TourBox Elite | Outstanding Editing Controller Goes Wireless
Two years ago, we had the chance to review the first version of an impressive tool capable of making your editing workflow more fluid and efficient. We concluded that this controller doesn’t disappoint and should be considered as a great solution aimed at visual content creators.
If the Controller Was Already Good, How Is This Version Better?
2022 is just around the corner and at these times it seems odd having these high-tech editing tools still wired, having us trapped with cables around. TourBox has gone one step ahead to present the first Bluetooth controller. Some other updates include haptic feedback amongst software and hardware improvements given by users’ feedback. Those are great results, but definitely, making the TourBox Elite a wireless editing controller is the key asset.
Who Is the TourBox Console for?
The TourBox Elite is designed to satisfy the needs of a wide range of digital content creators, including photographers, digital artists, video editors, graphic designers, and audio editors.
The beauty of using this controller is that there are many customizable options for editing at the reach of one hand, so you can use the other to control other gadgets that match very well, such as graphic tablets.
The TourBox Elite is cross-platform and compatible with numerous applications like Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve, and more. You can use TourBox Elite as a standalone device or in conjunction with a mouse and drawing tablet.
When combined with a drawing tablet the TourBox Elite removes the need to use a keyboard or mouse, enabling you to sketch with one hand and control aspects of the application, as well as freeing up space on your desk by removing the need for a keyboard.
The TourBox works on both Windows and Mac OS, is available for left-handed and right-handed users, and each of its buttons, knobs, and dials are fully customizable. In addition to reassigning functions, it is possible to fine-tune the speed, acceleration, and accuracy to suit your desired way of work.
TourBox´s software includes presets or shortcuts for diverse graphic design programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, and Capture One. Also, for drawing software like Clip Studio Paint, Comic Studio, and SAI. Video and audio software, such as Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, After Effects, DaVinci, Adobe Audition, and C4D. However, you can modify or create your own presets for all of these applications, as well as many other apps.
TourBox is capable of setting dozens of convenient operations as keyboard shortcuts or built-in functions. Setup is very easy and straightforward as it takes just a couple of minutes to connect the wireless editing controller to your computer using Bluetooth. Default presets integrated into the TourBox controller are available for Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere editing, and Premiere color grading, offering an easy way to plug and play out of the box.
On top of that, presets can also be tweaked to your personal preferences as you become more accustomed to the features and functionality of the wireless editing controller. Already created presets are also available to download from the official TourBox website. These include solutions for Affinity Photo, Capture One, Final Cut, Clip Studio Paint, DaVinci Resolve, Chrome, Vegas, CorelDraw, Illustrator, PowerPoint, Exposure X6, Zbrush, Easy Paint Tool SAI, After Effects, Camera Raw, VRoid Studi, among others.
It is even possible to customize the TourBox for applications like Google Chrome for easier web browsing. The application gives users the freedom to create custom controls for almost any application on their computer including macros for multiple custom commands to be enabled with a single button click.
Design and Build Quality
The TourBox Elite wireless editing controller is small and portable compared to its competition with 12cms wide and 386g of weight. This is a good solution to be placed on a desk or to be carried around in your gear bags since it’s so small. The look and layout are practically identical to V1, which is a good thing, as it gives a sense of how many thoughts were put into the design and construction for the original model.
There are three rotational buttons: Scroll, Knob, and Dial. These are designed to use your middle finger for the Scroll and Dial wheels, while your thumb and index fingers are meant to control the Knob.
The button, which is placed aside, is to be controlled by your ring finger. The Top button, as well as the C1 & C2, are meant to be used with your index finger. The Tall, Short, and D-Pad buttons are for the thumb.
Improvements for V2 against V1
- Bluetooth: The Elite is now Bluetooth 5.1 enabled with dual channels. This means you can connect to two different devices and quickly switch over by pressing the Bluetooth button on the backside of the device. It’s a neat feature that could be useful for creators working on multiple systems. If you are doing home office, this could be a bridge between your personal PC and work computer.
- Haptic feedback: TourBox Elite comes in with a small haptic bump that provides excellent responsiveness every time rotating or scrolling the knob, dial, and scroll. The haptic feedback is audible, and you can feel it through vibration clicks. Haptic intensity (feedback levels) and speed can be adjusted individually for each mapped action. Since there aren’t any physical scale marks on the rotary buttons of TourBox Elite, the sense of touch is simulated by the internal vibration motor. That’s why the haptic feedback can be switched off or configured to your preferred level of force.
- Software: Integration with other apps is notorious and the software itself has been improved, although we rather not dive too much into this aspect as we are still using the Beta version, and we look forward to trying out the final outcome. However, it is pleasant to see that TourBox has been listening to customers’ feedback to improve the product.
- Macros: It is possible to set up your macro commands with just a few clicks on the TourBox Elite. A macro contains multiple groups while each group consists of multiple actions. Therefore, the possibilities are huge. E.g.: keyboard shortcuts, text input, file opening, link directing, etc.
- TourMenu: Remembering all the macros and how buttons are mapped could be a challenging task. That’s why TourBox implemented an easy access pop-up menu that displays this information wherever you’re currently pointing the mouse. Therefore, it’s easy to select the tool you need without having to move your mouse away from the image for selecting one of these tools.
- Hardware: V1 colors were limited to black and white. The smoke-black translucent chassis is visually appealing.
- Great size and weight, perfect for traveling.
- Intuitive layout, almost perfectly placed controls.
- Ergonomic shape and is nice to the touch.
- Software is very intuitive and easy to use.
What Could Be Better?
- It doesn’t have a lithium battery built-in. While the original controller was powered through the USB cable, the Elite now requires two AA batteries.
- The buttons are a bit clicky and the dust bag feels a bit cheap. We look forward to seeing a proper travel bag.
The TourBox Elite is currently available via Kickstarter and has already raised over $500,000 thanks to over 2,300+ backers. Kickstarter pledges are available from $178 offering you a 34% saving off the recommended retail price of $268 for a limited time. For more information on full specifications as well as a complete list of all available pledge options, jump over to the official Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.
For users who already have the previous wired generation of TourBox, the Bluetooth feature justifies the upgrade. If you are new to this system, we recommend this tool without hesitations to make your workflow smoother and more entertaining.
Going with a wireless editing controller will bring satisfaction to those users who look forward to ditching cables, having a cleaner desk footprint, but without losing power and efficiency.
TourBox is offering a second updated version from their original model. There is an added value when knowing that a young company has gained already important experience in the market to satisfy the needs of their users.
This review was based on a prototype and not a final unit. Therefore, it is expected that TourBox could still improve hardware and software before launching to the market the Elite version.