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on September 13, 2007
The 360 chatpad is a much-needed relief from the thumbstick method of typing messages on Xbox Live.

I have larger hands, so leaving it attached to the controller doesn't bother me while I play games. If you have smaller hands or the chat pad bothers you while playing, you can simply detach or leave detached until you need it to type.

Since it takes up the space on the controller normally allocated to the Xbox Live headset, MS has included a new headset that works with the chatpad.

I found it very easy to type with the chatpad, and overall I think it is a must-have accessory for anyone with a friends list!

The keys light up for easy use in the dark, and there is a one-press MSN button for those that want to chat in between gaming sessions. MS has really outdone themselves on this one. The 360 chatpad is an exceptional accessory for less than the price of a new game!
1313 comments|81 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 30, 2007
This little gem is a welcome addition for any gamer that travels and likes to be able to game on a friend's console.

Recovering your gamertag can be a lengthy and frustrating process, mainly because you've got to type in various bits of information to verify the account. I've been the victim of having to do this up to 4 times in a row, hunting for letters and twitching the thumbstick to enter the characters; what a pain!

Yes, you can plug in a USB keyboard, but who really wants to wrestle with one of those? Sitting 3 feet from your console is so 1985.

The Chatpad takes care of that mess quite nicely with satisfyingly clicky key action and fairly accurate recognition on screen. One thing I did have to get used to is that you do not hear a tone when typing in the first capitalised letter in a sentence or word. I type relatively fast, but I've had no problems with the Chatpad or console keeping up with me. Once you get accustomed to the slightly different "shift" buttons (orange and green) to use for characters other than digits and basic letters, you'll find it hard to remember what you ever did before you got your hands on this attachment. No pun intended.

Another little perk is the ready-to-chat MSN Messenger button. It was a bit of a no-brainer since Live players all have Windows Live IDs. I've been able to chat with friends on both the 360 as well as those on the PC without any problem. USB keyboard hunching or hunting and pecking with the thumbstick or D-pad. Yay!

And lastly, even though I've relatively small hands for a woman, I've had no difficulty with the Chatpad making the controller too bulky or awkward to grip. I haven't made any mistaken key presses or have had the attachment get in the way while gaming.

Really, the only thing I'd like to see by way of new developments for this product is a black version to match my Elite controllers. Black and white might be fashionable in other arenas, but somehow it just doesn't work in this case.
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on September 17, 2007
I'd longed for a thumbboard even before I heard this product was in the works. Using the gamepad to enter text is a serious drag, especially for entering prepaid codes. Once MSN Messenger support was added to Xbox Live, I almost considered plugging in a USB keyboard. But there's just something annoying about switching between a gamepad and a keyboard.

The Chatpad does exactly what it's meant to do. If you've used a Sidekick before, the feel of the keyboard should be immediately familiar but with more of a click. It's easy to use, lets you type fairly fast, and has some nice little features, like a backlight and a dedicated Messenger button, which when pressed will pause the game and pull up a small overlay box of your current Messenger conversation.

The included headset seems like a slight improvement over the original and includes the volume/mute control in the middle of the cord. Because of the change in the plug from the original, you can also use the headset with a phone, if you really want.

The only complaints I have:

* The backspace key is placed in a pretty awful position, to the right of the space bar. That takes some getting used to.

* Occasionally, you might type too fast, and rather than a delay before your typing shows up, characters are simply dropped. Hopefully, that's just a software bug that will be fixed soon.

Overall, this is a good buy if you don't like using a USB keyboard and especially if you are a Messenger user.
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on December 14, 2010
Own a 360? You need this pad, you don't know it, but you do =). The pad can be bought in a few different ways be it on its own or bundled I think with a XBox Live Gold membership.

The pad snaps itself snaps in to your 360 controller plugging into your headset port and also the back/bottom two holes of your controller. It can be a bit of a pain to line up the messenger pads input and you have to press kinda hard for it to snap in but at least then you know it's not going anywhere :P. A headset jack at the bottom of the pad means you'll still be able to use your headset with the messenger pad.

As I've owned this for years now and have had it attached while playing all sorts of games (fps, rpg etc.) you really don't even know it's there. But when you have to type in a name, or you just want to write out a quick response to a buddy online it makes it soooooo much easier to do so! Gone are the days of hunting and pecking for the right letters and symbols using the analog stick =). Another bonus is if you bring your controller to a friends' house and need to recover your gamertag on your friends 360, you won't be spelling out your password on the screen for all to see, instead you just type it on the pad and no one's the wiser =).

Looking at this initially in the store I really didn't think I'd need one of these but once you use one you'll wonder just how you survived so long without one.
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on October 5, 2007
I love the tactile feel and backlighting on this keypad and recommend it heartily. The only problem I have with it is if you are wanting to use a different headset (I have the turtle beach 5.1 surround with mic) the connection is not the standard one you'll find on the controllers... so they won't just plug in. I ended up having to splice the new (included) headset's cable onto my old headsets' cable. A hack job - but it worked. But really, this should have been taken care of in the initial design. =/
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 27, 2012
Out of all the Xbox accessories I own (both official and third-party) this is one of the few that has lasted more than a year! My controllers have died, headset cables frayed, but this chatpad has stood up to near daily use.

Who this chatpad is for:

- Anyone with complicated passwords that have to be entered
- Anyone who uses hulu/netflix etc. on their Xbox
- Anyone who uses the twitter or facebook app
- Anyone who messages their friends on the Xbox

This really does make everything on the xbox a lot easier! It bulks up the controller, but is easily removed for gaming and then just slides back on when you're watching a movie etc. and need to search for something.

Definitely recommended!
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on September 15, 2007
I like it. Doesn't affect how you hold the controller and I don't notice it while playing games. The only thing is I like to use the media center extender on the 360 and this doesn't work inside of it (at least not yet, maybe they will update the software soon). Not a huge loss, but there are a few things, like the online xm radio access for instance, that would be easier if this worked as once in a while you have to put in usernames and passwords.
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on January 19, 2010
I am an older gamer, born from tape drives and floppy disks bigger than a toaster oven. I am not a power gamer and I don't dig the total social scene of online gaming. I play WoW and I play online Xbox 360 games. I am often amazed at the speed of communications from friends, especially their messages. Now I see how. This keypad saves you time and effort typing messages to friends. I couldn't go without it as an online game on Xbox 360.
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VINE VOICEon August 28, 2008
Edit: I had gotten this chatpad so I could use it with FFXI on Xbox. ( Final Fantasy 11 Online requires typing ). It seems that I and anyone else who had gotten this product and uses it for FFXI have the same issue with it. It seems to have letters stick. So when typing things like what's up... I end up typing whhhhhhts up? ( it also tends to have letters not work all the time ). It gets frustrating at times but is better than not typing at all. It seems to work a lot better on the XBOX dashboard. I'm not sure why this is the case. I had thought my chatpad was defective since all the reviews were great.. so amazon so kindly sent me a free replacement and it seems to work just the same. :( But as I already said, I had encountered others on FFXI with the same issue. Maybe theres a slight compatability issue between FFXI and this chat pad? sigh... I mean I like it but it gets frustrating. Either way it's better than not typing at all.
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on January 6, 2015
Who wants to type all of the information in to your Xbox using only the joy stick on the controller? That's extremely tedious and annoying~ this product totally saves that time, and is great. It may look bulky on your controller, but really, I hardly notice it while it's in my hands.
Definitely recommended for those Netflix/Hulu users, internet browsers, and online gamers. This will save you a BUNCH of time! ... and patience
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