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X-Link Universal Remote Control Review

Duke_Ferris By:
Duke_Ferris
08/17/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Hardware 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER SMK 
DEVELOPER SMK 
RELEASE DATE  

Pump it up.

A couple years ago, I cancelled my cable and made the Xbox 360 the heart of my home theater. Between Netflix, streaming video, and on-demand services, I've never looked back. I even bought Microsoft's fancy "universal" remote because the controller sucks as a remote... And for years the only frustration was that the remote wouldn't control the volume.

click to enlargeYes, that's right, I always had to get up to change the volume, because the official Xbox remote can only be programmed for TVs, and I don't use my TV speakers. Everything is piped into my surround sound system through Dolby optical cables. The remote supports plenty of TVs, but not my Kenwood receiver, and it's also not one of those remotes that can "learn".

But finally, my frustration is over. The X-Link Universal remote can control up to six devices and supports thousands of TVs, receivers, DVD & Blu-Ray players, cable boxes, DVRs, whatever you can think of. And in the unlikely event it does not support your device, this remote can learn from others.

However, "it works" is not much of a review, so let's get more granular. It's nice and light, the buttons are backlit, it's easy to program, and it retains its programming even with the batteries out. It's also infrared, so it doesn't run out of juice like when you use the controller for the same purpose.

click to enlargeOn the con side, it can be a little confusing. The "Home" button I discovered only with some trial and error is the analogue to MS's big round glowy ball button. And while most of the buttons are those soft silicon nubs, the directional control is sort of thin and "clicky" and feels a bit cheap.

Still, $29.99 feels like a fair price to me for all this, as it is superior to the official product. And now that I don't have to get up so much, maybe I can finally put on some lazy gamer pounds.

A- Revolution report card
  • Works with sound systems
  • Plus everything else
  • Better than the MS Xbox remote
  • Easy to program
  • - Thin, clicky directional control
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