PDP Talon Media Remote for Xbox One (Review)

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Those of us that use our Xbox not only as a gaming console, but also as our entertainment hub, have all been through the same frustrating scenario: we’re wanting to watch Netflix, but our wireless remote is dead and can’t navigate. Okay, so maybe it isn’t the end of the world, but it does seem like it when you just got comfortable on the couch. Enter the console media remote. Now, to be honest, I never really saw myself using one of these remotes. I would just grab my back up controller, hoping it had enough juice so I could tell Netflix “Yes, I am still watching this. Play next episode.” However, when I got the PDP Talon Media Remote, I understood the appeal. For all of its bonuses, though, there are some serious concerns to consider when thinking about this remote.

Design

Let’s start with the design of the Talon. The remote has a quality soft touch rubbery finish and is shaped so it fits well in the hand. Although the Talon is larger than the the Xbox manufactured media remote, the size lends itself to greater versatility¬†in the increased number of buttons. In addition to the media controls and the directional pad, the Talon also includes numbered buttons and the X-Y-B-A buttons that users are familiar with from the controller. This¬†felt more natural to use when backing out of the menus and felt easier to use than reaching for the back button. Overall, this looks and feels like a standard remote, not just one that would be used for a gaming console.

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Functionality

The functionality of the remote is sort of a two-sided coin. On the one side, it is very easy to use. It functions the way you would expect a remote to function. In addition to navigating through the Xbox menus, you are also able to navigate your TV, including changing the channels if your TV provider is ran through your console. There is also literally zero set-up to the remote – just put the batteries in and go.

Don’t forget about the other side of the coin though. The biggest complaint about the remote that I have is the need for it to have immediate direct line of site to the console. Now, this may not seem like a big deal, but it severely limits the functionality of the remote and the set-up users can have. For example, I have a low entertainment system and the only place for my console is the bottom shelf. Which means if I want to use the remote, then I need to either raise my hand up high enough to the angle is right to go over my coffee table, or I need to reach under the table to give the remote a line of sight to the console. By comparison, I could just pick up my controller, navigate using that and not have to worry about direct line of site. When it comes to a product that is about convenience, using it isn’t as convenient as it should be.

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Overall Rating

Overall, this is remote is a mixed bag. The design and feel of the Talon is premium. It has more functionality than the first party version, and costs less. By using the media remote, you save battery life in your controller, and have less of a risk of your controller dying right before that clutch headshot. However, the point of a media remote for a console is all about convenience and in this case it just isn’t there. By forcing the remote to have a direct line of site to the IR sensor on the console, it can create limitations on how users have their set-up and thus not only limit the available market, but also remove the convenience that the product is based on. For $19.99 the Talon Media Remote is a solid buy, as long as your set-up accommodates it.

Rating: 3 Atoms

NR 3 Atoms - C

 

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