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CES 2009: Swiss Army Knives Get More Useful


CES 2009: Swiss Army Knives Get Even More Useful

I've been carrying a Swiss Army Knife with a USB memory key inside it for years now, probably too many years considering that mine only has 1GB of storage. And that's kind of the problem. With these devices, the only thing that's really changed over the years is the capacity of the USB key, which is probably why I haven't reviewed one since 2005. But at CES Victorinox announced a completely new version of its USB key toting Swiss Army knife.

The Presentation Pro is aimed squarely at the business user who spends a lot of time giving presentations. First up, the memory capacity of the USB keys goes all the way up to 32GB, so you really can carry everything you need in your pocket. And those memory keys are the most secure that Victorinox has ever offered thanks to the built-in fingerprint scanner.

When the key is inserted into a computer an enrolled finger needs to be swiped before you can access the data. Multiple users can enrol their fingers too, so that a key can be used by more than one person. Of course the data is also encrypted for maximum peace of mind.

While previous generation devices came equipped with an LED torch built-in, the Presentation Pro has an integrated laser pointer, making it perfect for pointing out those salient points on your PowerPoint slides. Or you can just annoy your colleagues in the office with it.

But the most surprising feature in the Presentation Pro is its Bluetooth support - yep, that's right, Bluetooth. Embedded into one side of the casing are two buttons which are used to click forwards and backwards through your presentations. So, there's no need to sit in front of your laptop while you present, or ask a colleague to switch slides every couple of minutes.

Of course you also get a knife, a nail file, a pair of scissors and a ball point pen thrown in for good measure. You can also get a version without any blades for anyone who flies regularly. Pricing starts at $169.95 for the 8GB version, going up to $329.95 for the flagship 32GB model.


January 11, 2009, 4:59 pm

Major flaw, carrying one of these where i live would result in a stop and search and being detained in a cell overnight for carrying a KNIFE. Knife crime is a massive problem in the uk and products like this are only providing excuses to carry them.


January 11, 2009, 5:38 pm

The biggest problem I have with this is that you won't be able to take it on a plane. If you fly as part of your job, even infrequently, this isn't going to be much good sitting at home, or even worse, in one of those clear plastic bins at departures with all the other stuff that the authorities choose to remove from us because you forgot to take it out of your bag when you left the house at 4.30 in the morning.

Dark of Day

January 11, 2009, 9:50 pm

It is sad that we live in a society were you can't put a pocket knife in your pocket.

I suspect a suited business man probably would get away with carrying one of these ('tho not on a plane) certainly my mother wanders around with a mini swiss army knife on her keyring and no one bats an eyelid.

I would imagine much of Europe will be less sqeamish about a pocket knife than we are ..and then there is always America, where you could just slap one of these on to your belt, next to the semi auto pistol, between the shot gun and the assult rifle. Of course you'd have to leave them at the door when you got to school.


January 11, 2009, 11:14 pm

What are you on about riz? For a start, we're here in the UK as well - the clue's in the site's title - and we only report on what's going to be relevant to UK customers. Secondly, you would not get thrown in a cell for carrying a knife like this - check the rules. Thirdly, knife crime is not a 'massive problem' in the UK. Yes it's worse than it has been in the recent passed but that's not because of lax legislation or an abundance of pocket knives. It's the attitudes of the people that has changed and no amount of ridiculous scaremongering about swiss army knives is going to change that.


January 12, 2009, 2:12 am

riz: your comment is so very ridiculous it made me join TR just to comment on it!

"It is an offence for any person ... any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except for a folding pocket-knife which has a cutting edge to its blade not exceeding 3 inches." {CJA 1988 section 139(1)}

when was the last time you saw a pocket swiss army knife like this one with a blade longer than three inches!

also, and an important point for the other comments:

"You can also get a version without any blades for anyone who flies regularly."

wow, at least attempt to skim the article before you write a rant about it!


January 12, 2009, 2:17 am

Am I the only one that read that there will be a version without any knife/blades? Which would mean that doesn't really deserve the name 'swiss army knife', but could also be taken with you on the plane, unless they have any rules against laser pointers that I'm not aware of.

Simon T

January 12, 2009, 11:19 am

smc8788 said "doesn't really deserve the name 'swiss army knife'"

I agree completely, but i reckon it'd sound silly having a 'Swiss Army' in your pocket.

Hamish Campbell

January 12, 2009, 1:57 pm

kinda loses its military link without the knife....hmmm perhaps they should rename the laser pointer to 'sniper target spotter'.


January 12, 2009, 7:33 pm

@riz - Yes knife crime has become a problem in the UK, but as has already been pointed out, pocket knives like these are not illegal. Personally I don&#8217t think that carrying knives is the problem anyway. I&#8217ve carried a pocket knife with me since I was about eight years old, and I never felt the need to stab anyone.

The problem isn&#8217t in the carrying of knives, the problem is that many children and young people seem to feel that stabbing someone is an acceptable form of conflict resolution. That&#8217s the issue that should be addressed, not whether or not carrying a pen knife should be illegal.

@smc8788 - You&#8217re right, it does kind of make it a misnomer, however, you have to remember that the memory key is removable. I have been carrying one of these things for years, and if I need to go on a plane I can simply snap the memory key out of the body with the knife, and into the body without blades.

In the case of this new version, it means that you still have the laser pointer and the Bluetooth controls. Of course that means buying two versions, but I guess if you really need the functionality and travel a lot, it would be worth the outlay.

Kashif Bhatti

January 12, 2009, 9:33 pm

If they weren't so expensive - I'd get one, but with my 8gb stick for 8.99 from amazon and 19.99 (scorching!) laser pointer from ebay, I'll just keep dreaming about these pretty little things.....

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