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Gyration Universal MediaPC Remote and Keyboard Suite - Gyration Gyroscopic Remote and Keyboard
Of course, gaming is not really the remote's intended use, but when you consider that what you're holding is essentially a basic Wiimote without the annoying sensor bar, the gaming possibilities become intriguing indeed. Although, until the unlikely event of a Wii emulator coming along, games that have the most potential to work well with the Gyromote will be homebrew, but you can also experiment, especially with your family; try following pre-drawn lines in MS Paint, or seeing who can draw the straightest line - (you need to get out more - ed.).
Depending on the size of your icons and buttons, it can be quite tricky for normal windows use; but as a mouse for media-center tasks the Gyromote works beautifully. Apart from the novelty factor (it's bound to impress a few guests that you can move your mouse pointer by waving a remote about), it is far more practical than an ordinary wireless media mouse, which requires a flat surface, or most alternatives integrated into media keyboards, which can be clumsy and inaccurate.
There are two modes to work with. In the standard mode, you have to hold down the central ‘motion' button for the cursor to move. Once you let it go, your pointer remains stationary, making it easy to adjust the remote's position without messing up. Or if you prefer, a simple double-click on the central button puts the mouse-control into ‘free mode', meaning you don't have to hold down anything and the cursor always moves when you do.
It's also really easy to press or hold either mouse button while pressing the motion button at the same time, which is necessary for scrolling and other situations. My one complaint with the Gyromote is the absence of a dedicated, convenient scrolling method, as having to position over a scroll bar and then move the remote while holding one or two (depending on mode) buttons is hardly ideal.
Apart from the awkward scrolling, however, it is possible to operate most PC functions with relative ease. You can even put your PC into sleep/standby modes, or power it down completely. Gyration provides a full-colour quick-start guide, and a detailed manual for the remote (including instructions on how to program the remote for other IR devices), as well as a handy USB extension cable for the dongle, which is a nice touch.
Despite its layout making it possible to use in the dark, it's a pity that none of the buttons (except device selection) are backlit or even just glow-in-the-dark. But overall the Gyration Media Center PC Universal Remote Control and Compact Keyboard Suite - to once again give it its full name - is an innovative, reasonable quality set, that certainly has an edge over its competitors. It's not cheap, but for just a little more than Logitech's competing MX Air, you get not only the gyroscopic pointing device but also a universal remote and compact wireless keyboard.
‘The world isn't flat, so why should your desk be?' Gyration states on its website. And in the case of the (deep breath) Gyration Media Center PC Universal Remote Control and Compact Keyboard Suite, why have a desk at all? This is definitely one of the more compact and desirable input device sets around, providing a keyboard that's easy to hold with one hand, and a gyroscopic remote that not only makes controlling media functions easier than ever from your couch, but allows you to experience some games in a whole new way - or even invent your own.
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