|Min OS X: Any Version Requires: USB Port|
|Logitech Freedom 2.4|
December 18, 2002 | Tim Morgan
Joysticks generally come in two varieties: expensive, top-of-the-line behemoths and more reasonably priced entry-level joysticks. Competition in the top-of-the-line milieu is straightforward: add more buttons; add more axes; add more features. The more bells and whistles a manufacturer can fit on their 12-inch-tall control column, the more snap-shooting, G-pulling, missile-flanking flight sim fanatics will be scrambling for their new toy.
For the more frugal flyers, however, a plethora of under-$100 joysticks exist, all vying for his or her dollar. In order to catch the eye of these part-time pilots, one canít simply fill up the unused plastic space with more buttons; more attention to functionality must be expended.
Logitech seems to have recognized this very pertinent fact with the introduction of their Freedom 2.4 Cordless Joystick. As the name clearly broadcasts, this control system needs no cords. Being the first of its kind on the Macintosh, it will be a welcome pioneer to many gamers, who may not yet even realize the hidden joys of a wireless stick.
Even aside from its revolutionary status as the first wireless joystick for Macintosh, the Freedom 2.4 seems to have gotten a number of other features right. Upon first inspection, it would seem as if the Freedom 2.4 delivers everything a casual gamer would want. I was eager to see if it delivered the functionality it promised.
Out of the BoxAs indicated by its title, the Logitech Freedom 2.4 transmits signals on a 2.4 GHz frequency. To avoid the necessity of a power cable, the Freedom 2.4 requires three batteries, placed easily on the underside of the base. After installing the batteries and plugging in the Zippo-sized receiver, the joystick was ready to go.
The Freedom 2.4 has a very satisfying tension to it, requiring a good bit of conscious effort to deflect the stick. A small throttle rests on the base of the stick. The stick twists left and right to accomplish rudder control. This makes for a total of four axes, as many as any entry-level flight simmer would desire.
Along with a trigger, the stick itself has an eight-way hat in the center of the face. Encircling the hat are four buttons, and a fifth rests below a depression placed for the thumb. On the base of the stick, above and to the left of the throttle, are four additional buttons. The base itself is triangular in shape, measuring approximately eight inches to a side. The majority of this length is made up by rubber shock absorbers placed at each vertex of the triangle. The rest of the joystick has a brushed-metal appearance, giving an air of bulkiness and professionalism to what would otherwise be a plastic finish.