Styluses may not be literally a dime a dozen, but a walk through the gadgets section of most malls will net you easily a dozen models, varying in size and price, but all performing the same basic function: replace your finger for interacting with your tablet.
A few makers might offer the bonus function of having a real pen integrated into the other end of the stylus. Tangram is trying to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack by offering a unique function — a laser pointer attachment.
The top fourth of the stylus snaps off to reveal an earphone plug and a small laser at the other end. It plugs into the earphone port of your iPhone or Android smartphone, and draws its power from the phone (no batteries to replace). To use it, you’ll need to install the Smart Dot app, available for both platforms. The app offers two basic functions: turning on the laser pointer, and controlling your slide show.
The apps screen has an impossible-to-miss button for activating the laser pointer, and a smaller one for controlling your slideshow. The slideshow remote function requires the installation of a companion app on the laptop (Mac or Windows), and that both the phone and the laptop be connected to the same wireless network. It works for both Keynote and PowerPoint.
The laser pointer works as expected, and the remote control app as well. It’s a nifty addition to a teacher’s — or any other person whose work requires lots of presentations — arsenal of tech tools.
As a stylus, Tangram’s Smart Dot is also pretty good. It’s simple, elegantly designed, and has good conductivity. The tip is also noticeably narrower than those of other styluses — a plus, in my opinion.
The laser pointer accessory plugs into the earphone jack, and requires a “naked” iPhone. In my case, I have to take off the SGP bumper case every time I want to use it.
The presentation remote function works, but it only controls slideshows presented from a laptop, not from an iPad, which is my default set-up. A stylus + laser pointer combo would be ideal for presentations from a tablet, since you can present slides or use it as a whiteboard of sorts and sketch diagrams and mind maps using the stylus.
Finally, it’s one of the more expensive stylus you’ll find in the local market today. Tangram packages the Smart Dot stylus + laser pointer in an elegant box, and includes a rubber luggage tag if you chose not to use the stylus and instead just loop it around one part of your bag, a short silicone sleeve to keep the stylus from rolling around, and a nice-looking pouch. I’m not sure, though, if that will be enough to convince buyers to fork out Php 2,750 for the whole package.
Php 2,750 – Available at all Digital Hub, Digital Walker and Beyond the Box outlets
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