Xencelabs Quick Keys Remote... Reviewed!

Many thanks to Xencelabs for sending over this product for a review. My opinions are my own. That said, let's jump in... after this quick unboxing.

Look who finally arrived to the party! The Xencelabs Quick Keys Remote showed up ready for some plus-one action to compliment the Xencelabs Pen Tablet! Is it useful? Let's find out!

Build: Like the tablet, I want to start off with the build. Right off the bat the first thing I notice when I held this remote in my hand was that... it's definitely solid (weighing in at 5.3oz exactly). The pen case weighs 3.5oz more... but it houses several things including the rubber grip that holds those items.

The same material can be found on the quick keys remote + its underbelly, and I appreciate that. It's not a variety of materials to try and break the mold, the product design does that. I likes, and I will get back to the underbelly in the next section.

The build also includes the physical dial with a dip to better spin it on top + the grip around the dial, it feels great and it doesn't have that loose feeling. I really like how it feels, its quality. There is also a button in the middle of the dial to change modes, which leaves no second guesses on whether it was pressed or not because it's nice and clicky. 

There is also an outer ring that changes different colors around the dial. The LED ring isn't just there to look pretty... even if it's eye-catching, but I will also get back to this in the next section.

The build also includes... the Quick Keys buttons (duh of the day), and a SET button on the face of the remote which have a lighter click (they also have bumps and dips on certain buttons). Outside of the other things on the face of the remote, I had to save the best for last, which is the OLED display (baby)!

Looking at the competing remotes, I have no problem with them... they are what they are and I'm sure members of the Xencelabs team had a hand in making a few of them (as veterans of the industry), but this is the first I saw with a display. Thoughts to be continued in the next section!

The head of the remote has a USB-C connector, while at the foot of the remote you have the Power button, the Power indicator + the Connection indicator. I can't ignore what's to the left of the remote either, which is the Kensington Nano Lock slot, so not only will you be able to secure your tablet but... also the remote. Something else you're able to see on the sides of the remote are the dips that run down the side, which allow for it to be held better.

Usefulness: I had to include this section in the review, especially for those of you considering the Xencelabs Quick Keys Remote as an add-on. This is my very first time using a shortcut remote with any tablet... so I had to get adjusted to using one. I'm still getting adjusted to it, but mainly in terms of remembering my settings... and deciding ultimately on what my settings will be.

I would generally just bounce from option to option in a software toolbar as I create, but this truly eliminates that once you know what to do. 

Another Duh of the day: This decreases production time once you get the hang of it. It's like having dual analogs on a game controller, you can use one, but... It's so much better with two. Having the ability to zoom, rotate, undo, redo, and so on... with your other hand while working your Xencelabs thin pen or 3-button pen with the other, just feels... right.

Going back to the underbelly of the remote, I like that it has that full rubber grip... because it prevents the product from slipping while trying to use it. It also works as a nice grip when holding the remote in your hand (think of a cellphone case that gives you a better grip on your phone)... which allows you to easily spin the dial with your thumb and press the buttons. The dips you see running alongside the grip not only match the tablet's design but also increase the grip on the remote.

The buttons seen above can be easily identified once you get adjusted to the way they feel and what settings you've set. They all don't have the same bumps and dips, which is great, so you can identify them based on the way they feel versus looking at the screen when it isn't needed. That's not to say that the screen would be neglected because you have 8 keys with 5 different sets per key, so you will need to check out the screen which you switch things up from set to set (using the SET button).

By the way, that LED ring is sweet because it looks nice but it's not simply a cosmetic touch. The LED ring let's you know which mode the physical dial is on, and those colors are decided by you... as seen in the Xencelabs Quick Keys Remote UI.

I say all that to say... it's comfy, and the OLED display eliminates guessing games. By the way, I haven't charged the remote since the initial charge (you'll find out why in the next section).

By the way, I appreciate that all the products are under one digital roof.

In the Box + Specs: The Xencelabs Quick Keys Remote includes the following:

Max Programmable Shortcuts: 40 shortcut key options available
Hours per charge: 25 - 53 hours (1.5 hour charge time)
Display: OLED Display (text displayable vertically and horizontally)
Dial: Up to 4
Connectivity: Wireless or USB-C
Limited warranty: 2 Years

I wanted to include what you can expect in the box... since yours will be in a box:

Xencelabs Quick Keys
USB-C cable L / USB-A to USB-C Right Angle 9- Degree
Carrying Case
Quick Start Guide
Warranty Booklet

Price: The Xencelabs Quick Keys Remote comes in at $89.99, which is a damn good price. This is a professional art tool equipped with an OLED display, on top of the other kick-ass features that decrease productivity. I don't want to hate on the other options out there (I don't), but I don't want the guessing games either... when I can actually see the quick key. Time is money, so having such a thing that you can also with a lock + a 2-year warranty, I call it a win.

Before I forget, you can bundle up and get the Xencelabs Pen Tablet (Medium) Bundle because... that comes with the Quick Keys Remote. I'm including this because with everything included in the bundle, it's still lower in price than the Wacom Intuos Pro (Medium)... so I hope this gives you a more informed decision.

Build 5

Usefulness 5

In the Box + Specs 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points

Check out our review of the Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium here:

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