Everyone knows perfectly well that perfection is impossible to achieve, and even the coolest thing can be improved indefinitely. It’s true, it would seem that the form factor of a computer (whether it’s a PC or a laptop) is almost perfect. But it turned out that you can add an additional console specifically for your hobbies.
This is not at all about game consoles, their enmity with the PC is still incorrigible. But consoles are alternatives to the keyboard, this is a completely different, extremely fashionable story today.
To keep up with the trend, we will look at modern alternatives to the regular keyboard.
If this brand did not become the first, then it definitely became one of the most popular. And it’s hard to say what the secret is, whether the marketing worked so well, or whether the fans really liked it. Rather, it’s the second one.
Loupedeck is a dedicated console, not a replacement but rather a keyboard partner, that allows photographers to quickly edit their creations in the Adobe Lightroom app.
Well, Loupedeck +, which is not surprising, is the second generation of this very console. And, I must say, users like it much more than the original. We can safely say that the Finnish startup, which, like many success stories, began with crowdfunding, listened to its audience and improved the product. So Loupedeck+ got all the same convenience features that everyone is used to, but in addition to them, even more customizable buttons and improved software.
All experienced photographers immediately warn that the adjustment period will not be easy. Not necessarily long, but definitely difficult. However, once you get used to the new arrangement of controllers, everything will go like clockwork.
Almost all reviews agree that Loupedeck and Loupedeck+ significantly reduce the time it takes to edit a large amount of photos and fit them into a common style. So, it’s nice that someone finally took care of not only the photo side of the issue, but also the problem of retouching.
Loupedeck+ is a new, but by no means the only popular product of the company on the market. If you are willing to pay 2 times more, then you can get your hands on an even more modern toy — Loupedeck Creative Tool. It’s practically an attempt to turn editing into a fun interactive game. Yes, yes, it is gaming keyboards or a joystick that this console most of all resembles.
This time the creators of Loupedeck have taken care to put even more features on the panel. Therefore, now you have before you not just buttons, but 12 mini touchscreens and handles and levers that have already become familiar. The console itself has also become almost 2 times smaller, so now it’s more convenient to carry it with you wherever you go, and even more so to cope in the process of work. Due to its size, you can comfortably work on the console with your left hand, and use your right hand with a mouse or trackpad.
Loupedeck Creative Tool has another difference from the original model, it is compatible not only with photos, but also with video editors. So from Photoshop to Final Cut Pro, everything is at your fingertips when you have the Loupedeck Creative Tool in your hands.
Source: The Film Look
Loupedeck laurels haunt many, so there are plenty of alternatives, from homemade to very serious ones. Palette Gear is one of the options for those who need more, and Loupedeck was not to my taste for some reason.
This console, more precisely, a prefabricated structure, is designed to work with various applications, including Photoshop, Premiere and InDesign.
The creators of Palette Gear even went further and, in an attempt to reach the widest possible audience, even paid attention to gamers. Plus, the console can be used to control audio applications and Google Chrome. In general, the thing is multifunctional.
Palette Gear consists of several modules that are attached to each other with magnets. The advantage is that you can arrange them in almost any way. The number of modules directly depends on which kit you choose. The most common, or basic, has a main module, two buttons, a round knob and a slider. Expert kit, of course, more.
The main module is a square plate that is attached to the USB.
Palette Gear comes with an app that you’ll have to download in order to get started. At first it seems that the number of modules is simply not enough for all functions, but it turns out that thanks to tricky settings, you can create several profiles that cover all basic functions. Plus, almost everything is programmable, so you can decide how to position and set up your work surface.
Palette Gear seriously differs from Loupedeck, first of all, in portability. This buildable console takes up too much space, is smaller than the keyboard, but is still quite bulky. This is especially noticeable when comparing Palette Gear with Loupedeck CT.
In general, after getting used to and organizing everything to your taste, you will notice that there is practically no big difference between the consoles during stationary work. The main result, saving time, will still be achieved.
