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BenQ Knowledge Center

The Evolution of the Hotkey Puck

BenQ
2019/08/27
The Evolution of the Hotkey Puck

The Hotkey Puck, bundled with some of our AQCOLOR monitors, has become one of the most loved features by photographers and designers. In just a few years, it has gone through three iterations based on the needs and feedback of our users and keeps evolving. Let us go over the history of this ingenious device and briefly discuss what the future holds for it.

Why create a Hotkey Puck?

When we started making monitors that catered to the needs of color professionals, we also began to learn more about the workflow and usage scenarios of photographers and designers.

First, we learned that their need to change settings on their monitors is more frequent than the average user's. Some professionals have to adjust the monitor’s color space depending on the type of asset they are working on, switching from sRGB to Adobe RGB or DCI-P3. Others like to change the monitor’s brightness to match their environment or for more comfort when working in a darkroom. Whatever the specific situation is, we know that experts need precise control over their monitor settings.

 

Hotkey Puck Gen1

BenQ Hotkey Puck Gen1

Then, we also learned about their workspace and desktop arrangement. We know that photographers and designers tend to prefer bigger monitors placed at a greater viewing distance. Such a distance makes it very inconvenient to fiddle around with the OSD, especially using only the buttons on the monitor to navigate the menus. Many users also mount these monitors on their walls or desks, making it almost impossible to reach and adjust settings without needing to stand up.

These specific needs of pro users have made us come up with a solution that is unique to BenQ, the Hotkey Puck. This AQCOLOR exclusive device gives you a quick way to adjust the settings on your monitor, navigate OSD menus, change brightness, and select from your favorite presets. It is easy to move it from the monitor’s stand to the side of your keyboard or any space within your hand’s reach.

The Evolution of the Hotkey Puck

The first version of our Hotkey Puck, which we call Gen 0, addressed these professional needs in a very straightforward manner. It was a controller that allowed navigating the OSD with full-size, dedicated buttons that are not attached to the monitor. Additionally, it provided the user with three customizable keys that hold frequently used presets, allowing, for example, switching between color spaces quickly.

Given its big success, Hotkey Puck Gen 0 helped us get a vast amount of feedback from pro users. The first improvement based on their comments was the change from the metallic and glossy material on the body of Gen 0 to the matte grey material on Hotkey Puck Gen 1. A matte surface and neutral grey color help avoid unwanted reflections that distract from what is most important to you, what is actually on the screen. Particularly useful for those who like to work in dark environments.

Our recently launched Hotkey Puck Gen 2 has been completely redesigned to provide an upgraded experience. The first thing that might come to your mind when you put your hands on it is the feeling of a luxury car. From the premium materials that go into its fabrication to the invaluable haptic feedback of a hardware dial, these features provide an upgraded user experience.

The primary material of the new Hotkey Puck is thick plastic with a matte rubber-like finish. An analog dial is positioned atop of the Puck, giving you a responsive way to navigate and adjust settings. Moreover, thanks to the new materials and added weight, it does not slide around your desk and feels sturdier in your hand. Buttons are more prominent and more comfortable to press even in the dark.

We are proud to include the new Hotkey Puck Gen 2 with our best AQCOLOR monitors. 

The Future of the Hotkey Puck

Hotkey Puck is a device in continuous evolution fed by the valuable feedback of experts and specialists. In the future, we want it to become more than a simple OSD controller. At BenQ, we see the Puck as a total solution tool for color-critical professionals that enables easier color accuracy management at the reach of your hands. Keep tuned to learn how the upcoming improvements to Hotkey Puck will simplify your color workflow.

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