Revo HTPC
28Apr/102

Great HTPC Deals including the Loop Pointer!

Capture

For a short time Hillcrest Labs is offering the Loop Pointer for 50% off bringing it down to $49 + free shipping. If you have read my review my biggest issue was the price. Now that it is down to $49 I can put my blessing on this device as I have been using it more and more with my Revo. So head over to Loop Pointer page on Amazon.

Some other deals worth mentioning.
1.5TB Western Digital Caviar Green Hard Drive for $99.99 shipped
AmazonBasics HDMI Cables as low as $5
ATI Theater HD 750 USB TV Tuner ATSC/QAM for $55 shipped
DVDs and Blu-ray discs with savings of up to 58% off on Amazon

Update:
Newegg.com has the KWorld TV tuner on sale for $25 + free shipping:
KWORLD ATSC TV Stick UB435-Q at Newegg
-Recommended for ATSC inside of Windows Media Center

Update 2:
Fry's Electronics has the ATI Theater HD 750 USB TV Tuner ATSC/QAM for $30 after Mail in Rebate.

18Apr/106

[Review] Hillcrest Labs Loop Pointer + Video Review

One thing that I do not like about my Revo is when I have to use my mouse and keyboard from the couch. I have a standard 2.4 Ghz Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse combo, which works great, however on the couch the mouse is practically useless. Hillcrest Labs has basically came up with a replacement for the mouse called The Loop Pointer. It basically works with an RF sensor just like most wireless keyboards and mice. You move the Loop Pointer in the direction you want the mouse to move and it moves and works great. It features multiple buttons on top of the remote which are your  basic left and right mouse click, and also features a scroll click wheel which is really nice to have when using the Kylo browser. There is also a hide button that when pressed till temporarily turn off the Loop Pointer until it is pressed again locking the mouse at its current position. This is really nice to have when you are watching videos and don't want to worry about the mouse moving.

The Loop Pointer runs on 2 AA batteries which to me is a bit disappointing as I would have liked to see a built in rechargeable battery, but Hillcrest Labs has the battery life rated at 80 hours which is pretty impressive. The device is extremely light and feels great when holding it. Even when using it for a prolonged period of time it didn't hurt my wrist at all which was great.

To test the usability of the Loop Pointer I let my girlfriend test it out and she gave it a thumbs up. She said she probably wouldn't use it all the time, however she much preferred it over using the wireless mouse. Overall I think that the Loop Pointer is the ultimate mouse replace for a HTPC setup. The only real downfall to the device is its price point which is $100. When compared to a Wiimote which is $40 and a Harmony remote which averages around $100, it is tough to recommend the Loop Pointer at this price point if you already had a wireless mouse and keyboard. If the Loop Pointer was to drop down in price a bit or if you really hate your wireless mouse then absolutely pick up a Loop Pointer as you will not be disappointed.

*EDIT: There is an error in my assumption of the technology. Hillcrest has informed me that it is in fact RF technology, NOT IR. This allows your HTPC to be behind cabinets, windows, etc and the Loop Pointer will still work up to 30 feet.

The Loop Pointer is currently available on Amazon for $100

For a little bit more in depth overview of the device I have a nice Video Review for you guys enjoy:

*Note: The Loop Pointer was sent to me from Hillcrest Labs (they did not ask me to review it), and after using it and writing this review I have decided to keep it.