I bought the Belkin Ultra Hi-speed Gaming Nostromo Speedpad looking to gain an edge when playing shooters on the PC. I am a big fan of keyboard and mouse rather than a controller (e.g. console) for shooters, and this device looked like it offered the flexibility of a keyboard with the neat form factor of a console controller.
Before we get down to how it is in use and whether it did actually help my gaming and might help yours we need to get through the whole setup thing. There is no getting around it, you will need to spend sometime getting this thing configured to work to your preferences for your games, each individual game.
Now, the software, the support and the profiles are all there to help with this set up phase, but it can still be a bit of a pain. The good news is, it is worth the time!
I found that once I had it set up and had spent a few hours gaming and getting used to it, it was definitely an improvement over a keyboard. After 3 weeks of use I would not go back to just the keyboard, this pad offers so much more.
A few notes :
I am using it on Windows 7 with no problems at all.
I found the scroll button especially useful.
The backlight can be switched off (but why would you!)
I am using it for FPS games, but it will help with all types of genre really.
I think the price is surprising value for money.
In summary, YES you will play your games better and YES it takes a little bit of setting up.
Many PC gamers have keyboards and mice with all sorts of features combined with lighting effects, adding style and customization to any set up. Price is often a key issue when stepping into the world of gaming peripherals. This device provides spot on features for any FPS/RPG gamer plus many more when used to full potential, macros can be set up to save you the time of remembering keystrokes; I have used this to enhance Eve online speeding up the process of playing enhancing my immersion into the game.
Driving games, yes games with cars, play incredibly well with this through use of the analogue stick that doubles up as a d pad; I have been using this with my right thumb to change gears in game. Button number 15 (or the space bar) in this case is a little out of reach for me, I find that using the round button above the stick/D pad is much easier to use when the rest of your hand is on the rest of the keys.
The back lighting on this keyboard is a light blue allowing for late night game play.
Not a substitute for a full keyboard, but this little thing certainly has its perks.
Now im a bit of a gadget freak so thats why i bought it. I didnt need it but it looked so cool i had to have it. The biggest thing i have to say is it takes such a long time to get to grips with how it works im still struggling now. It takes a long time to set up your player profile but with out doing this it will not give back its best. They have really thought about the layout and it was obviously designed by a gamer for a change but i guess with any technology ahead of it time the human brain takes a while to catch up. It is really confotable to use and save on the cramp in your thumbs and wrist of conventional controllers. I now ant them to bring one out like this for my ps3 as i think it would be so much better on there.