Lenovo is known the world over as one of the leading PC manufacturers out there. From nettop systems to high-end servers, Lenovo has a firm grasp on the PC market. But did you know that Lenovo also makes some of the most innovative accessories on the market?
A couple of years ago, I was working in a studio where multiple smaller systems were needed to power various screens located on set. These systems needed to be extremely quiet, small, and powerful enough to play video at 1080p. We decided on the Lenovo Q150, a handy little Atom-powered system capable of handling just about anything we threw at it. We were even able to use one as a backup live video streaming solution.
Despite being great little systems, one accessory in particular caught my attention. The Lenovo Enhanced Multimedia Remote with keyboard allowed us to control various systems in an adjoining room from a device that weighed practically nothing and fit in one hand. These remotes allowed us the capability of solving issues in the studio without breaching the sound-proofed room or distracting the host to do so. In short, they were probably one of the most appreciated gadgets we’d come across, and they came with the computer.
Fast forward a couple of years. Lenovo has taken into consideration all the feedback it received from its users and created something even better. The N5902 is the next generation, and it has a number of remarkable improvements on what was already a useful device.
What is the Lenovo N5902 Multimedia Remote with Keyboard?
Simply put, the N5902 is a second-generation all-in one remote that extends your ability to control your PC or arcade game console without having to rely on a flat surface, bulky keyboard, or clutter-inducing cables to do so. Your keyboard and mouse are both infused in a single handheld controller that can be used from 30 feet away. A small (very small) USB receiver plugs into your PC, PS3, Xbox, or Wii, and starts working as soon as you turn it in.
In fact, this little device works natively on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. I even got it to work on my wife’s Mac mini, though keep in mind that it’s a Windows keyboard natively, so some key bindings may be different.
The mouse component of the N5902 is a combination of a ribbed scroll bar and a tiny optical touch pad that you move your finger across to control the cursor. A left and right button set is placed under the keyboard component to allow you more functionality.
How Well Does it Work, Really?
First, this is not intended to replace your keyboard and mouse on a primary machine. You’re not going to enjoy this product if you use it to browse the Web all day or attempt to accomplish a day’s worth of tasks. The Lenovo N5902 shines most when using on a media center PC or game console. It’s intended to give you a quick and easy keyboard with full functionality (including a dedicated Ctrl+Alt+Del key) to allow you to check the Web, navigate Windows, and get those quick and dirty functions done without having to reach for a bulky keyboard and mouse combination.
Using the Lenovo 5902 is fairly natural. My wife, who is a much pickier user than I am, was able to pick up on it and start using it almost immediately. It took a moment to adjust to the way the cursor control worked, though after a minute or two, it’s a fairly natural control mechanism. You can opt to click the touch button or the dedicated left-click button to select an on-screen window or option.
The backlit keys are a big help in a dark media room. With the lights totally out, navigating the Lenovo N5902 was easy and intuitive. For any multimedia PC controller to be worth the price of admission these days, backlit keys are a must. This begs the question of why so many manufacturers that deal in multimedia controllers and remotes don’t add this feature on their hardware.
What Can I Use it With?
The drivers the N5902 uses are native to Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. You can also use it on the PS3, Wii, and Xbox without having to deal with any setup hassle. While it isn’t built for the Mac, it worked just fine after I set it up through the setup process in OS X.
The entire time of setup on Windows is literally a few seconds. All it needs to do is identify the keyboard (which can be pretty instant on most machines) and activate it. Once that’s done, you’re ready to start controlling your PC from across the room.
I’m a huge fan of this little gadget, and not just for its multimedia applications. The media keys available along the top of the built-in keyboard make it easy to control media players from across the room. When I’m cleaning the hoboken apartment, this little device can go around the house with me, making switching between songs or pausing a movie as easy as hitting a single key.
Between you and me, I’ve even used it to play a practical joke on the missus from the other room. This is a fun little gadget, and one that can be used in a variety of settings from professional to casual and all points in-between. Professionals will love the sleek look and seamless integration, home users will appreciate its space-saving profile, and geeks will love its ability to connect you with your PC from across the room. In my mind, that’s a win-win.
You can find the N5902 at your favorite electronics retailer at a suggested retail price of $79.99.
We’re giving away one of Lenovo’s Enhanced Multimedia Remotes! The only qualification is that you must leave a comment on this blog post sharing why you want it. Pretty simple, eh? You know what to do. We’ll be selecting the recipient at random within a few weeks.