A Magic Wand – An Azulle Lynk Multifunctional Remote Review

May 9, 2017 at 10:38 am by

2,515 Total Views

In most magic-inspired fictions, the wizard uses a wand or magic-infused weapon to cast their spells. It’s their own words and magic that casts the spells, but without a wand, they are essentially powerless.

In modern times, we lack the power of magic, but we do have the power to control things. Instead of a magic-infused wand, we use internet-enabled devices that send commands to our receiving devices. It may not be the same as the magic in movies, but to somebody born a century ago, it may as well be magic.

Most of us will be familiar with how our TV remotes work. You press a button on the remote which sends an electrical signal over an IR beam to a receiver. Then, the receiver performs that task, but what if you wanted to send commands to a media PC or Android TV box? These typically do not have IR receivers or Bluetooth.

A Windows PC is meant to be used with a mouse for point-and-click operations, even if it does support full keyboard-only support. You could have a remote that has a four-way directional pad to control the mouse, but unless you want to be clicking all day to move the mouse, that really isn’t practical.

What we need is the magic wand, something that allows us to control a PC from afar without using a bulky mouse and keyboard.

Cue the Azulle Lynk remote, a remote that has a lot of multifunctional options. Designed to be used with your TV, Windows, Android, Mac OS, or Linux devices, the Azulle Lynk remote may just be the only remote you will ever need.

Welcome to my review on the Azulle Lynk multifunctional remote.

How does it work?

It can be somewhat confusing on how the Lynk remote works. This remote is a universal remote that controls TVs, Windows PCs, Android TV set-top boxes, Xbox Ones, PS4s, and Macs. The way it does this is by either an IR signal or with its included wireless USB dongle.

As discussed further on in the design section, the Lynk only contains a limited number of buttons. How could a remote with only 12 major buttons replace a remote with 20? To function with a plethora of IR-based devices, the Lynk remote uses something called AI Learning.

Each button on the Lynk remote can be reprogramed to learn your original remote. By pointing your original remote at the Lynk and then pressing the button you wish to reprogram, it will capture the incoming IR signal and learn it.

Then, for products like a Windows PC or Android TV box, there is the included 2.4GHz wireless dongle. This allows the Lynk to send its commands over wireless rather than over IR, which can be spotty if the IR receiver is far away or hidden.

Design

Azulle’s Lynk remote is a comfortable and stylish remote. Its rectangular design gives it an ambidextrous feeling as well.

Built out of a plastic housing, the all black Lynk remote uses a combination of styling cues. Where the buttons are laid out there is a matte black finish, while the rest of the body is a reflective gloss. A positive is that the gloss is extremely resistant to fingerprint smudges and goes along with the matte finish well.

Although made from plastic, the remote is lightweight and puts little strain on your wrist while in use. Additionally, the remote is strong and rugged by resisting all sorts of attempts to bend and twist it.

Each button is outlined by symbols, not words or letters. As the Lynk is mainly intended to be used with a Windows or Android device, you will find most of their commands on the front of the remote. The Windows start button rises among all the buttons, with the others representing power, mouse control, AI Power, menu, voice, right-click, play/pause, home, AI Learn, volume down, on-screen keyboard, and volume up respectfully. The front of the remote also contains a microphone.

In the center of all of the buttons is the eight-way directional pad with a center-located left-click function. The ambidextrous design puts your thumb right dead center onto this left-click button.

On the bottom of the remote, you will find a full QWERTY keyboard that contains arrow, function, tab, shift, number, and enter keys. Each button is rubberized and has a soft click. The remote only measures a little over 6 inches long and this short size is reflected in the QWERTY keyboard.

Azulle had to cut some corners to fit this keyboard on the remote. As you can see in the pictures, the keys on the remote do not fully reflect those on a full-sized keyboard. Going to click the Q key, you will find Insert and the W key location is where Q is. Bumping the keys off by one is found throughout the top row. You will need to look at which key you are pressing because they are slightly off centered. Yet, you do eventually begin to learn where the keys are placed.

For nighttime functionality, the Lynk remote has a lighting feature. Each key is backlit by a subtle blue that allows it to be easily read in the dark.

The remote is powered by two AAA batteries that last a fair amount of time. The remote will enter a low power mode and preserve battery power when not in use. However, replacing these batteries shouldn’t be as difficult as it is.

The batteries are stored behind a small removable door at the bottom of the remote. The door is held in by a clip which should be removable with your nail. However, the door refuses to come out and I had to use a screwdriver to pry it open. It’s not something you will need to do often, but harder than it should be.

Lastly, there is the included 2.4GHz wireless dongle. The dongle supports the same matte and glossy finish as the remote does and there is even a little picture of what it’s used for so you don’t forget. The USB is small and thin and shouldn’t interfere with any other USB connected cables.

There are two gripes I have with the USB dongle. One is that there is nowhere to place the USB cap when you take it off. It would have been nice if the cap fitted over the rear of the dongle to prevent it from getting lost. Then, on one side of the dongle, there is this oddly placed rectangle. I don’t know why it’s there, what its purpose is, and why one side of it pushes in as if it is actuating a button.

Functionality

When I go into the living room or office to watch a movie or play on the Xbox, I do NOT grab my Lynk remote to control the TV or the device. While it can certainly be paired with my TV and Xbox, it just doesn’t feel right; that feels like a job for my Harmony Remote.

