PDP Talon Media Remote Review
Xbox One. The One Xbox for all your entertainment needs. Games, TV, movies, music… this is one box that can do it all – including Ultra-HD Blu-Ray playback at full 4K resolution and HDR. Ooh, look, pretty…
Microsoft may have upset much of its audience at launch with a pitch that seemed to place gaming as a secondary feature. Yeah, that was never gonna fly – and the team have done a great job erasing much of the damage that disastrous launch caused. But even the hardcore gamer can’t deny that the Xbox under their TV is pretty darn good at handling media. Its fast, friendly interface allows even the non-gamers in the family to find just what they’re looking for, be it Jessica Jones on Netflix, the Strictly… final on iPlayer, or a Christmas playlist on Groove.
If, that is, you can convince them to pick up a controller. What the Xbox really needs is a media remote.
The official remote is great, as far as it goes. But, conceived in a Kinect-ed world as it was (where we’d all be happy to shout at out TVs to switch to CBeebies), it’s missing a few key features. Enter the PDP Talon Media Remote. With a similar soft-touch feel as the official remote, and almost identical aesthetics, the Talon adds a host of much-needed features absent from the official one.
It adds lots more buttons, for a start. Not only is the important numeric keypad present on the Talon, it includes ABXY face buttons, too – offering intuitive controls for the gamer and non-gamer alike.
Just as with the official remote, the backlit buttons illuminate as soon as the remote is touched or picked up, though stays lit for only a few seconds, necessitating a quick shake to re-illuminate if you haven’t quite completed your button-pressing duties. With great visibility, affordance and feedback – and with a sensible button layout and buttons offering a positive and softly audible click – everything looks and feels just as it should.
If you’ve set up your TV, cable box or media receiver in your console’s settings, the Talon can flawlessly control each just as easily as the Xbox itself – so you’ll manage just fine without having to juggle multiple remotes to change channel or adjust the volume. Dedicated TV and movie buttons take you straight to those apps on your console, and while the official remote has playback controls for fast forward, rewind, play, pause and stop, the Talon adds one for Record – a must-have if you want to make the most of your PVR.
With a flattened convex rear, it doesn’t sit quite as nicely in the had and the exceptionally strokable official remote, and the guide button isn’t backlit which is a weird omission, but this is a fully-featured remote that works flawlessly, and addresses all of the official remote’s shortfalls. If you watch TV or movies on your console, or listen to music, we would go as far as saying the Talon Media Remote is an indispensable but of kit.
If you’re in the US, the PDP Talon Media Remote is available direct from PDP for just $19.99, which is an absolute bargain. Unfortunately, it’s a bit difficult to source one outside the US or Canada, which we think is a shame.
The Talon Media Remote was tested for over thirty hours, and used while watching TV, movies, Blu-Ray discs, and navigating the dashboard and the Groove and Phonos apps. The testing was carried out by several members of the family, not all of whom are gamers or comfortable in navigating the Xbox Dashboard.