Now is a good time to be dipping again into inventive tasks you’ve had on maintain, together with enhancing archives of photographs you promised you’d get again to ‘later.’ There are a selection of various devices designed to assist make that course of simpler, however one of many extra accessible is the TourBox, a $169 controller that features plenty of completely different buttons, dials and switches which will be personalized by way of software program to work with a wide range of inventive purposes.
TourBox is a tool that occupies roughly the desk area of an Apple Magic Trackpad, with a USB-C connection to plug into your pc. It’s geared up with a D-pad, two dials, a scroll wheel, and 7 buttons. The TourBox software program supplies customizable controls for every of those, permitting you to assign keys to every.
Constructed-in profiles help common picture enhancing purposes together with Photoshop, Lightroom and Seize One; video enhancing software program like Ultimate Minimize Professional, Premiere and DaVinci Resolve; and drawing software program together with Clip Studio Paint. Every of the default configurations for these purposes may also be personalized relying on a person’s preferences and wishes.
TourBox differs from different, costlier units on this class in plenty of respects – it leans closely on keyboard shortcuts, as an example, undoubtedly simplifying software program actions however not offering the identical stage of plug-in integration that rivals together with the extra premium Loupedeck+ and Loupedeck CT present. These are significantly costlier, nevertheless, and what TourBox supplies may go well with the workflows of professionals who’re wanting primarily to complement, reasonably than exchange their present keyboard productiveness workflows.
The TourBox is compact, however feels sturdy. It’s heavier than I anticipated, which makes it extra prone to keep placed on the desk the place you set it reasonably than shifting round throughout use. The outside is a matte, rubberized plastic that has a pleasant aesthetic and a nice tactile really feel, although it’s going to decide up mud.
TourBox’s buttons and controls characteristic distinctive shapes and components like raised spokes and ridges on the wheels that will help you navigate the management floor solely by really feel. It produces a controller that appears very fascinating due to its asymmetrical format and exterior floor, however all of that really makes it a lot simpler to learn to function it solely by really feel after a bit of apply, which is vital to long-term use by way of really guaranteeing the TourBox saves you time, by being one thing you may ultimately principally decide to muscle reminiscence.
Whereas the design of the buttons and different controls makes a number of sense, the precise really feel of them isn’t all that nice. There are some highlights, together with clicky turning to assist with fine-grained controls, however general the buttons really feel a bit mushy and customarily don’t match as much as the texture of the controls on different surfaces just like the Loupedeck talked about above. Given the value distinction, the lower-quality really feel of the bodily controls will be forgiven, and it doesn’t have an effect on precise efficiency, however it’s one thing to remember.
As with all new controller, the TourBox takes some getting used to, and the software program that the corporate supplies, whereas it features a primary tutorial, requires non-obvious person tweaks like handbook switching of profiles to work with completely different purposes. There’s a significant 2.1 replace within the works that can ship auto-profile switching, amongst plenty of different enhancements.
When you learn to use the TourBox software program and spend a while familiarizing your self with the profiles for the purposes you employ, TourBox is certainly user-friendly, and might prevent a number of time and additional keystrokes on commonest capabilities, together with issues like zooming and panning, adjusting brush measurement, undoing and redoing and rather more.
As talked about, the distinctive bodily format and button shapes seem initially odd, however in the end imply you can develop a really memorable workflow utilizing the TourBox that turns into second nature. By default, a few of the modifier key mixtures that have been shipped within the software program profiles required a bit of surprising hand gymnastics for me, however all of those are customizable so it was straightforward to make modifications that resulted in additional ergonomically pleasant utilization.
Whereas there are a rising variety of choices with regards to management surfaces that will help you create an at-home enhancing suite, the TourBox at $169 is without doubt one of the most reasonably priced on the market. It’s additionally a particularly moveable choice, requiring only one cable, which you’ll be able to simply pack in nearly any bag.
Extra demanding and professional customers would do nicely to have a look at Loupedeck’s choices, and the Monogram Inventive Console supplies much more modular customizability for a system that may develop together with your wants, however for on-the-road enhancing and for lovers who’re simply on the lookout for one thing to make their enhancing simpler and sooner however with minimal fuss, the TourBox is a stable choice.