The Windows button found at the top of the remote truly shows that Azulle intended people to use it with a Windows media PC or perhaps with one of their mini PCs like the Byte Plus I reviewed. So, my functionality with the remote will be covered on using the Lynk with a Windows PC mainly because there are very few remotes that can do that.

Getting the Lynk to first pair with the USB dongle can be somewhat challenging, but it does work once you follow the instructions. I call it challenging because I had to use some YouTube videos on getting the Lynk configured. What you need to look for is for the LED indicator to blink 4 times per second. Once connected, it stays connected.

The main reason I’ve been relating the Lynk to a magic wand is because of its main feature. The Lynk can function as an air remote. Just like a mouse controlling your monitor cursor, this remote can control that same cursor as you move and point the remote around.

Inside the remote is a 6-axis gyroscope that lets each 6 axes move the cursor on the screen. North, south, east, west, northwest, northeast, southwest, southeast, the cursor moves in nearly the same manner as a mouse.

I used the air mouse when standing and sitting afar and it’s surprisingly precise. You can easily navigate the web browser and even click on small icons that are on the desktop. You won’t be playing a game or doing anything that needs quick mouse movements, but clicking on links or buttons to get to the next video is easy.

It was amazing how well it functioned and I could easily see others continue to use the Lynk in a living room on their Windows media PC.

For some reason, when the Lynk remote notices that the remote flips over to the keyboard side, it will launch the on-screen Windows keyboard. Quite odd since you have a physical one to use. Nevertheless, the keystrokes are picked up by Windows and once you get used to the key layout it’s a fair typing experience.

I did run into countless times where the remote would think I was flipping the remote over. It would quickly try to launch the onscreen keyboard and then hide it when it thought I flipped the remote back over again. It’s an annoyance with the onscreen keyboard constantly popping up. Plus, since the remote sends a “Windows + R” command to the machine, it can sometimes get stuck on the screen.

There wasn’t a way to turn this feature off and over time I got better with using the Lynk remote and the occurrence of it thinking I was flipping the remote over stopped.

The rest of the remote functioned just as you would expect it to. Right and left click send right and left click commands while volume controls the PC volume. The same goes for Android TV boxes with the Android home and menu keys launching their respective commands.

Another feature I did dive into was the AI Learn function. I set the remote’s power button to capture my TV’s IR signal. By pressing the Standby button, I was able to turn on and off my TV while still remaining on the 2.4GHz band for the PC.

My Final Thoughts

You may be asking yourself why the functionality section of this remote isn’t longer or have more details. Is the air mouse the only major function to talk about? Unfortunately, yes, the air mouse and gyroscope is the only major feature of this remote, but that’s not the point of the remote.

Azulle’s Lynk remote is a multi-device remote that works with every major platform and allows couch potatoes to control a Windows, Xbox, PS4, Android, Mac, or Linux-based device from afar including the mouse. Not many remotes can control multiple different devices as well as their major control functions.

The QWERTY keyboard may take some time to get used to and it popping up the onscreen keyboard may be an annoyance, but its ability to learn IR controls, control all Windows commands, use an internal voice recognition microphone, and the smooth gyroscope makes up for the downsides.

Priced at $29.99, I think the Azulle Lynk multifunctional remote is an easy recommendation for me to make. Anybody who has a living room Windows media PC seriously needs a remote such as the Lynk because it avoids the need for a mouse and keyboard on the table.

Buy it now:

© 2017 Justin Vendette

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  • Steve Best

    More comments about the ‘Voice Recognition’ ?? Is it to/for Azulle control intrinsically, or as ‘relay’ to Win PC Media devices? Do QWERTY keyboard buttons send when pressed accidentally while keyboard is facing down? If so, it would be a nice software engineering fix /patch to use internal gyro to ‘disable’ QWERTY when facing down, and enable it when turned upward…or does it do that already?

    • Hi,

      The voice control varies on the application the remote is being used with. Of course, it does work with Azulle’s product line like the Byte Plus, but Windows PC should have no problem accepting the input. You can see more of it here: https://youtu.be/hYx_iIptOMU

      As for the QWERTY detection, it does not accept inputs unless the remote is flipped over to the QWERTY keyboard, but as mentioned in the review, the gyros do need fine tuning as it can be frustrating when the remote thinks it’s been flipped over.

  • William Ketel

    So this device has a case made of “plastic”. That could be a good grade of polycarbonate (Lexan), very durable, or it could easily be regrind polystyrene, as poor a material as can be found. My observation of remotes is that the case is often what fails, unless battery leakage kills it first.
    No mention is made about battery life, I am guessing it is not as long as we would be used to.
    Really, while this product may indeed be an engineering accomplishment, it seems to me to be far more bother than it is worth. A solution chasing in search of a problem, to put it more gently.

    • Hi,

      The plastic casing would within stand everyday drops and usage. I would count it to be quite strong and durable for a media PC remote. I wasn’t abusive with the remote, but it’s been doing just fine. I did notice that the matte finish does mark easily though.

      As for the batteries, it uses two AAA batteries. Use known name batteries and you won’t have a problem with battery leakage or battery problems.

      Battery life has lasted me quite a while. I haven’t been using the remote as often, but so far, it’s been lasting me two months on fresh batteries. It does have a lot of built in battery saving methods like turning itself off after a little while. Atlas, I agree that a battery indicator is needed; I guess they figured you be at home with batteries readily available.

      Your last comment is somewhat interesting. I believe that the remote is somewhat ahead of it’s time and isn’t practical to everybody. It’s one of the reasons I mention that I don’t use this remote for my office or living room settings, that is what the Logitech Harmony remote is for.