Make Like a Jedi with the Satechi iOS Laser Pointer [Review]

The iPhone seems to have it all, almost. Satechi adds a laser pointer to almost any iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Why a laser pointer? The main idea is for presentations, but it can be used for much more…like seriously confusing your cat. The X-Pointer is a little device that plugs into iPhone’s headphone jack. The laser pointer is accessed with the X-Pointer iPhone app which also allows you to remotely control your computer with a mouse, keyboard, and other helpful presentation features.

The X-Pointer is two components, the actual laser pointer which sits about an inch out of iPhone’s headphone jack. The other part of X-Pointer is a capacitive stylus for touchscreens. The laser pointer, when not being used, actually sits inside of the stylus by nestling in through the rubber housing. The stylus has a bungee cord tethered to a plastic 3.5mm plug for storing it inside iPhone’s headphone jack. While it’s a little strange having something hanging from iPhone at all times, it’s convenient for bringing it on the go.

For presentations, the X-Pointer iOS app basically has it all. Navigating through PowerPoint slides and using the laser pointer couldn’t be easier. You can turn iPhone or the iOS device into a wireless mouse or keyboard. Both work very well, though there are better free apps in the App Store for this. The app isn’t the most intuitive, but it’s free and rich in features. The only major bummer is that the rotation doesn’t flip so if the headphone jack is on the bottom of your iOS device you’ll have to flip it around to use the laser. This should be fixed once it’s updated for iPhone 5.

The X-Pointer app requires a server application to run on your Mac or PC. Luckily, there’s next to no setup. The iPhone or iOS device just has to be on the same WiFi network as the computer. It’s very easy.

Verdict

The X-Pointer laser pointer (and stylus) is a nifty little device if you’re in the market for a presentation laser pointer. The X-Pointer presentation app is free and doesn’t require the device, so go ahead and try it out. It’s a good app, but there’s better ones out there…just none that can also control the X-Pointer Laser Pointer. The laser happens to be pretty strong too, more-so than the cheap ones with replaceable caps. The Satechi X-Pointer Mobile Presenter Remote costs £12.90 GBP (about $21 USD) on Amazon. It’s compatible with iPhone 3G/3GS/4/4S/5, iPad/2/3/4/Mini and iPod Touch 5G/4G.

The Good: Neat Design, strong red laser, included stylus, and free app is perfect for presentations.

The Bad: Apps are not polished/intuitive, apps don’t flip orientation for headphone jacks on the bottom, and  stylus can’t be used without laser inside of it.