Lots of great features: surprisingly customize-able key and LCD back-lighting, the 'GamePanel' LCD, on-board memory, and supports and easily switches between 3 profiles. It also boasts the most keys (25; 23 keyboard keys and 2 thumb keys by your joystick)
The design is large and slightly awkward to look at. In it's defense it 'feels'/'plays' better than it looks. In comparison to the other gamepads out there, you do get the sense that ergonomics were sacrificed in order to fit in those 23 keys.
This gamepad was definitely designed with the 'hard-core' gamer in mind. You're going to get the best "left-hand gaming product" around. The product is slightly inferior (in this reviewer's opinion) to other similar game pads in the one aspect that the formation of the keys feels noticeably unfamiliar.... Read full review
This gamepad was definitely designed with the 'hard-core' gamer in mind. You're going to get the best "left-hand gaming product" around. The product is slightly inferior (in this reviewer's opinion) to other similar game pads in the one aspect that the formation of the keys feels noticeably unfamiliar.
Looking at this pad versus its main competitor - the Belkin n52 - you're definitely gaining alot of keys. What you're sacrificing for those keys is familiarity. The n52 will feels very familiar to anyone used to typing on a keyboard. Your left hand will be much more comfortable right off the back and your fingers will feel like they're resting on a keyboard with your thumb sliding surprisingly comfortably into place on a D-Pad. When I used the n52 I was finding myself consistently using it while web-browsing and even typing e-mails and word-processing documents. It is particularly good at spreadsheet work too.
The G13 in juxtaposition will feel much more foreign. You will need to re-train your fingers to get used to the formation of the keys and your thumb will feel awkward on the joystick at first. Once you get to a point where you can confidently hit your keys accurately (and without looking at your hand) you will notice that it's sheer amount of buttons makes it superior to the n52 in the gaming world. However, not once have I been tempted to break it out during anything outside of a gaming context.
In conclusion, if you're looking for an excessively high amount of functionally in a game pad, the G13 is for you. If you're looking to try out a game pad, or are interested in trying gaming with something other than a traditional controller or WASD keyboard, or just looking for novelty, the n52 is probably your better option.
To the hard-core gamer, the G13 is easily the best game pad in the market today, however there is definitely room for improvement. Something that combined the familiarity of the n52 and the functionality of the G13 will hopefully appear on the horizon soon!
*The Left-Hand Gaming Device*
This is a newer genre of PC gaming hardware intended to be used in tandem with a mouse in the right hand. Developed mainly with MMORPGs (especially World of Warcraft) in mind, it is becoming a more and more common tool for First Person Shooter games.
It's main advantage vs. the common tool (a keyboard) is that it enables you to do more with your left-hand thumb. Keyboard users typically use their left-handed thumb either exclusively for the spacebar or not at all. Left-Hand Gaming Devices on the other hand provide either a D-pad or a Joystick for your thumb, typically used for movement in game.
It's disadvantage is that, particularly for more advanced gamers, movement feels slightly clumsier. After all, you are using your one thumb for movement as opposed to the typical 4 fingers in a "WASD" or "ESDF" setup on a keyboard. The trade-off of course is that those 4 fingers are now opened up.