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6/96 Reviews HW: Zen Technology StarTrack

Complete listing of June 1996 reviews

Zen and the Art of Presentation

By John Perry

StarTrack, the next-generation presentation hardware, is ideal for conference room trekkies who roam the room while delivering their spiel. Its size--0.75 by 1.3 by 6 inches--allows it to be placed in and retrieved from most suit pockets without a struggle.

The well-designed, stationary infrared sensor module has a large eye for easy reception, and special infrared sensors that reduce outside interference and provide smoother mouse movement. Velcro strips keep the mouse sensor secure, but allow a certain amount of flexibility for best presentation results. Though the mighty mouse easily orbits the conference room, it is restricted to a range of 25 feet.

The sleep function prolongs battery life, but nowhere near the 12 hours cited by Zen Technology. Recharging the batteries is as easy as plugging in a cord. There's no need to stop the show, since the StarTrack keeps on shining even while the batteries charge. The low-battery indicator is tucked away inside the unit next to its two AAA batteries.

The mouse sensor connects to a serial port, and comes with a serial port adapter and a T-switch serial connector. The T-Switch connector allows for simultaneous use of both the standard and StarTrack mouse, but not without an occasional snag.

Zen says it will be introducing a stand-up charger that will double as a holster for the StarTrack. A chief complaint has been that the StarTrack fits the hand so comfortably that it keeps "walking" away from conference rooms.

To really make your presentations shine, the StarTrack comes with the Prima Maestro presentation tool. Highlighting markers, elliptical and rectangular highlighting tools, and image magnification are just a few of its features. The art of presentation has never been as simple.

Info File
Zen Technology StarTrack
Pros: Excellent for mobile presenters
Cons: Inadequate mouse replacement
Platforms: Windows 95, 3.1x
Zen Technology International
800-638-3068, 714-261-9971
WinMag Box Score: 4.0
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