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Kensington/Gravis Gamepad Pro (USB) - 42111
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- Compatible with PC games using joystick or keyboard
- Digital control for precision and instantaneous response
- Thumb-controlled directional pad with detachable joystick
- Built-in connector accommodates 2 pads for head-to-head play
- 10 programmable action buttons
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Kensington 42111F, Gravis USB Gamepad Pro
The USB version of Gravis's GamePad Pro makes for an extremely simple setup--in Windows 98, all you need to do is plug it in and start playing. Mac setup is almost as simple and involves an additional software installation with the provided software.
The GamePad Pro's long 8-foot connecting cable gives you plenty of room to take a step or two back from your PC while gaming. The gamepad also features hot swapping so you can plug and unplug various USB peripherals without having to reboot or turn off your machine. In Windows 98, the gamepad uses the driver for an "HID Compliant Game Controller," so you can start playing right after installation, without having to calibrate the pad. Upon installation, you can also immediately access the Test area of the Game Controllers function to make sure the gamepad is connected properly.
The GamePad Pro's basic layout should be familiar to anyone who's ever played a console game (in fact, it closely resembles the standard PlayStation controller). It has a thumb-controlled directional pad on the left for movement, four action buttons on the right, and four flipper buttons on the top of the pad to handle additional game controls. If you're one of those folks who'd rather manage movement with a stick, the GamePad Pro also features an attachable joystick that screws into the middle of the D-pad. However, the pad can feel a bit small for users with sizable hands.
The GamePad Pro works well for sports games (it was perfect for NFL Blitz 2000) and action games, but is limited by the number of buttons for more involved games, such as first-person shooters.
In addition to quick installation, the GamePad Pro also boasts a nice sticker price. If you're looking for an easy-to-use gamepad to handle basic controls in your games, the GamePad Pro should do the trick. --J. Curtis
- Easy to set up and use
- Nicely priced
- A little small for larger hands
- Very basic
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This controller, introduced sometime in the late 1990s, is modeled after the classic Playstation controller. I've never held a classic Playstation controller, but I can tell you that this controller is a little smaller than the DualShock 3, which I do have. Other than that, the only difference from the classic Playstation controller is that the buttons are labeled by color instead of shapes.
The controller is a bit lightweight, lighter than the classic Super Nintendo controller, but it doesn't feel weak. The cord is a bit longer than the classic Super Nintendo controller; I would say about 2 meters. It's about 2 feet longer than the Logitech F310 controller.
The buttons are all excellent. All have a definite, but not too loud, click and are very responsive. The d-pad is not as great; it's a bit mushy, but it works fine and is easy to "rotate" (as you would in fighting games). The corners are a bit more sensitive than some other d-pads, but despite what another review here says, I have no difficulty pushing only in one direction.
The joystick is around an inch long and shaped like a classic (American) arcade stick. It seems to work well, though to hold the controller comfortably in your hands with the stick on, I found that you need to put both your index and middle fingers on the outside, i.e. on the shoulder buttons. If this sounds a bit weird, it's actually quite comfortable and seems to work well; the only problem is it makes pressing L2 a little bit more awkward. The light weight of the controller means it's also perfectly comfortable to hold the controller in your left hand, with your finger on the triggers, and move the joystick with your right hand.
The d-pad is treated as two axes (i.e. an analog stick), which is good because some games don't support HATs (in my case, SuperTuxKart in particular doesn't support HATs). To be clear, the d-pad is digital, but it reports itself like an analog stick. The buttons are, in order: red, yellow, green, blue, L1, R1, L2, R2, Select, Start.
Overall, I would recommend this controller as long as you can get it for a reasonable price (around $20-$30 is reasonable). The d-pad is imperfect, but not problematically so, and everything else is perfect.
USB 2/1.1 port it won't recognize it LOL don't ask me why? lol maybe gigabyte got it's wiring all screwed up and got everything backwards ... well anyway it works for Win7 (I have the Ultimate Version but don't think that matters)