The Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller is an attempt by Lenovo to address an issue that has developed in the past 20 years. Our TV’s have evolved into smart TV’s but still use the same old remotes, and computers have significantly shrunk, so they can now be used to stream content to your television, once these computers are connected to a TV, we call them HTPC’s, or home theater personal computer if they are solely used for that purpose. Or you simply want to connect a remote to a small form factor PC. Typically, these HTPC remotes also don’t look and function any better than a classic remote for your television. Now you may be wondering, how are our remotes years behind in terms of innovation? It has a freaking Netflix and Youtube button! That’s so innovative! Or do you simply plan on putting a big keyboard and mouse on your living room table? Let us tell you in this review what we really think you should be doing.
It still takes a couple of minutes to get the name of the movie entered using a remote that has a keyboard that still looks like it comes from the 90’ies. Did you count the time needed to look up a simple movie on Netflix or Youtube? Anyways, let’s just assume you’re frustrated with your old remote and looking for a new way to control your HTPC or PC that is connected to your TV. This is exactly where the Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller comes into play.
Plug and play!
The Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller is an innovative small keyboard for HTPC or PC, you can hold with both your hands. You can pair the Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller with any operating system. It should work out of the box when plugging in the 2.4 GHz nano USB receiver. It couldn’t be any simpler than this! Then flip the switch on the back of the keyboard, and you’re good to go! According to the specifications, 2x AAA batteries should last up to 8 months, which is pretty amazing!
Up to 8 months of battery life is amazing!
The keyboard itself is amazing. I actually expected it not to perform very well and it to be clumsy because of its size. I am really glad I gave it a try. We also tested it with an Xbox One S, and found only the keyboard work on it. Which was fine, as we could use the arrow keys, enter key and escape key to navigate through all the menu’s. We are still waiting for official keyboard and mouse support, but once it does, we expect that the Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller will work out of the box with your Xbox One, making it a great companion to stream Netflix or Youtube straight to your TV.
At the bottom of the keyboard in the picture above, you can see a vertical line. This is basically the separation of the left and right mouse buttons. The keys or the darker area is the actual touchpad area. The mouse cursor may move a little bit jerky, but it still goes in the direction where we want it to go with the right accuracy we expect it to have. The touchpad also doesn’t get in the way with actual typing. You can also use mouse gestures such as two finger scrolling or pinch to zoom. Assuming most of you are already familiar with using a touchpad on a regular laptop, switching to the Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller shouldn’t be of too much trouble to you.
Mouse cursor movement is jerky, but accurate. The keyboard is amazing to work with.
What we don’t like is the lack of a backlit keyboard. Some people may prefer this when watching movies in the dark. The easiest way to implement this for Lenovo is to use a hardware switch. Another thing, is that maybe they could allow rechargeable AAA batteries which can be charged again by connecting the Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller with a micro-USB cable, similar to the Xbox One controller design. But overall, the lack of these features shouldn’t hold you back on making this purchase!
OS Independent - Works with any operating system!
Keep in mind that while the product is OS independent, some features like the mouse gestures may depend on the operating system you use and could differ slightly.
Also be sure to take a look at its predecessor, the Lenovo Enhanced Multimedia Remote Keyboard N5902. That model has a backlit keyboard available if you really need it.