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Presentation Cards for Your PDA: Palm OS and Pocket PC

by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor

Margi Presenter-to-Go CompactFlash Card (type I) for Pocket PC
Margi Presenter-to-Go SD Card for Palm
Margi Presenter-to-Go Memory Stick Card for Sony Clié

MARGI’s Presenter-to-Go is one of the earliest and most popular presentation tools for the PDA market. Its support for a wide variety of handheld devices including Palm OS, Pocket PC and HPC devices and flexible media formats which include CF card, PC card, SD card, Springboard and Memory Stick makes this a solution for just about every current PDA. We tested the CF type I card solution for Pocket PCs with type I/II CF slots and Memory Stick solution for Sony Clie devices.

Installation

The CDROM will auto start the installation process when you pop it in your computer. Follow the installation steps to install Presenter-to-Go and Mirror applications on your PDA. On the Pocket PC, You will see both application icons appear on your screen after a successful installation as well as a Tutorial. After you install the software, you can connect the CF Card to the VGA adapter cable, plug the CF Card into your Pocket PC and connect the VGA output to your projector or computer monitor.

On the Clie, you will see presenter.prc and Mirror.prc along with Palm_Tutorial.pdb files that you can run to install these applications on your Clie. After software installation, plug the Memory Stick into your Clie and connect the VGA output to your projector or computer monitor. There is also an A/C port on the VGA output adapter of the Memory Stick version.

Presentation Conversion and Transfer

The Presenter-to-Go desktop software is embedded in MS PowerPoint. You will see a shortcut icon in PowerPoint’s toolbar. You can click on this icon to bring up Presenter-to-Go Desktop app for converting and transferring the PowerPoint presentation files to the handheld device. In this application, you will see a list of presentations ready for transfer, and an option to transfer the file to a storage card. You can also view the slides in selected presentation or delete a presentation that you don’t want to transfer to the handheld. Once you have modified all the settings, click on the Transfer button to move your presentations to your Palm or Pocket PC. If you don’t have MARGI Presenter-to-Go and Mirror installed on your handheld, you can install the apps from this Presenter-to-Go desktop interface.

One unique feature in Presenter-to-Go is the ability to create a single presentation from multiple sources including MS Word, Excel and HTML files. Once the Presenter-to-Go creation software drivers are installed on your desktop, you will find that you now have a “Presenter-to-Go” printer listed in your Windows applications. By selecting this as your printer, you’ll really be outputting the file to Presenter-to-Go for use on your PDA. You can use the Append function in Presenter-to-Go desktop version to insert any pages including MS Word doc, Excel sheet and HTML files into your presentation. This feature makes combining your product sheets, marketing tools and other info with your PowerPoint slides extremely easy.

Presenter-to-Go on the PDA

On the PDA, Presenter-to-Go displays your presentation slides in a list format. Once you select a presentation, you will see all the slides in that presentation listed in the main display window with slide numbers and titles.

On the Pocket PC, you will find shortcut icons for Preview and View Notes at the bottom of the main viewing screen. There is also a Card icon here indicating if your CF card or PC card is detected. There are menus labeled Presentation and Options. The Presentation menu allows you to start Auto Slide Show, Show all and Hide all sides, delete current presentation as well as send current presentation to any handheld via Infrared. The Options menu gives you access to Preferences, which includes settings for the number of seconds to display each slide in the Auto Slide Show mode, Loop Continuously, and Preview Left Hand Mode to rotate the slides.

On the Clie application, you will find two shortcut buttons at the bottom of the main viewing screen for Memory Stick detection and Preview. If you hit the Preview button, you will see your slides in slide show mode and shortcut buttons for switching back to list/notes mode and two drawing tool buttons that you can use to modify the pen colors and select from two pen widths. When you click on the Palm OS menu button on the silk screen, you will find Tools, Show and Options menus. Under the Tools menu, you can copy or move the current presentation to the memory card, delete the current presentation or beam the presentation. You will find Hide and Select all slides and Auto Advance slides in the Show menu. Under the Options menu, you can find settings for the number of seconds to display each slide in the Auto Slide Show mode, Loop Continuously, On screen Indicators and Annotation color and width options.

 

Deals and Shopping!

