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December 05, 2013

First Looks: Roccat Power-Grid

Introduction


Today we will look at the Roccat Power-Grid software. Truth be told, when I first received news on the Power-Grid, I had no idea what sort of software I am expecting to see and operate. From the brief intro from Roccat above, we get a brief description on what the Power-Grid is all about. So without further ado, let’s see how many cats we can let off the bag, really. :P


First Impressions

First off, you will need to download the Host Software, then followed by the Mobile App. You may download them from here. Do take note that the Mobile App works on both iOS and Android based platforms. From the download link, I do not see support for other platforms aside from those two mentioned.

This is the first glimpse of the Power-Grid on the Host PC (which in this case would be your PC). By default, Power-Grid comes with two free Custom Tab slots, with further expandability (additional tab) that you will need to purchase accordingly. The four Grids listed under "Preset Grids" are the basic Grids that you can choose from. You will also be able to customize up to an additional two "Custom Grids" that can be made available on your Mobile App (together with the four Preset Grids).

To customize, you can easily do so by first selecting your choice of Grid, then click "Add to bar" on the bottom right of the Host Software. Then click "Apply" and it will automatically sync with your Mobile App.


Moving on to the Mobile App, which basically functions as a proxy Remote Control, allowing you to access and control whatever Grid that is already loaded to your Mobile App. We will first take a look on some of the basic bundled Grids.

On the System Stats Grid, you can actually see most of the basic information of your PC. First off is the CPU info (displaying the number of core counts), followed by RAM info, network usage, hard disk (storage) capacity, stopwatch and timer.


Let’s see what happens when we “click” the C Drive on the Mobile App. It immediately opens up the C Drive window on the Host PC. Cool! This feature could be useful when you’re in the midst of working on something and do not want to purposefully leave your application just to open up a window.


On the Incoming Center Grid, you're able to add in your Emails, Facebook, Skype, Twitter, RSS feeds and Teamspeak. You can do so via the "Settings" tab on the Host Software. For some strange reasons, I am not able to link my Facebook account under the Incoming Center. The lack of time prevents me from further exploring this feature. In my humble opinion, I feel that this Grid serves as only a quick update / information center. I could not really find a reason to reply via this app when you can easily do so directly from your Host PC, but that's just me. :)


Alright, moving on to the Sound Control Grid. It allows you to launch a pre-defined media player (which in my case is the Windows Media Player). It also allows you to fiddle through the songs in your playlists via the Back and Forward buttons. There is a large volume knob for you to tune the master volume to your liking, and also mute it if you wish to. Moving down, you are able to further manually adjust the volume level for each specific application. Very useful indeed.


For the Custom Grids, I have added in the Skyrim and Borderlands 2 Grid in order test out what flexibility the Power-Grid is able to offer in games. Personally, I find these Grids to be rather interesting and useful, as it helps take the load off my brain in memorizing certain keyboard shortcuts. :)



As I have earlier mentioned above, there is an option for you to further purchase additional tabs, which can be done via the "In app purchase" tab. This is definitely a great option, if the default two free Custom Tab slots is not enough for you.


Final Thoughts

I find the Power-Grid to be a very interesting and cool new app, and while it is certainly useful, one can’t help but wonder, as all the features seem entirely plausible to be executed via the personal computer (through your mouse and keyboard) itself. However, the Power-Grid is certainly nice to explore and I’m certain it could really come in handy to some users out there. Best of all, it’s free to try, so why not download it now and just give it a shot? You've got nothing to lose, after all. With that in mind, we at Tech-Critter would like to give the Roccat Power-Grid our Recommended award.

Pros:
  • It's free!
  • Supports iOS and Android based mobile platforms
  • Sound Control Grid is quite useful
  • Useful Grid (e.g Skyrim & Borderlands 2) that gives you quick access to certain in-game functions

Cons:
  • Nothing extra other than what your typical mouse and keyboard allows you to do
  • Couldn't link to my Facebook account for some strange reasons
Reviewed by: rav3n82

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