Source: Digital Epigraphy
Everyone who came after Loupedeck made it a point to reach as wide an audience as possible. At the same time, I had to work on the form factor. One of the interesting and extremely non-standard examples is the Tourbox controller. Like all the others, it turns on via a USB cable, but works more like a large mouse than a keyboard or console.
So, this thing is designed for sound editing, photo and video. Tourbox controller consists of 3 programmable controllers and 11 more buttons of different sizes and formats. The main attraction of this console, after its size, is the price.
Tourbox is almost twice cheaper than Loupedeck CT, and definitely inferior in price to Palette Gear.
The body of the device is rubberized for a soft-touch effect, and this, by the way, is a minus. Objects that are constantly in the hands often lose their original softness very quickly. But we can only say for sure after a few years of use.
There are not so many buttons, so you can even say that getting used to the Tourbox is easier than to competitors. If they have a lot of attention paid to the number of functions, then everything is a little more intuitive here.
Of course, you will immediately have to get an application, without it Tourbox cannot be configured. And immediately, we note that Linux was left without attention — Tourbox is only supported on Windows and MacOS. And, since the console has many applications, it’s sad that a whole layer of users was left behind.
But further in the management, configuration and, in principle, working with the Tourbox, everything is extremely simple. The main thing is to choose the right controller for which function is best suited, that is, all quality issues are purely subjective.
Content can be created not only graphic and not only musical. In general, in modern reality, the most popular type of content is video. So the creators of Stream Deck almost perfectly caught the moment, thus taking a good place in the market. You can guess what this console is for by its name. Stream Deck is a device for gamers.
There are 15 LCD buttons on the panel, each of which can be configured as a function and a special picture, so you can easily understand what goes where. But this is not the main thing at all, most of all gamers will be attracted by integration with most popular streaming programs. This means that the console can communicate with the application and give instructions, regardless of what you have open and what you are doing.
One of the funniest and most convenient uses is the ability to send a pre-made tweet. For example, if the streamer wants to warn viewers about the imminent start. It is enough to assign a function to a button, and at the right time simply press it. And you don’t even have to worry about whether everything will work according to plan.
In general, keys can be tied to almost any action — open a program, press pause, etc. So Stream Deck will be interesting not only for gamers.
A separate plus is the software that comes with the console. Everything is very intuitive, and the graphical display allows you not to get confused.
The panel is small in size and looks like a small tablet with buttons. Pretty stylish. It can be placed on a stand or used as a keyboard. Here the decision is entirely up to the user.
The last “console” on our list is also aimed at gamers, but in fact it is just the only full-fledged keyboard. It’s just that her special characteristics make her the perfect candidate.
The keyboard, as befits a gaming device, has a futuristic style. Yes, so futuristic that it looks more like a space station panel. Already someone who, and gamers it should be very pleased. In addition, Logitech G19s is equipped with an LCD screen, and this is the first thing that catches your eye, in addition to the large dimensions of the keyboard. The screen displays micro applications that allow you to track various indicators. Not only to make the player feel like in the mission control center, but also to be able to monitor the CPU.
This keyboard has more buttons than any standard keyboard. WASD are highlighted in silver, there are both main and secondary digital consoles, plus 12 programmable keys. In addition, there is a whole panel with additional buttons on top.
It’s good that the keyboard has a wrist pad, because stretching from one side of the keyboard to the other is quite energy intensive.
But in general, gamers will like the Logitech G19s, unless, of course, there is a desire to purchase a premium keyboard. World of Warcraft players will especially appreciate it, for such complex MMORPG systems, its layout is truly indispensable.
Well, those who prefer shooters or simulators, perhaps, can do without the Logitech G19s. But there is definitely something for everyone here.
So, there can be many alternatives and additions to the standard keyboard. We have selected only a few options, among which many online content creators will be able to find something that will simplify their work. All these consoles are very interesting and definitely create a new trend that will make us reconsider how conventional PCs work.