The Lenovo Multimedia Remote with Keyboard was among the top performing and standout features found in the company’s IdeaCentre Q190 Mini PC. It comes packed with the diminutive PC solution and really helps it stand taller than other offerings like the Sapphire EDGE VS8 mini PC. But if you’re not interested in the IdeaCentre, don’t fret. The Multimedia Remote with QWERTY keybaord is sold separately for a handful of ten dollar bills and really compliments your home theater setup in a bedroom, office or living room setting.
The Multimedia Remote Keyboard features a USB nano dongle receiver for which it uses to communicate to the Mini PC over 2.4Ghz transmission. It’s found with the battery compartment on the underside of the device and can be store there when not in use. The layout and design is similar to a Ping Pong paddle. The unit can be held and operated with a single hand. There is also a touch sensitive node which functions similar to a trackball for full and complete wireless mouse functionality. Oh did I forget to mention; the Lenovo Multimedia Remote with Keyboard is also a full-featured mouse? It uses OFN (optical finger navigation) found just below the chrome bars. These function as left and right click. They’re intelligently positioned and work perfectly.
Setting it up is easier than you might believe. Just pluck the USB nano dongle from the underside battery compartment. Before you close that up, make sure you have two AA batteries inserted to power the sucker. Plug the nano dongle into your laptop, tablet or desktop PC of choice. Windows will install the necessary drivers. The Multimedia Remote supports Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Even in the current state of Windows 8, the device works well in single hand. You may need two to switch from Live Tiles to the more inutive desktop settings. But the Multimedia Remote with Keyboard features a QWERTY style layout where everything is at your finger tips.
Bottom Line: I’m a huge fan of this device. From price to performance, it’s hard to find a flaw. But it’s not impossible. I would like to see a larger sensor node for the OFN thumb sensor. It works great but it’s a bit too small so getting across a 17-in laptop takes more flicks than it should. I could change the sensitivity but things get weird with the cursor being jumpy and sensitive. Overall, the unit works very well, looks good, with great button response and full keyboard functionality. It works perfect from 10 meters, which is a good distance. Plus the batter life will hold up for about 3-months. Additionally, the Lenovo Multimedia Remote with Keyboard also feels firm and solid when held. This is the polar opposite of how we felt after playing with the FAVI wireless Bluetooth keyboard. I also prefer the sensor node to the super constrictive trackpad used on FAVI’s offering.