This geeky controller gave my MacBook Pro an instant productivity boost

The TourBox Elite is super ergonomic

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I try to do as much work as I can on my laptop. The MacBook Pro is powerful enough to handle almost every photo or video editing job I can throw at it, and it’s self-contained, which means I just need the laptop and I’m good to go. 

Also: This creative tablet is the best thing to happen to my photography

As such, I’ve been wary of adding other “gadgets” into the equation. I don’t use a mouse because I find the trackpad adequate, but I do use a graphics tablet — either a Wacom Intuos Pro or a Wacom One — for more complex work, mostly photo touch-ups.

But lately I’ve been using a tool — a controller, to give it its proper name — that has quickly become worth its weight in gold. And that’s the TourBox Elite controller

TouchBox Elite


TourBox Elite

Forget keyboard shortcuts, the TourBox Elite is the most intuitive way to control your photo and video editing apps. Whether it’s brush control, video and audio editing, image manipulation, parameter calibration, or tool switching, this has you covered.

TourBox Elite tech specs

  • Outer material: ABS
  • Button material: PC (polycarbonate)
  • Dial and wheel material: PC & TPU double injection molding
  • Haptic motor: Linear motor
  • Connectivity: Dual-channel BLE5.0 & USB-C cable
  • Compatibility: macOS10.11 and above, Windows 10 and above (Windows 7 and 8 supported with additional drivers)
  • Dimensions: 116 X 101 X 44mm
  • Weight: 376g without batteries, 426g with 2x AA batteries 
TouchBox Elite buttons and dials

TourBox Elite buttons and dials


As for what software you can use with your TourBox Elite, well, the sky’s the limit! Think of any photo or video editing app, drawing package, browser, or audio app, and the TourBox Elite will support it. I’ve tested it with the big-name software packages from the likes of Adobe, DaVinci, and Apple, and had no problems at all.

It just works. 

Installation was a snap. You download and install the software, fire up the software, and choose whether to connect the TourBox Elite controller using a cable or Bluetooth.

I chose to use the controller in a wireless configuration and the whole setup process was super smooth on my Mac; the time from opening the box and having it working was less than five minutes.

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On the desk, the TourBox Elite controller has enough weight — and decent rubberized feet — to keep it in place while…