Price: $ 30
Living room computers are the most flexible, powerful way to look at things on your TV, but they usually need a bulky mouse and keyboard to work efficiently. You can try to shrink a regular keyboard and mouse down, or turn on a remote control to do the same.
Full mouse and keyboard function
And what we do
19659018] Layout does not work well with IR learning
No light detection
] No fast app switch function
19659018] Layout does not work well with IR learning
Azulle also sells a series of mini-computers and tablet computers running entire versions of Windows, which Lynk is designed to complement. These computers are better suited to corporate customers than anything else. General consumers will better join something like a Chromecast or Fire TV for video or a full desktop for gaming.
But if you have a complete PC or Mac that you just want to occasionally check, and you can't think of a full-size mouse and keyboard floating your pristine coffee table. It gets the job done.
I wouldn't say it's easy to use Lynk for conventional control of a full PC. But it does amazingly in a small package, and for just $ 30 it is well worth looking at if you have already invested in a home theater system.
You got your remote in my mouse
Lynk uses an "air mouse" mouse control setting, a rare niche of the mouse world. An air mouse lets you move the remote control with your hand and waving it in a vaguely directional manner as the mouse pointer moves around the screen. If you've ever used a Nintendo Wii with its infrared remote controls and their screens on the screen, it feels a bit like that.
This setting means you don't need a flat surface or even a touchpad to get basic mouse functionality. It's less than intuitive, but Lynk compares well to the other flight mice I (briefly) tried. To get around some basic points in a complete Windows interface, it is useful.
For a more full-screen setting, like apps for Netflix, Hulu or Plex, the "remote" side of the device includes a full D-pad for basic controls. It works like all remote control boxes, but there is a bit of a learning curve to find which apps can be used in the "browsing" mode and require finer mouse control. A practical "Mouse on / off" button will keep the cursor locked in place if you do other things.
Other buttons on the mouse side of the remote include generic game / pause and volume media controls, an "home" button for apps that support it and shortcuts to central Windows features. These include the Windows button itself, a microphone button for Cortana, power and sleep buttons that work properly in Windows, and (extremely convenient) a shortcut keyboard key on the screen. This is nice to quickly hit the Enter key without having to turn the remote control and enter keyboard mode. I just wish it was a quick way to change apps. A special alt tab would be ideal.
You have your keyboard in my remote control
Turn Lynk around and you get a 51 keyboard that will work look familiar to anyone who had a sliding phone in the mid-2000s. It's not an insult, by the way. Lots of users still lack dedicated, physical keys on their mobile devices.
There is an impressive thought in this gadget. You first understand it when you turn the remote control over and the wiggly mouse turns off. It's an obvious feature, but it's not something I would expect from a $ 30 remote.
Hugging all the features of a PC keyboard into a chunky remote is not an easy job, but Lynk manages it. All the commonly used numbers, symbols, and functions are available through combinations of shift, Sym and Fn keys, but it is not always easy to hit two keys at once and keep the thick Lynk at the same time. You have to do a bit of learning how to find less common user keys (like all those weird in your passwords), but the layout gets extra points to put the arrow keys in the top layer.
The keys are stiff, but you get used to the trip quite quickly and they do not feel they will wear out soon. Smart choices in the design, like the small tapering to the edges that make the lightweight remote easier to hold, contribute to a much better experience than one might expect from the shape factor.
You did not get your remote controls in my keyboard
Lynk contains full LED backlight on the front and back, but to save the battery power in the AAAs, they are not activated until you press the dedicated button on the side. A light sensor would have been nice, but it's another feature that is probably beyond the scope of this $ 30 gadget.
The connection goes to radio frequency (RF) via the full-size USB receiver. There is also infrared, with a universal remote function. This is to replace all your other remote controls for your TV, sound field and various other gadgets … but don't get excited. This is the concrete low point in the design.
The problem is that every button on Lynk is already reserved for quite important functions for managing a computer. You can program any "scholar" from any other remote control to any button on Lynk, but with the exception of the microphone button, nothing is so indisputable that you are willing to do so. You can program in IR commands for TV's power and volume, but it's about adding something else, and you'll sacrifice some of Lynk's core functionality.
It's a shame, because there's a small room left on the underside of the mouse's side on the remote for a regular 10-key button and dedicated buttons for things like channel or input switching. It is not surprising that standard IR controls are sacrificed, as this product is aimed at home theater or corporate displays. But it seems like a waste to add something as complex as IR learning and not give us an easy way to take full advantage of it.
A perfect solution for very specific users
Lynk is not the perfect way to handle a living room computer or mini-computer. However, since it really is not a perfect way to do it, at least without compromising on either size or aesthetics, it is a really good solution if you want everything in a remote factor.
] Combined air mouse and keyboard in mobile style are ideal for a computer that the user only needs to change occasionally about any settings or enter a login every now and then. If you find yourself writing in long passages every time you sit down, something that Logitech K400 or Corsair K83 will suit you better.
But if you prefer something that actually looks at home in your living room next to your other remote controls, Azulle Lynk is well worth the thirty dollars asking the price.
Here's what we like
- Full mouse and keyboard function
- Compact layout
- Remote-like body
- Low price
And what we don't
- Layout does not work well with IR learning
- No light detection
- No quick appliance function