Exclusive Hands-on - HTPC Remote Control

by Pallab Jyotee Hazarika 02/27/2010

Introduction

This little device will almost fool you with a look similar to our usual TV remote control – only the EFO HTPC Remote Control is much more than that.

Overview

This PC remote control is a plug and play device connected via an infra-red port. It comes with an infra-red dongle which is connected to the PC. You have a total of 38 keys including the huge mouse trackball in the middle. These keys include a mobile phone- like alphanumeric section, the multimedia operating section, and then the short-cuts on the top.

You have the power key that puts the laptop in sleep mode, the email key that open Outlook, the www opens the browser and a close button to close them all one-by-one. There are shortcuts for movie, camera etc. too. The mouse trackball is good although not seamlessly responsive, and the three mouse-buttons below help.

Operation

The range is good although it was not functioning as expected once I cross the 15 feet mark. The buttons are firm and give good feedback. The trackball is a little less responsive than I would’ve liked but nothing serious. The two AAA batteries lasted me for over two weeks now. There is one problem – I can’t change the default application associated with the keys, for example, I can’t open Thunderbird instead of outlook by pressing the email key (I use both the apps configured same). Another setback is the alphanumeric keypad – it takes a little used to because of the extra-elevated rubber keys.

Runs via Infra-red
Runs via Infra-red

Verdict

 If you want a value-for-money PC remote, look no farther. You get this one for a meager $12 from EFO.BUY-LOWEST. You will find a few other useful utilities on this site for a pretty decent price.

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Author: Pallab Jyotee Hazarika, 2010-02-27 (Update: 2012-05-26)