When is a Laptop not a Laptop?

Why you should consider hiring a laptop for your presentation, conference or event. Mark Kisby goes through some of the pit falls in using an office based laptop for a presentation.

When is a laptop not a laptop? When the laptop you want is a ‘presentation laptop’ and the one you have is an ‘office laptop’… there is a difference in the settings if not in the physical machine. Usually a corporate laptop will have been configured to an IT policy which prevents you from adjusting such things as screen resolution, external monitors, and power saving settings. All these settings are required to be reset for your presentation but unless you have ‘administrative rights’ you may come a cropper.

You need to set your power settings to ‘Presentation’ which will set your Monitor, Hard Disks, System Hibernate and System Standby to ‘Never’. Failure to do so may result in you running back to the laptop to wiggle the mouse to prevent the screen going blank and the PC starting to hibernate… this might restore the image to the laptop screen but now the projector has dropped out and  you need to find that function key again that toggles between screen set ups… and where was I… meanwhile the audience is now thinking… ‘Very slick, do we really want to buy from this person?’

Screen savers kicking in mid flow are to be avoided, presentations interrupted by star fields and family photos stick in the mind for all the wrong reasons. (Nice swim suit by the way…?)

Screen resolution is another potential pit fall. If using a small form factor PC like a netbook you may find that if you simply ‘mirror’ the screen, i.e. you have the same image on both laptop and projector, you may find the image on projector differs or distorts as the native resolution of the projector differs to the PC’s screen. To rectify this you need to  adjust the image size of the second screen. This again requires administrator rights to change.

Both these settings, for a Windows PC, are accessed by right clicking on the desk top and selecting ‘Properties‘:-

For power and screen saver settings.. select the ‘Screen Saver‘ tab. Set the Screen Saver to ‘None‘ then go on and press the ‘Power…‘ button. In ‘Power Schemes‘ select ‘Presentation‘ or set all to ‘Never‘, and then ‘Apply‘.

For resolution settings… select ‘Settings‘ tab. Click and select the ‘2nd‘ monitor, adjust the screen ‘resolution slider’ to match the projector’s native resolution. And ‘Apply‘ It will ask you if you wish to keep these settings. If not then wait 15 seconds and they will revert to as before.

We hope this helps, an easy alternative is to just hire a presentation laptop from us… job sorted. 🙂

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