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Teh Ecks Fitty-Two!

[url=http://saitek.com/row/prod/x52.htm]I just got me one o' dese.[/url] Figured I'd supply you motly crew with a review, as there's not much word for it on the Mac side.

Firstly, this thing is big. Heavy, and big. The stick stands at about ten inches high from base to tip, the throttle around six or seven. Be prepared to be hit a few more bucks for shipping, if you're so inclined. The price tag is hefty, compared to standard joysticks, but rather good compared other HOTAS setups.

The movement of the stick and throttle is a lot looser than most. It really comes down to preference - I'm fond of the precision that not having to fight the tension allows. However, those looking to have more of a feel with their sims may find it not to their liking. The throttle has a tension adjustment, while most of the buttons have a good feel.

Speaking of buttons, there's around thirty to play with here. Three hat switches, a two-stage trigger, a pinky trigger, three face buttons and four on the throttle. Three two-way toggle switches adorn the base of the joystick, which are quite handy for flaps, landing gear and so forth. The X-52 features a whopping seven axis, more than most sims will use. X-Plane has the best support for this, however, it's finicky about supporting the thumb slider. All of the controls work fine, with the exception of the mouse nub which is PC-only, due to the lack of dedicated drivers. The LED buttons cannot be dimmed, and the backlit display remains darkened and rather useless, unless the sim has built-in support for joystick configuration switching, like Warbirds.

Ergonomics-wise, the setup is strictly right-handed. The grip is not as configurable as other Saitek sticks, unfortunately, which causes some mild discomfort on longer flights.

There's only been two downsides so far hinder my enjoyment, one minor and one quite major. The minor, the ink screening on the actual brushed metal rubs off remarkably easily. The major, while playing Warbirds, the joystick would cease to be recognised by the OS, while the throttle continued unhindered. Unplugging and replugging it fixed the issue, so it's hardly a show stopper, just an inconvenience. Doesn't happen very often, and may be limited to my hardware.

Overall, the features and feel of this quality stick deserve a ten. The dodgy ink screening knocks off half a point, while the strange cessation of joystick ability bumps it down another one. Rounded up to:

9/10

Posted on October 13, 2005 at 6:46 am
Reviews:
Teh Ecks Fitty-Two! 10/13/2005
   
 



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