If you are using Windows 10 and have Microsoft's digital personal assistant Cortana available then you may be interested in the $23 Satechi Bluetooth Cortana Button. Sure, you can use Hey Cortana or [Win + C] on your keyboard to call up the assistant, but what if you are driving and want to use Cortana on your phone? Or maybe you would like Cortana on your keychain?
Let's take a look at what your $23 will get you with the Satechi Bluetooth Cortana Button in our new video review!
In the box
The Satechi button was first announced in July and went on sale last week. We ordered up our button from Satechi and had our shipment within just a few days.
The packaging for the Cortana accessory was top-notch with feature specifications and details about the product well laid out. Here is what you need to know:
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Battery lasts up to 2 years (1x CR2016)
- Active range is up to 40 feet
- Works with Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile
In the box you get the following:
- Bluetooth Cortana button
- Bluetooth Button steering wheel mount
- Audio port Keychain attachment
- 3M Sticker
- Quick Start Guide
I was impressed with all the accessories for this accessory that this button came with in the box. You can easily mount the Cortana button to your steering wheel for one-touch access while driving, toss it on your keychain or stick the button where you want to for easy access.
On the back of the Cortana button is a tiny pairing switch. You'll need a pen or something small to press it in and hold for a few seconds. On the front of the button, you should see a blinking blue light letting you know it is in pairing mode. Now, under Windows 10 or Windows 10 Mobile just head to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and pair with the Satechi Bluetooth Cortana Button.
To pair the button with another device just repeat the above steps to reset and repair with another computer or phone.
I should note that we were unable to get this to work with Windows Phone 8.1, so this is likely just a Windows 10 Mobile accessory.
If your computer does not have Bluetooth, you can easily pick up a Bluetooth 3.0 or 4.0 USB dongle to add it to your computer. Satechi makes a Bluetooth 4.0 one for about $16 on Amazon although any third-party adapter will get the job done.
Once paired there is not much to it. Pressing the button launches Cortana and is similar to the [Win + C] keyboard shortcut. Cortana launches into listening mode, and you can then use your microphone to issue a command. The button behaves exactly the same on Windows 10 Mobile too.
Perhaps the most interesting usage case scenario is in the car where you can have a one-touch button on the steering wheel to activate Cortana. This motion of moving your thumb a few inches to tap is much easier – and safer – than reaching forward and fiddling with your phone. I also like the idea of permanently sticking the button to my desk or just about anywhere I can imagine.
Is it worth it?
The Satechi Bluetooth Cortana Button is certainly not a necessary accessory. However, it is a rather cool one that brings Cortana into the real world. I think it is a reasonably neat idea for those who use the personal digital assistant often or who would like a safe in-car solution.
Although it may come off as a bit of a novelty, I think Satechi did a great job with the inclusion of 3M tape, the keychain loop, and steering wheel mount. Combined with the great build quality, the overall coolness of it and their fast shipping and Satechi has a shipshape product on their hands. It is certainly worth considering as a stocking stuffer, small gift for someone, or maybe just something neat for your home 'battle station".
You may not need it, but it is a cool thing to have. If interested, you can order one up from Satechi direct for $23.
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