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Customer Review

on March 17, 2008
The purpose of a macro enabled gamepad is to ease the use of multiple game commands and improve both the timing and execution of commands as compared to a player who is pressing keys on a normal keyboard.

The Belkin N52TE comes with a lot of marketing hype. It is easy to assume that it will soon eclipse the Belkin N52, which has been the standard for gamepads for several years. Unfortunately it falls a bit short.

The N52TE has an improved keypad that seems to be mechanically better than the N52. Unfortuantely, the spacebar on the N52TE must be depressed precisely in the center and travels nearly 1/4 inch to make contact. This makes it difficult press and to use quickly.

There is a conveniently located thumb button that could be a real asset but has a mushy feel with no 'click' to indicate when it has been depressed. This makes it useless for quick, momentary functions.

The backlighting feature, instead of only showing the key tops, surrounds the entire perimeter of the keys with bright, blue light. Since one of the reasons to use a keypad is the convenience of not having to look at the keys for finger placment, this is more of a distraction than a help. Fortunately the backlight can be turned off.

The new N52TE has three, selectable keybanks. The N52 had four.

The software has a completely new UI. If you are a N52 user, you cannot transfer any of your current macros to the new unit, you must start from scratch. The new programming software contains most of the fuctionality of the current N52 software but lacks several features that most users consider essential:

---As currently offered, if a macro is running, hitting any other key will stop the macro.
---There is no access to the timing between KEY-PRESS and KEY-RELEASE. The timing between events within the macro is limited to a preset value and cannot be edited.
---While you can create and save macros by selecting [RECORD] and entering the keystrokes, there are bugs that prevent the effective editing of the macro.

I find the software to be unusable and I have put the N52TE on the shelf until the developers come up with something that works.

Belkin n52te Tournament Edition SpeedPad
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