The Saitek Cyborg Command Unit game pad controller tops out at 8 inches tall, 5.5 inches wide and is about 1.5 inches off the surface. This unit comes with a total of 21 buttons of which 20 are programmable.
Game Pad Layout
This mini keyboard is designed for a right handed person, i. e. uses the mouse with the right hand and uses the keyboard with the left hand when gaming. The defining feature that makes this so is the thumb rest on the right side of the pad which can not be changed over to the other side. The thumb rest is very interesting in that there are 2 buttons that lie underneath your thumb and there is a thumb use joystick, albeit a mini one. There is a very healthy wrist rest that even the largest of hands should have no problem using this pad.
The overall takeaway from the layout is total ergonomic comfort. The back of the unit has a couple of pad strips that are covered in rubber to keep the unit in place during fast and furious action. If you use this device on your desk on the opposite from where your computer is you might have to reconfigure your equipment positioning as the USB cable is a bit shorter than most peripheral cables.
In the upper left hand side on the controller is a mode switch that allows you to toggle between FPS, Role Playing and MMO. Each one of these settings creates a different color on the board and they are Green, Yellow and Red. The keys of this board are laser etched and the light shines through with good efficiency for easy viewing in low light conditions.
The 18 main buttons are arranged in a layout normally found on the left side of a normal keyboard. Above the 11 main keys are the F1-F4 keys. There are 3 more keys that sit to the left of the main body of keys and above those 3 is the mode button. The other 3 keys are the 2 keys that are on the thumb rest and a key on the right side of the wrist pad. The thumb control area has a 2 way tilt function and can be slid forward and back.
The keys are mostly black with the WASD keys being silver. All of the keys are numbered and this will correspond to the action given it. The wrist rest area has a red stripe that lights up in the center. The key that is on this rest is your shift key and it is palm activated. This will take some time to get used to no doubt. The good news is that when you do get comfortable using your palm that frees up a finger for other keystrokes. One thing to note is that when the mode switch is changed and the keyboard color changes the red stripe on the wrist rest does not.
While the thumb joystick is useful, I would think most people will still use their mouse as it is more responsive in this case and it will reduce the number of things that your left hand has to do.
Probably the best feature of this device is the SST programming software that you use to configure your pad for gaming as it is extremely easy to use. Just install the drivers and it will prompt you to plug in the unit. After installing test all of the keys and then install the software. You can use as long a macro as you wish and use as many shift states and profiles as you want. With the 3 modes and 21 keys you can program 144 commands. The only annoyance with this software is that you have to re-load the profile after a reboot of your system.
As with all of Saitek's products you will get a 2 year guarantee on the Cyborg Command Unit. Here are some of the pros and cons:
Backlight Colors of Red, Green and Yellow
Easy to Configure with the SST software
Custom Macros, up to 144
For Right-Hander’s only unless you want to forgo the thumb rest
Short USB Cable
Commands Reset after You Restart Your Computer
Soft Keys (Don't make a “click" sound when pushed)
I would recommend this to anyone who has a lousy keyboard and was thinking of an upgrade to a gaming board but can't afford to go over say $45. This would also be an upgrade for a laptop application as well. But if you already have a decent gaming board I would not recommend this device.
My name is Allan Stewart and I have several websites dedicated to health and well being for people and pets as well as product information. Want to learn more about Saitek products, go to: Saitek Cyborg v5 Review Or visit my website at Saitek Cyborg for more information about Saitek products.