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Remote work is more common than ever, which means more opportunities that come up over your webcam: presentations, auditions, and interviews just to name a few. A teleprompter will move to the sound of your voice, scrolling along with the speed, cadence, and delivery of what you’re speaking, helping you to look prepared and professional.
These not only make sure that you’re reading your prepared words correctly, but also prevent you from having to look down at a piece of paper, or away from the cam to glance at the screen. With a teleprompter, you’re looking right at the lens and not missing a beat (or a word).
They’re also a highly recommended piece for any content creator’s setup, giving you more of a confident way of presenting and connecting with your viewers.
Portable Teleprompter Buying Guide
However, while they all perform the same service, there are lots of variables between them. Here’s what you need to know before buying.
Size: While these are invaluable additions for anyone, they’re not much help if you can’t actually see the words scrolling by. Figure out where you’ll typically be sitting in relation to your screen when you present. If it’s right in front of a laptop, a smaller one might work fine. But if it’s farther back at a desk or interview-type setup, you’ll need something that can size up.
A teleprompter unit creates a scrolling feed of your script or presentation, and magnifies it onto a larger inverted mirrored screen that reflects right on the camera’s lens, but without getting in the way. When used with a camera, you’ll be able to look straight into the lens, remaining composed and sounding professional, without breaking eye contact.
Travel: Consider if you’ll be keeping this stationary in your home studio or taking it with you to things like video shoots. An included travel case, with custom-cut foam inside to make sure it doesn’t move around and get damaged, is extremely helpful if you’ll be on the road.
Connectivity: Some of the apps for these, while they can be pricey, really make a big difference. Not only do they connect for easy access to your Google Drive and iCloud to quickly load documents, but also have the ability to listen to you track your reading speed, moving and scrolling the words along at a smooth rate so you sound comfortable and natural. Plus if you want to scroll back up or down, it can be done covertly from your phone or a remote, in case you make a mistake or want to re-shoot a part. Also you won’t necessarily need a camera to get the full benefit of a teleprompter – if you want to use only your phone, apps are available that run the words across your screen too.
Extras: Being able to change things like the font, the font size, and even the text color may seem like bonus features, but they really help out when you never know the conditions or light that you’ll be shooting in (and also if your guests have trouble seeing the scrolling text). We also suggest getting a tripod if you’re building, or adding to, a professional home studio setup. But if space is limited, some models can clip right onto your DSLR camera lens and still safely operate and be portable too.
1. Desview T3 Teleprompter
This excellent and updated teleprompter features not one but two mounts where you can attach video accessories, supporting devices up to 11-inches in size, with additional shading rings to prevent any light and glare from obstructing your reading. The beam-splitter glass is designed to prevent light loss, coming through bright and clear, and the build quality of the 40mm extendable base is durable enough to travel with it and not worry.
2. NEEWER Teleprompter X12
The beautiful HD display on this NEEWER ensures 75 percent of light transmittance, projecting such clear text that you can read it from up to 10 feet away. But the RT-110 remote takes this to a whole new level of convenience, pairing up with your smartphone and giving you abilities like easily pausing, speeding up, slowing down, and turning pages, so there’s never an unnatural break in your speech.
3. Pergear Mini Portable Adjustable Teleprompter
Pergear’s DSLR shading plate is a lifesaver when you’re trying to read in bright conditions like direct sunlight, and is easy to adjust both horizontally and vertically to get the perfect shooting angle in place. We found this to be great for journalists or reporters, whether pro or amateur, since it’s light, efficiently portable, and quick to pack up. This also comes with a small remote, and a mount on top for an additional ring light or microphone. There’s also no cap to the number of documents this can support, though within that, 50,000 characters per doc is its limit.
4. CANALHOUT Universal Teleprompter
A big display is important, especially when outside in inclimate weather, and CANAHOUT’s teleprompter has got you covered in both areas. The 16-inch screen is readable even in dark, rainy environments, and same goes for opposite weather – as the self-pressure hood blocks out sunlight so you can see the screen. The S-shaped heighten bracket lets you raise or lower it so that the words sit perfectly at your eye level as they scroll, and a non-slip mat ensures your phone isn’t going anywhere, even when things get wet.
5. AMBITFUL Teleprompter
AMBITFUL’s teleprompter is one of the best budget options we found, not to mention lightweight at under 3 pounds. The remote control features a convenient video-game-like joystick to control page-turning and speed, and the phone-shading plate reduces reflection as you read from the screen. There’s also a set of eight lens adapter rings to cut down distracting light even further.