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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.


Source: cinema5D

Loupedeck

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

Palette Gear

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

Tourbox controller

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.


Source: SlashGear

stream deck

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.


Source: Giz­mo­do

Logitech G19s

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.

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