Fans of first person shooters and other games have long recognized the benefits of using a keyboard and mouse over other gaming peripherals, but one company has sought to design an interface just for them —
Belkin Corp., which earlier this year introduced the Nostromo SpeedPad n50. Now it’s followed up with the
Nostromo SpeedPad n52, a new and improved model with new features and capabilities.
The Nostromo SpeedPad n52, which retails for US$49.99, offers gamers with a specialized keyboard-like interface to help control the myriad functions and features of their games. But more than that, it also offers thumb buttons, a directional pad and a mouse wheel for easy triggering and switching of weapons, alternate firing modes and more.
The n52 features an extra row of buttons compared to its predecessor and a full 360-degree scrollwheel. Belkin said the redesigned SpeedPad n52 also features better stability and more comfort than its predecessor.
Gamers use the USB peripheral as a left-handed game controller, replacing the computer’s keyboard. Three rows of buttons — programmable in dozens of combinations thanks to a multi-level shift feature — rest underneath the fingertips while the palm rests on a contoured pad that adjusts to multiple settings. A scrollwheel rests beneath the index finger and a directional pad and two buttons remain in easy range of the thumb.
The SpeedPad includes software that lets you program the array for your games. System requirements for the Nostromo SpeedPad n52 call for Mac OS X v10.1.2 or later or Mac OS 9.0.4 or later. It’s also compatible with various flavors of Windows.
Belkin noted that the Nostromo SpeedPad n52 began shipping on September 29, 2003, though it still shows the device as “not yet available” on the Web site.