 

Get Presenter-to-go CF Card for Pocket PCs from Amazon for $173.95
Get the Presenter To Go SD Card for Palm from Amazon for $173.95
Get the Presenter To Go Memory Stick For Clie from Amazon for $173.95

 

 

Margi Presenter Pocket PC

Margi Presenter Memory Stick VGA card for Clie

VGA Display and Remote Control

Presenter-to-Go supports most VGA projectors and CRT monitors, but does not support TV monitors. The cable connector is VGA only. Compared to the newer handheld presentation tools such as IA Presenter, Presenter-to-Go offers fewer features once the presentation is on your handheld. For example, you can uncheck any slides in your presentation and have them not show up in the Auto Slide Show, but you cannot delete that slide or add slides from other presentations on the handheld. You will need to finish this process on the desktop. You can however change the order of the slides by using the drag and drop feature and take any slide and place it anywhere in the presentation. If you have perfect canned presentation files ready to go, Presenter-to-Go does have all the basic features you will need to do a good presentation. You have the freedom to view notes without showing them on the big screen during the slide show and draw or write on your slides anytime in your presentation. You can also switch presentations with the selector on top of the screen, and manage your presentation files on memory cards with tools provided with Presenter-to-Go. It handles large presentations well, including our 79 page test PowerPoint presentation.

If you don’t use the Auto Slide Show feature, you can control the slides with the directional buttons on your PDA or with the 14-key remote control that comes with the package. The IR remote control lets you move the slides forward or in reverse, auto loop the slides and gives you the ability to jump to any slide by punching in the slide number. There is also a Return button that lets you toggle between two slides.

PowerPoint Special Effects Support and other PDA features

Presenter-to-Go currently does not support transition effect or audio/video clips created with PowerPoint on the desktop. Thus you’ll see only straightforward static slides. Margi tells us that in their future versions, transitions will be supported.

You can send presentations via Infrared to other PDAs using the Presenter-to-Go on the handheld.

MARGI Mirror Program

As a bundled application with Presenter-to-Go, MARGI Mirror program allows you to show the contents of your PDA’s screen on the big screen. There is a simple but useful interface in MARGI Mirror. It provides you with options to Enable/Disable video, Zoom 1x-4x, Update rate of video display and Rotate the screen (on the Pocket PC only). Once you have the desired settings, simply click on the Hide button to hide the MARGI Mirror application's screen. This application is more designed to show product demos for non-multimedia applications. If you use applications that run at 15 fps or higher (action games, movies), you will see choppy video.

Everything is great, what to watch out for?

The output VGA connector only supports CRT monitors and projectors, but does not support TV monitors (no RCA or S-video connector). Don’t expect to see your special transition effects and added audio/video clips in your PowerPoint presentation on the PDA version. Presenter-to-Go will support this feature in the future. MARGI Mirror cannot handle high frame rate demos at a smooth pace.

Specs and Price

Supported Devices and Desktop
Palm OS device support includes Handspring Treo 90, most of the Visor models, Kyocera Smartphone 7135, Palm m125/130, m500/505/515, i705, Tungsten T/W, Sony Cliés NR70, SJ20/30, T665 and more. Pocket PC device support includes Casio E125/E200, iPAQ 3100 through 5450 series, Dell Axim X5, HP Jornada, NEC MobilePro P300, Toshiba e550/e570 and more. For complete list of handheld devices supported, click here.
Desktop/laptop support includes Windows 98, 98 SE, ME, 2000, XP and NT 4; Mac OS 8.5 thru 9.2 (for Visor and Palm only). Source presentation format supports slides created in PowerPoint 97, 2000 and XP for Windows PC and PowerPoint 98, 2001 for Macintosh.

Supported output devices
Any display device with HD-15 (VGA) connector and support for 1024x786 resolution (This includes most CRT monitors and digital projectors).

Package includes
CF VGA for Pocket PC: Presenter-to-Go CF Card with integrated IR support, CDROM with desktop and Pocket PC application plus MARGI Mirror app, VGA Adapter Cable, Male-to-Male VGA Cable (Projector Connection Cable), 14-key Remote Control, Quickstart Tutorial and a black carrying case.

Memory Stick for Sony Clie: Presenter-to-Go Memory Stick Card and Cable with power port, A/C Adapter, Remote Control, CDROM with desktop and Palm application plus MARGI Mirro app, Projector Connect cable, Quickstart Card and a black carrying case.

Please note that different media format might have additional accessories such as power adapter. Please check MARGI’s web site for the more details.

Software bundle
MARGI’s Presenter-to-Go application and MARGI’s Mirror application.

Price: $199 (for CF card, PC card, SD card, Memory Stick), $99 (Springboard Module). One year warranty.

Web Site: http://www.margi.com

Other Presentation Solutions we've Reviewed:

Pocket PC

IA Presenter CF VGA Card

FlyPresenter CF VGA Card

 

 

 

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