We have come to the business end of this short review. The lists below summarize the pros and cons of the Pulse-Eight Motorola NYXboard Hybrid Remote.


- Potential to reduce remote clutter in the household

- Ability to take advantage of HDMI CEC capabilities (when bundled with the HDMI CEC adapter from Pulse-Eight, the RF mode can also be used for this purpose)

- RF and IR combination is quite useful in HTPC setups

- Excellent RF range (more than 38 ft.) and decent IR range (around 18 ft.)

- Solid construction makes it a pleasure to use, and hands down, the best remote to use with XBMC (in our opinion)

- Accidental key presses on the underside of the remote are rightfully ignored

- The mouse feature (Fn + arrow pad) is as good as it can be in the absence of a trackpad


- Single profile availability for IR programming, i.e, unlike the Logitech Harmony remotes which can have multiple devices configured, this is a learning remote where each key can be programmed to correspond to only one key from another remote in the IR mode.

- Remote is very sensitive to orientation. Casual remote usage (such as holding the remote at an angle to the horizontal plane -- as is common when one is couch surfing) is bound to shift between the keyboard side and the remote side which is sometimes frustrating for the users

- The IR remote's spread / operating angle is a bit on the lower side, which is irksome if one is used to a device-specific remote with better operating angles.

- The absence of dedicated Alt and Ctrl keys renders the remote incapable of replacing a full-fledged keyboard / mouse combination if the HTPC is used for extended periods of time outside of XBMC or any other 10-foot UI program

- Orientation sensing makes it a pain to use with Firefox (or any other program which might use F7 for any purpose)

In summary, the Pulse-Eight Motorola NYXboard Hybrid Remote is a very good addition to the HTPC setup in most homes, provided the user's expectations are set right. Given the price of the unit (less than $70), and the feature set offered, and comparing it with competing solutions in the Harmony series / Boxee PC remote, one can say that the NYXboard is indeed worth the price.

However, we hope to see some issues fixed in upcoming versions of the remote. Taking care of the IR remote's operating angle and the over-sensitive tilt sensor are a must. A keyboard with more features and a way to manually override the tilt sensor would be icings on the cake.

Reviewing the NYXboard
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  • Malard - Friday, April 6, 2012 - link

    You can get the Philips DUAL if you get the Iomega Boxee Box, that said the Dual is worse in many ways, as it has less keyboard keys, in an unnatural layout and still no backlight
  • BuddyRich - Friday, April 6, 2012 - link

    Wow... I didn't know it was released by anyone yet. Thanks for the info.

    It does look different than what Philips showed at CES in 2010, that version was backlit. They also removed a few buttons from the front, making it less useful. I knew they were planning on going the OEM route with it vs. making it part of their pronto line. A shame. The touchpad is nice, I also thought it was supposed to act as a gyro/air mouse (like a wiimote) the iomega doesn't seem to have that either.

    I am not sure if PulseEight/Motorola is taking ideas for revisions, but unlike most, I don't mind the IR nature of the device, and like the plethora of usable media buttons on the front but 4 things would make it the perfect remote:

    1. Back-lighting on both sides. I'd settle for glow in the dark rubber keys even.

    2. More memory and switchable input for 4 or 5 devices, beyond just the TV and MC. ie. Blu-ray player, projector, home automation remote, receiver.

    3. Macro support to program some start-up sequences depending on device selected.

    4. A few more common purpose specific buttons on the front side (input/source button, menu button, record button (especially with XBMC builds with PVR functionality), a separate play and pause button, last channel) mostly to be able to replace the remotes of other devices.
  • Malard - Friday, April 6, 2012 - link

    This is an RF remote, that also has an optional IR capability. Just to be clear.

    The idea with this remote is not to add so many buttons, you can already get powerful remotes from Logitech (Harmony) or One for all but they have low WAF (wife acceptance factor) as they are often garish and full of buttons that you must know what they do before using the remote.

    But thanks for all the suggestions!
  • BuddyRich - Saturday, April 7, 2012 - link

    A Harmony One is what I use currently and the wife loves it.

    That with a Qwerty keyboard on the back /w some sort of mouse option, be it a touchpad, rocker pad, trackball or gyromouse, would be the perfect remote.


    1 button to play a bluray (because the remote changes the input to the right one, turns the projector, dims the lights and turns the bluray player on and turns on and changes the receiver to the right input).

    Granted I haven't looked into it much, perhaps the HDMI-CEC USB device would enable some of this. I know when I use my bluray and TV together (Samsung Anynet+ devices) I get some one touch functionality, but my reciever is not HDMI capable.
  • ExarKun333 - Friday, April 6, 2012 - link

    Using this remote appears very awkward on the qwerty side. The layout is all horizontal, and the remote is relatively think. No style points here either. This looks like sub-$20 device.

    Agree with some other posters here that this looks more like a late 80's VCR remote.
  • Malard - Friday, April 6, 2012 - link

    It's not that thick in comparison to most brand remotes its thinner. Design wise, it's not going to win any competitions I agree, but equally it's quick and easy for friends and family to pick up and use without so many buttons that it takes you 5 minutes of hard staring before you can hit stop or change to the next track.
  • Malard - Friday, April 6, 2012 - link

    The main reason manufacturers still use IR is cost, it is a heck of a lot cheaper to use an IR diode that it is to buy all the RF components and then go through FCC approval for the remote etc etc.

    Also, usability, there has yet to be a 2 handed remote design that the average consumer can adopt quickly and easily, for example what if you want to change the channel while you have a beverage in your hand?
  • UltraTech79 - Saturday, April 7, 2012 - link

    1975 called, they wanted their remote control design back.
  • bigboxes - Saturday, April 7, 2012 - link

    You weren't around in 1975 as you have no idea what you are talking about. LOL
  • doclucas - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    Good remote, I own it and use it daily.
    My list of cons:
    - No buttons backlight (this is the most important missing feature, especially when operating the remote in thee dark!!).
    - Too sensitive tilt sensor with no way to manually disable it and manually choose the side of the remote
    - IR Range too short
    - Mouse controls are not as good as say the RII mousepad. Please implement a mousepad instead of the hard arrow buttons.
    - Missing CTRL & ALT buttons on the keyboard

    Fixing all the above would make it a perfect remote!

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