Pros Feel, quality, response...
Cons Expensive and Belkin appears to have forgotten it.
Summary I wore an old N52 completely out, and bought the N52te to replace it...I really preferred the old software, and wish I could just import my old templates, but the N52 te is now the best gaming keypad made. The ability to use all the various game functions while never removing your fingers from the movement keys cannot be overstressed as an advantage....
Pros Solid build quality - on board memory
Cons Could use an additional top row of keys
Summary In honesty, I respect the previous poster, however I have not encountered many of the problems that had been described.
I find the n52te to be quite stable, and have not had any issues with the fit or finish.
On a side note, I tend to keep things quite simple with the keypad, and don't typically use more than two layouts per game. One layout tends to be primary, and the second is typically accessed using a momentary shift. Frankly, I wouldn't be able to remember what key does what if I used four layouts in a game.
One major deficiency is the lack of another top row of buttons. The row above the QWERTY line in most shooters would be great as either a number row or function key row. Fortunately, the workaround is easy for me. I use a mouse with enough buttons that I can assign 1-8 to the mouse and have become very comfortable using the mouse for weapon switching. It's actually quite intuitive since the mouse itself controls aim and fire.
I'll then assign the large button above the d-pad as the momentary red-shift key, and then function keys F1-F9 to keys 2-4,7-9,and 12-14.
I typically have no use for the scroll wheel since the mouse has one as well. Finally, the d-pad itself is most useful as 'big-picture' keys like <enter>, or keystrokes assigned to map, scoreboard, etc.
I can say after several months of use I haven't had a moment of slippage at either the hand rest or base.
Could be better, but pretty good anyway.
Pros The hardware on this device is a significant upgrade from the original n52. The keys have shorter travel and are better angled. The scrollwheel responds nicely, as do the dpad and thumb buttons.
Cons The profile editor, particularly macros, are sub-par. Diagonals on the DPad are tempermental, but functional.
Belkin/Razor have practically abandoned it.
Summary I'm an old N52 user, and upgraded to the N52te at launch. There are a few issues that I feel are minor, but YMMV. For my usage, I have been exceedingly happy with the upgrade. All the hardware issues that made the n52 cranky to use have been fixed on the n52te - the Dpad and scrollwheel are tighter, the thumb buttons don't require mashing, and everything is just more repsonsive overall.
There are 3 specific areas that Belkin/Razor dropped the ball, but these are not deal-breakers.
1. The Dpad handles diagonals wierd, so there's a slight stutter when moving from straight to diagonal movement. But Diagonal movement DOES work.
2. The profile editor sucks at complex macros. So don't plan on scripting your way to victory. But you CAN create and use macros.
3. Belkin and Razor have pretty much abandoned support of this product. The forums for the n52te haven't seen a moderator in over a year, since the last firmware patch.
Still, for all its faults the N52te STILL outshines the competition (Saitek Cyborg commander, Logitech G13, Merc, etc) 2 years later. The Saitek commander has great macro support, but poor button placement and an annoying thumbstick. The Merc gamepads are repurposed keyboards for WASD gamers. The G13 is the best competition out, but that's based on bells and whistles vs usability. It has an LCD screen (by your hand?), variable colored lights, more buttons (than easily accessible), and an analog thumbstick (vs a comfortable dpad).
Bottom line, if you're looking for a comfortable, easy-to-use, and FUNCTIONAL device, then for the price (if you can find one) the N52te is outstanding. If you want to stay with WASD, rely on scripted gaming, or need bells and whistles, then look elsewhere.
"Not up to par!"on by Shoktronic
Pros Low profile keys
Cons Too many (read below)
Summary OK let me first say that I was very excited to see a newer updated version of the beloved n52. I have been a loyal fan of the n52 for many many years now and would not be able to game as well as I do without it. When Belkin released the n52 they opened up a new era of gaming and made gaming better hands down! No longer were we bound to keyboards and mouse only with the occasional support of a joystick. We now had the freedom to game how we saw fit.
