Current testing methodology is v1.2
July 31, 2022
5.63 x 5.87 x 6.46 in
The fidget spinner for creatives. TourBox sent me the TourBox Elite. It’s different from the TourBox Neo and previous models because it also has Bluetooth, not just Bluetooth, but dual Bluetooth, to ensure that you never have any dropouts in your creative flow.
If you’re not familiar with TourBox, neither was I until I started researching things that I could use at my desk that reduce the number of hand movements that I have to do, and speed up my workflow. In particular, I was interested in making my video editing workflow faster.
Using DaVinci Resolve, I knew that there must be a better way than just a keyboard, mouse, and Wacom tablet. And sure enough, there was. But this thing isn’t just for video editors. It’s for anybody who is creative.
TourBox Elite Creators Controller
Such a simple concept executed in a very intelligent way
The TourBox Elite has improved the speed and efficiency of my creative work.
The design is intelligent and the software interface allows you to use this with just about any creative tool you can think of.
Even if you are not a video editor, photographer, artist, or content creator the TourBox Elite can help you with just about any function on your computer.
The build quality is super and this now has a permanent place on my desk.
- Connectivity Technology: Dual-channel Bluetooth
- Haptic Feedback Insensity: Medium (VIB1) | High (VIB2)
- Speed Control: Adjustable (Standard, Slow1, Slow2)
- Fingerprint-proof Coating: Yes
- Integrated components and buttons: 4 different switch encoders
What’s in the Box?
- TourBox Elite
- Safety Instructions
- Quick Start Guide
Stuff I like
- Excellent build quality
- Smart software integrations
- Natural to use and comfortable hand positioning
- Solid dual Bluetooth connection
- Haptic Feedback is a nice addition
- Auto switching between apps is cool
Stuff I like less
- Can take a little while to get used to before it starts saving you time
Whether you use Photoshop or Lightroom or Adobe Premiere, or pretty much any other software application you can think of, you can do a lot of what you need to do with this awesome little device.
The reason I say it’s like a Fidget Cube is that it has just a whole lot of bunches of dials and knobs, and spinning wheels that you can use and program to do certain functions on your computer.
It’s both Mac and PC compatible, and the software that’s included with it is incredibly easy to understand and follow when you’re programming this thing.
The basic premise is, instead of having to use a keyboard, do multiple keys and hotkeys, and jump around to different buttons in different places, you can literally rest your left or right hand on this thing and then have access to up to a hundred different key combinations that will do all of the core things that you would normally do jumping around between the mouse, the keyboard, and maybe even your Wacom tablet.
Pairing it with other cool things. The TourBox really comes to life when you pair it with a mouse or some sort of tablet, whether that’s the Xencelabs or Wacom-style tablets, and you can pretty much get away with just using those two things, and almost never need to touch your keyboard.
For fast movements across large screens, you may still want to use the Wacom or mouse, but for micro-movements, and for moving around all of your property and control panels, you can pretty much do it all with the TourBox.
The dials, the scroll wheels, and the navigation pad gets you anywhere you need to go, with good precision. It kind of leverages a lot of the accessibility functions that are built into the software to enable software to be used with screen tools rather than visual tools.
In other words, you can navigate around an application using arrow keys and hitting certain other keys like the space bar to action things.
Out of the box, this thing comes preconfigured for Photoshop, Lightroom, Adobe Premiere editing, and Adobe Premiere coloring preset.
And when you open up the TourBox software, it’s very easy to understand what each button does, and you can navigate through the interface of the TourBox application if you’re unsure what does what.
There’s a lot going on in there, but your first port of call should really just be to scroll down and have a look at what the options are.
The TourBox allows you to add your own presets. So, in my case, instead of using the built-in Lightroom presets, I built my own custom Lightroom presets.
Check out the video for the screen demo, but essentially, you will click on a new preset and name it, and then you can manually assign each of the keys on the TourBox to a function within the software.
Because TourBox has already built in all of the core functions of these creative tools, all you’re really doing is mapping the button to the tool.
An example might be if the pen tool or the rubber stamp tool is something that you access regularly, you could program one of the buttons on the TourBox and if you’re in Photoshop and you click one of the buttons, it selects the pen tool.
You can navigate all of your property panels by using the keypad on the TourBox, or you could program those buttons to do something else also.
But with just that keypad to navigate, and then the scroll wheels around the keypad, you’re also able to navigate through a lot of your sliders, so that you can navigate down to things like saturation, luminance, brightness, anything like that.
And then, by using the knob or the wheel, you can increase and decrease those sliders as you go. And once you’re done, you can use the control keys to navigate up and down the different sliders.
So, just by using the dials and the keypad, already I’m editing photos and video without having to navigate to my keyboard, and it’s all being done in a very tactile manner, without me even having to look at the TourBox.
Each of the scroll wheels and knob and dial pad also has a button, so you can also press them to take action on something as well.
