Device lets BlackBerry users give presentations

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Device lets BlackBerry users give presentations

No need for a laptop.

RIM has announced a device that lets BlackBerry users deliver a presentation from their handset, a move that could free mobile professionals from the need to carry a laptop with them, according to the firm.

BlackBerry Presenter, available later this month, is a small device that plugs into a projector or monitor and links to a BlackBerry smartphone via Bluetooth.

An application allows Microsoft PowerPoint presentations to be beamed wirelessly using this connection.

"BlackBerry Presenter equips mobile professionals with a simple, secure and convenient way to deliver presentations directly from their BlackBerry smartphone, giving them the freedom to leave their laptops behind," said RIM vice president of product management Glenn Laxdal.

The device has VGA and S-Video outputs, the latter switchable between NTSC and PAL video signals, and supports resolutions of 640 x 480, 800 x 600, or 1,024 x 768. It has an internal battery that is charged by connecting to a PC via a Micro USB port.

To use the BlackBerry Presenter, users need to download a BlackBerry Presenter desktop manager tool for their PC and a BlackBerry Presenter application for the handset itself.

The BlackBerry Presenter application allows users to control their presentation, setting a time between slides or freezing a slide on screen while browsing through the rest of the presentation on their BlackBerry. It supports most of the slide animations and transitions from Microsoft PowerPoint versions 2003 and 2007, according to RIM.

BlackBerry Presenter requires BlackBerry Device Software v4.6 or later, and is not supported on the BlackBerry Curve 8300 or BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8200 smartphones.

It costs US$199 ($216) from RIM's online BlackBerry store.

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