The Digital Swiss Army Knife Every Techie Should Own
Victorinox's Presentation Master is a Swiss Army Knife for the digital age that features a blade, nail file, screwdriver, encrypted USB 2.0 flash drive and more.
By Paul Mah, CIO
The Victorinox Presentation Master is a multifunction gadget from the makers of the popular Swiss Army Knife that’s designed for the digital age. In addition to a number of basic tools, the Presentation Master incorporates features and functionality meant specifically for tech-savvy businesspeople, including a USB flash drive with biometric fingerprint sensor, a Bluetooth presenter for the occasional PowerPoint presentation and a laser pointer.
The Presentation Master has a number of basic pocket knife tools, including a small blade, nail file, screwdriver, scissors and a key ring. The (red) laser-pointer and Bluetooth-presenter functions are powered by a couple of a small batteries (Type 390/389) batteries, which are commonly used in watches and have an approximate life of between five and ten years. The batteries are included in the package, and they’re installed with the help of a paperclip. The flash storage module is detachable, which is useful during air travel, when the pocket tool must be checked in with your luggage.
I was able to easily pair the Presentation Master with my laptop, thanks to some simple instructions outlined in a quick-start guide. The presenter functionality works as advertised, and it allowed me to advance (or go back) on my slides and simultaneously use the laser pointer to illustrate important points. However, some users with large thumbs may find the depressed slide-advance button mildly difficult to use due to the gadget’s tiny size. The Bluetooth module automatically powers off when not in use to conserve power or it can be manually switched off by holding down the “Previous” button.
Victorinox Presentation Master Encrypted Storage
One of the most valuable features of the Victorinox Presentation Master is its ability to store encrypted data. But it is worth noting that the Victorinox Presentation Master encrypts data via a software utility, unlike some more advanced solutions that use hardware encryption. This Victorinox Secure utility launches automatically when plugged into a PC, and it lets you create multiple protected-storage volumes that exist as encrypted files on the drive. (It can also be used to perform tasks such as data backup and synchronization, but I did not test those features.)
When used as a normal flash drive, the Presentation Master averaged just under 7MB/sec when transferring a 400MB movie clip. It takes a few seconds to set up an encrypted drive volume, and you can load the drives automatically upon launching Victorinox Secure.
And the Victorinox Secure requests a password when you first start it up, but you can also scan a finger to access the drive. (You can store your fingerprint when you run the utility for the first time.)
Victorinox Presentation Master Conclusion
The design and craftmanship of the Victorinox Presentation Master are very impressive, and it packs an unparalleled amount of practical hardware into the form factor of a standard-sized Swiss Army Knife. However, I do wish it supported hardware encryption, and the gadget’s relatively slow data-transfer speeds are also somewhat disappointing.
The Victorinox Presentation Master is available in 8GB ($148.95), 16GB ($192.95) and 32GB ($274.95) versions.
The Victorinox Presentation Master with all tools except the USB 2.0 flash drive module retracted. The Victorinox logo is the location of the button for the laser pointer.
The “Up” and “Down” buttons on the underside are for the Bluetooth presenter.
A close-up photo of the flash storage drive with embedded fingerprint sensor.