So with the release of the n52te I was excited and had a posative outlook for it's future. It was being hailed to be more precise and at a level worthy of tournament players. Well I unfortunatly have to disagree and make a public expression of my disappointment. This is truely a sad day for me. After a long wait it arrived and after the shine of the new black plastic diminished I saw what I had, something less than spectacular. The device has some good points, though the bad outweigh it.
Here is a breakdown of it along with some pictures for illustration.
1 - Key profiles reduced for more comfort. The new keys are easier to press, have a better feel and are very responsive in comparison to the n52.
2 - Removeable thumb button. This is appealing to many gamers who are looking for a joystick type control.
3 - Onboard memory. It is a nice feature to have your profile saved directly to your gamepad, though it's use will be non functional for most gamers. Mostly those who travel to Lan events where they will be using a "generic" provided system will benefit from this option.
1- Removeable thumb button. While a good choice a bad design. The button is very hard to remove almost boardering breaking the directional pad. Additionally the hole left behind will most surely get fouled up over time and lead to other problems.
2 - Mouse scroll wheel. While attractive when lit up it's performance is lacking. The wheel itself is a soft rubber that is very slick and after a few hours becomes difficult to control. The mouse also has major issues with precision. The wheel has play in the scroll function of almost 1/4 inch. You can roll the mouse back and forth without activating the scroll ability. The n52 in comparisson was much more defined and precise.
3 - Non slip palm rest. While it is coated in a soft to the touch rubberized coating it is still very slick. The origional n52 support is actually more non slip being a tectured plastic than the newer version. They are also exactly the same shape so the older n52 support will work with the n52te. The coating is also similar to others on the market that with use will eventually wear away. Not sure if that will be covered under warranty.
4 - Non slip base. The base comprised of 6 posts supported on rubber pads is actually less desireable than the n52. The base is now unstable leading it to tip during extreme moments of play. With a smaller surface area in comparison to the n52 it actually is more suseptible to movement than the n52's one piece rubber base design.
5 - Thumb buttons. Both the smaller circle and #15 (space bar) have mediocre response and are somewhat difficult to press compared to the n52. The #15 also has a larger dead zone than the n52 ever did.
6 - Editor. While flashy looking it's interface is less than desireable. The screen is now much smaller compared to the origional profile editor. It is very dark and sometimes hard to distinguish areas on the screen. Both the help and macro editor feel clunky and do not offer any additional benifits to gamers in comparison to the n52. The fonts are also very small and difficult to read. While you do have additional functions & commands, they are geared more for the PC user. Such additions are "close window", "run", "open explorer", "previouse track", "volume". These are not options I feel that a gamer desires.
7 - Keypad layers. Sadly the n52te only has 3 where as the n52 had 4. Most gamers such as myself must now try to refigure gaming since another layer previously used is now no longer available.
8 - Polling rate. While this device is "Powered by Razor" I could not see any performance gains compared to the n52. You can select from 3 different polling rates (125hz, 500hz, 1000hz) as well as override autoswitching.
I am truely saddened after receiving this new device. Like I said I had high hopes for it but it seems they missed a lot of what gamers were asking for and substituted their own ideas. For the cost difference my opinion would be to stick with the n52. The possible benefits of the n52te to not justify such a hefty price tag for the lack of performance. Hopefully they will offer additional support for this and perhaps make a design change to correct some of it's shortcomings. While this also is the first release of the software I can only hope that they will add additional features to the menu and make it a more user friendly interface.
I also would suggest that in the future Belkin put together some type of panel of gamers and review their ideas with them. I am sure this was a major budgeted item and it seems a shame that with all the research and development that this is the final product.
Pros This is a pretty device, and feels nice.
Cons Mac software is sorely thin, and updating the firmware crashed my computer and bricked the device.
Summary I have to echo exactly what Erik S. said. This device becomes a pretty paperweight after attempting to update the firmware when connected to a Mac. The update program sent my iMac into a kernel panic and after I restarted the n52te's firmware had been wiped as a result. Now I plug it in and I have a pretty blue brick on my desktop with a little green LED derisively blinking at me. The firmware will not update now, and the system will not recognize it when connected. This is a complete failure on Belkin's part and it should be fixed immediately.
I would give it less than 1 star if possible, for alienating an entire community of users.