- No pre-programmed functions
If you need a cheap and cheerful Universal Remote, the Z150 will do the job
Price$ 79.00 (AUD)
When it comes to Universal Remote Controls, they don't get more frustrating than the Zensonic Z150. Unlike most competitive models, the Z150 lacks any pre-programmed functions, meaning you have to sit there and program every button manually. If you want to use the maximum number of supported devices (eight in total), you will have to painfully program over 250 buttons which is a chore, to say the least.
The user manual does not sufficiently explain how to program the remote, neglecting to mention a second infrared sensor strangely positioned on the underside of the unit. The lack of detail in the manual isn't too surprising though, given that it is approximately the size of a postage stamp. Programming the remote involves an almost medieval system of inserting a pin into one of various holes in the lower underside of the remote labeled learn, edit, clear, time/date and reset. This system is woefully inadequate and technologically retrograde.
After you have weathered these flaws and actually programmed the Z150, it is fairly easy to use. The layout and design are comfortable and the remote feels light and responsive. The build quality of the unit isn't especially great but it doesn't feel as if it's about to fall apart. While you will find almost every standard button included on the remote, if a particular button is missing, there are no soft keys to replace it with.. The Zensonic also includes a backlight feature which is only semi-useful as it is necessary to hold down a button to keep the light active. This forces you to use your second hand to operate other buttons. The last notable feature is the macro function. This works well, enabling a succession of commands to be programmed onto a single button but It's nothing we haven't seen before.
Once you've solved the challenge of programming the device, the remote is a solid, albeit, unspectacular performer. With a relatively low price, however, the Z150 is an adequate replacement for your remote control collection.
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PCW Evaluation Team
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