Although we’ve covered several remote control apps over the years and even some IR options for android devices we’ve been neglect in covering a proper outright remote control of any type. In suggesting the lower memory models of the azulle byte and plus for media center use as well as our coverage of the mi box. On this note Azulle has sent us their new first party Lynk Remote which offers both IR and 2.4ghz functionality in addition to a backlight.
The remote comes well if not over packages in a cardboard box giving an impression of a premium product before opening, inside we find the remote along with a copious(almost excessive it’s more than i could get in a single photo) amount of documentation relating to it’s different features. Anyone curious what that sheet looks like Azulle has a PDF of it available here.
The Lynk Remote
Taking it out of the box the design of the Lynk is fairly intuitive, one side presents a streamlined remote although there’s a few omissions here we’ll get to in a moment, the other presents a keyboard which although a bit unconventionally laid out(there’s a row of keys missing for it to have used a standard layout) there aren’t any egregious choices that make the keyboard more difficult to use than it has to be. The remote side has a button to flip between IR and 2.4 modes allowing it to be programmed to work with a tv, set top box or other device in addition to working with whatever device(PC or otherwise). I’m going to apologize for not having any pictures with the backlight on as they caused some problems taking a picture, it does work on both sides of the remote and is a welcome addition in the dark.
IR and TV
The IR learning of the remote is impressive, using the learning mode is easy enough as long as you have the original remote or something else programmed with the feature you want the remote will “learn” it to whatever button you chose. In practice this is a great way to do things as you can set up the remote to control multiple devices with ease. I tried a Vizio smart TV that I have as well as several different Panasonic tv’s and professional displays I have access to at work, it was a simple process and I was able to program power for several different tv’s as well as volume. In general I haven’t seen any issues with the IR although some ability to set multiple IR profiles(some sort of switch instead of a button perhaps?) would be of use and a number pad would be a welcome addition for users who still have a set-top box .
2.4 and PC functions
The 2.4ghz wireless worked well although I wish the receiver were smaller it’s not as egregiously large as some i’ve seen on old wireless mice but is massive looking next to modern “nano receivers” although not so much as to interfere with ports or be too heavy to stay. Most PC functionality was tested on an Access Plus working with plex and Netflix in edge(which the Plus handles without a hiccup) The gyro remote is a bit odd to handle at first but works great on large screens(I have a projector in my living room it was tested with that displays a 70″+ image) and easily adjusts to smaller ones(a 32″ tv) with a quick speed adjustment. The directional pad around the mouse works well for navigating inside plex(which expects arrow keys) although I wish it didn’t disable the mouse when used. I did try the voice commands some but I’m not a huge fan of Cortona(win10) so I have to leave that at it didn’t have any issues regarding detection when used. The keyboard portion however needs some work, the soft rubber used for the keys isn’t a necessarily pleasant experience typing out more than one word(I did a test and hit 10wpm) and although functional has the occasional keypress detection issue if you’re not centered on the key. This doesn’t make it impossible to use searching in Netflix was easy enough but it does detract from the experience. Keys more akin to a blackberry keyboard would be a wise design change here if there’s a second revision although what is present is workable and acceptable especially at this controls price point.
Overall as a device that replaced a pair(previous 2.4 ghz remote and tv remote) the Lynk performs admirably, the gyro remote although unconventional was easy to use and adjust and the IR learning works well. The keys although far from my favorite work well enough to peck in a movie or series title. The package as a whole is well done and very flexible and considering it’s price 29.99 for a backlit remote that does everything, it’s a good value even if I hope to see some things enhanced going forward.