Enterpad VBA Product Overview
I’m doing something a little different here today. Today I’m going to give you a product review on a neat little device the great guys at Cedeq sent my way. The product is called the Enterpad VBA and it’s a slight variant on the more popular AutoHotKey Enterpad.
The Enterpad VBA is a physical product that lets you run macros in Excel and Word with the push of a button. It really can speed up your spreadsheet work! Here’s what it looks like:
The USB plug gives you a bit of scale for the size of the device. You can see it has 120 soft buttons. Each of these buttons can be linked to its own macro. Once set up, all you have to do is push the button on the Enterpad VBA and the device will automatically find your opened Excel workbook or Word document and run the macro you linked. It will not link to any other Microsoft Office product.
The Enterpad VBA is incredibly useful for repetitive tasks. I’ve actually found it helpful to create macros that launch my favorite programs and just click a button when I need a program. Sometimes I’m that lazy!
Enterpad VBA Unboxing and Initial Installation
When you receive the Enterpad VBA, it comes in a nice box with easy to understand instructions. The Enterpad isn’t exactly “plug and play” but the installation is simple.
The installation instructions point you to a 10 minute tutorial telling you how to setup the Enterpad. In my experience, the tutorial really only took a minute or two - it really was a simple setup.
Note: When I first installed my Enterpad, the instructions originally required you download two separate files: Enterpad.dll and EP2VBA.exe. I reached out to Denis, the owner of Cedeq, with some feedback on this and he quickly modified the installation process so both digitally signed packages are downloaded via one zip file. Great customer service, Denis!
Once you download the linker files, the Enterpad is ready to run. I’ll admit, once I first took the Enterpad out of the box, I thought it felt a little too light. This concern was quickly alleviated after examining the construction. It appears to be well-built and sturdy!
I talked to the owner about the construction and he confirmed fewer than 0.4% of the 25,000 Enterpads sold have been defective, all of which were covered by warranty. That’s a pretty solid quality assurance program!
Describing the Enterpad VBA
Before we talk about running macros on the Enterpad, let’s talk about the product build. The Enterpad sits on your desk at a nice ergonomic angle. It takes up quite a bit of room on your desk, but that’s because it’s chock full of buttons.
As you can see in the picture above, the Enterpad has a protective sheet that sits on top of a removable piece of paper. On this paper, you can write down what each of your buttons do. Enterpad makes it easy for you to print new copies of this sheet if you run out of room. This is actually a pretty clever idea!
Running Macros on the Enterpad VBA
Once you install and launch the linker, in accordance with the installation instructions shipped in the package, you can start playing around with the Enterpad.
The status light goes green and you’re ready to play. The Enterpad VBA uses a novel concept to link macros to the device. It’s all linked based on how you name your macro. For example, if you want to link a macro to button 1, you would name your macro
In my test, I wanted to link a silly macro to button 115, so I created the following code:
Sub EP_115() MsgBox "The Enterpad just ran my macro!", vbOKOnly, "Enterpad Demo" End Sub
When I pushed button 115 on the Enterpad, sure enough a message box appeared.
Unfortunately, there is kind of an annoying beep every time you push a button to launch a macro. It looks like the folks over at Enterpad realize the beep was a little too loud, so they tried covering it up with a piece of tape:
Their Frequently Asked Questions page even acknowledges this beep, instructs the user to cover it with tape, and explains the only way to permanently mute it is to run a standalone utility. That seems like a little too much work for my liking, but at least there is a solution. It seems to me if this product is meant for businesses, it should be silent by default. Can you imagine if all your cubicle-mates were constantly making their Enterpads beep all day? Yikes!
Even with this tiny flaw, I think the Enterpad is a great product. Running macros on it gives me grand visions of how I can integrate it with my wellsrPRO Excel Add-in. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could block off a set of buttons to automatically launch my latest VBA tutorial or import my latest macro examples? What about clicking a button to instantly add one of your saved Favorites to your spreadsheet?
I’d love to hear what you think about these ideas! Leave a comment below to tell me!
Price and Final Verdict
As of the time of writing this review, the Enterpad VBA was listed at a hefty $299. This price point clearly means the product is meant for businesses with deep pockets and not for most individual users. Still, if you can convince your company to get one for you, do it. You’ll find it helpful and maybe I’ll even do some wellsrPRO integration in the future.
Factoring all this in, I give the Enterpad VBA 4.0/5.0 stars. It’s an incredibly useful office automation tool, but I have to take away one star for the unnecessarily loud button press beep that you can’t disable without running a separate code. Still, I think it’s a great product that really can save you a lot of time if implemented correctly.
Enterpad VBA: 4.0/5.0 stars
What do you think about the Enterpad VBA? It could make a great gift for an office dweller!
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