Hyperkin’s Remotext is an interesting device for those looking for another Blu-ray/DVD remote for their PlayStation 3, yet want a handy wireless keyboard for those crucial typing jobs that might cause headaches on a standard DualShock controller. The middle section of the controller slides out to reveal a mini-sized QWERTY keyboard that can be used for typing messages to your friends online or simply entering information on PSN, games, or applications like Netflix. It’s other appeal is that, once closed, it doubles as a wireless media controller, complete with media-friendly buttons for your DVD, Blu-ray, and other media-watching pleasure.
The build quality is more solid than it looks, with a nice rubber coating that makes it comfortable to hold. The buttons also feel sturdy enough and don’t require mashing to activate them (a problem with many cheaper accessories), yet still felt a bit flimsy. The keyboard itself is a nice feature and was certainly useful when zipping through my Netflix queue – I’m no fan of cycling through the PS3’s alpha/numeric menus to type anything larger than a single word. Unfortunately, I found the buttons a little too small for my admittedly larger fingers, making it somewhat difficult to type with any accuracy without having to constantly hunt and peck. Another problem was that the keys felt a little stiff, and probably could have benefited from using the softer material featured on the front of the device.
Its nice that it sports dual analog sticks – nubs really – to help navigate through menus and some gaming, though you won’t get the precision or accuracy you’d like using them. Small and stubby, they feel more like the PSP’s despised analog nub that the DualShock’s smooth set of sticks. They’re also missing their secondary L3/R3 button clicks, making them incompatible with games that require those buttons. While the L2/R2 shoulder buttons are roughly in their familiar spots, their L1/R1 cousins aren’t, as Hyperkin mapped them to the ‘previous’ and ‘next’ buttons located near the top-left of the controller. This design choice makes absolutely no sense, and renders them virtually useless when attempting to use them for anything but ‘previous’ and ‘next’ functions.
Also, it’s strange that a controller that features so many buttons would be missing one of the most critical, namely a Power button. This feels pretty awkward and backwards that you have to manually turn on your system first in order to use it, and that means keeping another controller handy or living with turning the console on/off manually.
Some folks may not like that it doesn’t feature Bluetooth and has to connect wirelessly via the included USB dongle instead. Another puzzling omission is that while it does feature a rechargeable battery that charges with the included mini USB cable, there’s no information on the box (or on the internet for that matter) on how long a full charge will last. I was able to nearly a week out of a single charge, but without any indicators telling you when the battery is low you may want to keep that cable handy.
Frankly, there are just too many flaws with the current design to recommend Hyperkin’s Remotext as a replacement to either your current DualShock controller, or even Sony’s readily available Bluetooth media remote. Having analog nubs and shoulder buttons may have seemed like a good idea, but they’re so poorly implemented that attempting to use them will be an exercise in frustration, as the L1/R2 buttons are haphazardly placed, and the nubs are missing their L3/R3 clicks entirely. No Bluetooth support means sacrificing a free USB port, and no Power button means having to keep another controller on hand. You’re better off saving the cash and picking up Sony’s QWERTY keyboard attachment and dealing with less media buttons than attempting to struggle with its significant design flaws.
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