be a eyes-off affair.

Speaking of eyes-off, the official documentation reminds you that the iPin uses a Class 2 type laser, meaning you probably shouldn’t point it directly into anyone’s eyes, especially your own, for extended periods of time. That would be bad.

The iPin sports a 635nm wavelength laser, which the company brags is better and brighter than the “common” 655nm wavelength used by lesser lasers. I’ve got no reason to disbelieve them, as both my friends and curious cat thought its glowing red beam was bright and easy to spot, easily on par with anything currently on the market. The dongle leeches off  your device’s battery so there’s little reason to worry about it blinking out, provided you keep things juiced up.

Turning the dongle 90 degrees (tip facing out) enables laser usage (which requires interaction with the app), while another twist (tip facing inward) turns it off. But you’ll have to be vigilant, as keeping the dongle enabled means you can’t use your phone’s internal speaker. Naturally, it also renders your headphone jack unusable while plugged in, so you’ll have to factor that in as well. This may not be an issue for those who never use their headphone jack for, well, headphones, but those who like to maximize their technology options probably won’t like having to constantly plug/unplug the iPin dongle that much.

iPin actually addresses this problem by creating another. Included is a tiny bit of plastic, naturally called a “Laser Storage”, that piggybacks onto the base of your headphones (provided you’re using Apple headphones), creating a holster to ‘store’ your iPin dongle when not in use. But not only is this storage solution unattractive, it never felt truly secure, especially given how often you’ll be pulling the dongle out of its mini-holster to plug in to actually use.

But the iPin isn’t just a laser pointer; it’s a laser presenter. This means, in theory, you’ll use it for all your PowerPoint and other presentation needs. Having a single device to control both a cool laser pointer and onscreen presentations is a great concept, but this communication is limited to WiFi-only connections, practically a deal-killer in the majority of meeting rooms out there. The company says Bluetooth connections are possible, but only recommends using the software only with Macbook laptops (sorry Windows users).

There are additional settings for light gesture controls and a timer but attempting to use either felt artificial. Oh, and there’s also mouse control using the iPin mobile app but you’ll have to contend with the same frustrating interface and WiFi restrictions listed above. They’re essentially tacked on features to an overpriced laser pointer attachment, which is (in all honesty) all the iPin really is.

While the iPin works with compatible iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad hardware, those working with Android or Windows Phones are out of luck, unfortunately, as there’s currently no plans to bring it to either platform at this time. This could change, of course, but given how intertwined the dongle and required software are you’ll either need to wait for an competent hack or for the company to officially support your non-iDevice.

Given how inexpensive and widely available standalone laser pointers are, not to mention that using the iPin Pointer Presenter effectively complicates how you’ll interact with your phone’s headphone jack and internal speaker, you may want to seek your pointing pleasures elsewhere.

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Conary Enterprise

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R11101

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$49.99

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About the Author: Trent McGee