A few weeks ago, I reviewed the Mele F10, a dual sided 2.4 GHz remote with a QWERTY keyboard and gyroscope, and found it to be a very good complement to any Android STB or mini-PC, with some caveats such as none optimal key arrangements, a lack of play/pause button… You can also use it with Windows and Linux. This product has been available for sale for a while, and Mele has just introduced a new version, called Mele F10 Pro, with better accuracy, and a built-in microphone and speaker for voice command or video chat apps such as Skype and Google Hangout.
The new RF receiver dongle is much bigger than the original one which could be a problem if you use it with a mini-PC directly connected to the HDMI port of your TV, but I’ve been told the larger size is due to extra components to handle audio. One good thing is that all keys on the remote side appear to be useful, the right and left mouse button have been moved, hopefully to free the center pad as an Enter button. The are also next / prev buttons, and a gaming button, as the remote can also be used with a number of games (about 16 are officially supported).
They’ve also made a number of chances to the layout of the QWERTY keyboard side, but I’m not sure I really like all of those chances, except potentially for gaming, and you can now access the 2 mouse buttons from both sides. For those hoping for a tab key, it’s still missing, but with the mouse buttons being there, you don’t need to turn over the remote to click on next. I’ll have to try to get a better feel.
The device is available for pre-order $38.87 including shipping on Mele’s aliexpress store, and it should ship by the end of the month. You can get a
$2 coupon there [Update: The aliexpress coupon is only valid for orders > $100, but they’ve told me you could write “I know F10 PRO from cnx-software” in the comment field during the order process to get $2 off], and get 10% discount on week-ends. You can cumulate both offers. There may also be some $5 coupons around, but I don’t know of a working one below $50. I’ve noticed Mele does not always price their own devices very aggressively in their Aliexpress store, but with the week-end deal and $2 discount, the discounted price (~$33) might be reasonable. For reference, I paid $25 for the original version of the Mele F10.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.