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CES 2010: PowerPoint accessory for BlackBerry

CES 2010: PowerPoint accessory for BlackBerry

The announcement of the BlackBerry Presenter, that allows BlackBerry owners to connect their mobiles to a projector and run a PowerPoint presentation from the palm of their hands, should further boost the business credentials of all Research in Motion (RIM) smartphones.

The Presenter is a small and chunky oblong device which can be connected to most projectors and then accesses the BlackBerry itself wirelessly via BlueTooth to begin the show.

A single button on the top of the device performs context-sensitive controls and RIM has designed it to be easy to use and quick to set up.

The BlackBerry Presenter is compatible with PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 and it will allow the inclusion of the majority of the standard functions of the software, including over 20 different animations and over 50 transitions.

RIM plans to offer a series of running updates to anyone who purchases the BlackBerry Presenter, which will help to augment the basic functions with additional features over time.

As a result of hardware limitations, neither the Curve 8300 series nor the Pearl Flip will be able to run the new accessory, which might frustrate some potential buyers.

Luckily RIM claims that the device supports smartphones from other manufacturers, provided they have Bluetooth connectivity and moderately good processing power.

Observers pointed out that a similar product has already been on the market for two years, but RIM acknowledged this and said that the BlackBerry Presenter's ability to display presentation files without the need for prior encoding, along with its improved output resolution, make it a superior device.

When the BlackBerry Presenter is launched in February it will cost around £125 and the package includes the software but no cables to connect the projector, which should not be a problem for most.

The BlackBerry Presenter is likely to be the only major announcement to be made by RIM during this year's CES, but test versions of the device will be handed out to the professionals during the show, so expect to see some detailed reviews online over the next few weeks.

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