Saitek’s gone wireless happy lately. Besides the awesome With Out Wires
unit for the PS2, they are also releasing a wheel which I think is the first of its kind. Well today’s review is for the PC and it’s of a good wireless gamepad that will free you from the cord.
The P3000 Wireless Pad and Docking Station
is a Playstation like gamepad for your PC. It features six buttons, two triggers, a D-pad, and two analog sticks that also can be pressed for a total of ten buttons. On top of that, there’s a shift function that’ll double the functionality of each button. The analog/digital button swaps the function of the analog stick and D-pad easily. If you rather use a D-pad instead of the analog button, you can easily switch the two without getting out of the game.
Buttons 1 through 4 are located in a diamond shape on top. Each silver plastic button is a good size but I would’ve liked a little stronger spring underneath them. Buttons 5 and 6 on the upper right of the main buttons are a little smaller in size but easily reachable. The two triggers take up the entire front corner of the gamepad and give you nice big buttons to press. The spacing is ok for all the top buttons but I would’ve preferred the 5th and 6th button were triggers though but that’s because I’m used to the Gravis and PS2 gamepad. Each of the analog sticks offer am ok resistance when moving but could be a little stiffer. Pressing down on each stick produces a nice click and response.
Covering the palm grips is a rubber surface for a more comfortable hold. The rubber is also found on the top of the analog sticks that make for holding the sticks a lot easier with the thumb. Overall I felt the gamepad was pretty comfortable in my hands and my friends with larger hands really like the shape and feel of it. I have a little smaller than average hands and found the pad to also be comfortable.
To power the unit, the P3000
comes with two batteries. One is always charged in the docking station while the other sits in the P3000
. What’s very nice about the charging station is that it draws power from the USB port that it’s plugged in. That really keeps the desk clean of cords as one USB plug from the receiver/charging station to the computer is all you need to keep the P3000
working. The charging station also doubles as a gamepad stand so you can sit it on top when not in use. It doesn’t charge the battery that’s in the gamepad though but that’s ok as the battery lasts a good amount of time and the secondary battery is always charging to provide you with continuous use. The battery charges pretty quickly so you can be sure you’ll always have one good power source to power the gamepad.
Up to two P3000
gamepads can be used at once. All you have to do is make sure the gamepad matches the signal that’s selected by the base. You can switch the signal that the gamepad sends by hitting the A/B button. The switch for the base is on the bottom of the receiver.
Playing Madden 2003
with the P3000
showed that this pad does the job without any lag or problems. I was able to enjoy a good series of games and played with the P3000
thoroughly enough to gauge the pad to be a very good performer. It reacted well and I was able to pass and hit the holes with my running back just like I was using my regular gamepad. Using the analog stick to control my players, I moved very well and didn’t notice any delay. I also tried a few MAME
games such as Street Fighter 2
and Mortal Kombat 2
. With Street Fighter 2
, I was able to pull off dragon punches and fireballs with the D-pad easily. The special moves and combos in Mortal Kombat 2
were also easily executed and I was able to pull off some of the harder ones like Kitana’s fan lift, punch, fan throw, aerial punch combo. To make sure that the gamepad did send multiple simultaneous button presses and analog stick movements, I tested the gamepad in the Windows XP control panel. Holding down several buttons at once and moving the sticks around, the actions were perfectly registered in the test program. All in all I was pretty happy at how well it performed.
As far as distance goes, the P3000
was easily working at ten feet away and it says it should work up to thirty feet away. I couldn’t stand that far from the computer as my office restricts me to a certain distance but normal computer gamers don’t sit that far anyways.
is a very good cordless gamepad for the computer. With the good range, dual batteries, convenient USB charging base, and good response it should please those who are looking for a cordless gamepad for the PC. Saitek has been producing good wireless products and P3000
continues to upheld the good line that’s recently coming out from them.