In terms of video editing, those same scroll wheels and dials can also be used to zoom in and out of your timeline, to navigate down your timeline, and then you can program a lot of your other buttons to do your cutting and rolling edits. It really is quite intuitive.
Automatic switching. The other thing that the TourBox can do is automatically switch when you’re changing applications. So, if I’m in Photoshop, the buttons on the TourBox Elite will automatically change to the configuration that I’ve set for Photoshop.
If I then switch over to Premiere, the TourBox will recognize this, and then all of the buttons will switch over to the Premier presets. You can manually change as well, but if you are switching between these a lot, this is a really quick way to get things happening.
Something that early creators of, and owners of the TourBox said was that the haptic feedback was something that they really appreciated. The TourBox Elite has haptic feedback built in, and if you don’t like it, you can even just turn it off in the software controls.
As you scroll the dials or the dial knob, there’s a nice tactile click to it, so that you really get a feel for what you’re doing. This increases the feeling of not having to look at the unit, but just understanding that you know, something is happening.
The build quality on this is awesome. I have the white TourBox Elite, and I would love to name this the stormtrooper of creative controllers. It’s a very hefty unit but is so well put together and is so natural in your hand, it’s hard not to like it.
It’s got four little rubber feet on the bottom, so that it has a nice, soft placement on the table, but it won’t move, based on its weight and the fact that those rubber feet have a pretty good grip to them.
What about other applications to use it with?
When you go into the software for the TourBox Elite, in the dropdown of available software that you can use to integrate with, there are also some other functions.
If the software package that you want to interface with is not there, it is possible to go to the library on the TourBox tech website and have a look to see if a library exists that you can download and use, allowing you to map your keys to specific functions within that software.
For example, DaVinci Resolve isn’t one out of the box at this time, but you can download some presets, or you can just program your own, which is what I tend to do. But you can do more with it.
In addition to applications, there is a full range of system settings and mouse settings that you can program into the TourBox tech. Let me give you an example of a system.
So, in the system, you can map keys to things like volume up and volume down, or other things that your computer does natively, such as screen, dimmers, etc. So, in addition to applications, you can actually just operate parts of your computer using the TourBox.
So, if you do want a box that does most of what you do on your computer, just sitting on your desk, that you can quickly just reach out and hit a button or scroll a wheel, this is a great choice.
You can also program it to different mouse settings. So, you can open the mouse pane and select things like left-click, right-click, scroll, etc. I definitely like this as well.
My basic Lightroom workflow
Let me share with you my basic Lightroom workflow because for anyone that’s working in Lightroom if you feel a bit overwhelmed with the included presets, you might find this is a quick get-start.
I have the control pad up, down, left, right just doing up, down, left, right. I have the scroll wheel, when I click it, I zoom in on a photo. I have the button on the left of the TourBox, when I hit it, it escapes back. So, I can zoom in on a photo, have a look, click back, and then I have two other buttons pre-programmed.
One is a pick, and one is a bin. And so, with the tick and cross being in buttons, I can very quickly, with my thumb, move around the photos, click to zoom in on them, and have a quick look. If I don’t like it, bam, hit a button, it’s X’ed, escape back, and I’m back.
And all of this is done with one hand, without having to reach for my keyboard. And I love it. It has really made a difference to the speed and the way that I work. And make sure you check out the video above, because it will walk you through all of these settings and how I use them.
The TourBox, for me, is one of those things that I have discovered through need. I had a need for devices that reduced the amount of hand strain that occurs with the excessive work that I do, and it has over-delivered on the thing that I was hoping to find.
It’s a device that has not only fulfilled a need but exceeded its usefulness in the work that I do every day. I can’t say enough good things about the build quality, the way it works, the ease of programming, and the natural feel that it has on my desk.
I’m using it a little bit differently from most. Being a left-hander, I use the TourBox in my right hand, and most people use it in their left hand, but this thing is as flexible as you want it to be.
The ability to program individual buttons, then to also program double buttons, and then also program double-clicks on buttons, and long press and hold buttons, means this thing is as smart as you want it to be.
Yes, it does take some getting used to, but if you introduce basic clicks to start, such as I’ve done with Lightroom, you very quickly start to see the potential, and start adding more and more functionality to it as you use it.
For creators who can’t afford tens of thousands of dollars for expensive editing decks, this thing is absolutely brilliant, and congratulations to TourBox tech for having the insight to create something so functional out of the box.
The TourBox Elite with dual Bluetooth, for me, is a real winner. You can run it off the cable, but to have wires not all over my desk is my goal.
And in combination with my wireless Xencelabs tablet, this thing gets a five out of five stars, no doubt. And I would definitely recommend it to anybody out there to give it a go.
If you’ve got any questions, fire them away in the comments below, and I’m happy to get into it.
Thanks to TourBox for sending me the TourBox Elite, to tell you guys what I think.
Well done, guys. Well done. You’ve made a cracker.
Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.
Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.
This post was last updated on 2023-12-04 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.