by Nate Marion on April 10, 2008 in Peripherals
Hardcore gamer? Have a need to create insane macros to get the job done? Saitek’s “Cyborg” Command Unit delivers! Although the hardware itself leaves a bit to be desired, the included software offers the ability to create numerous long macros to help you get the job done.
My first experience with Saitek’s SST programming software was with their otherwise unremarkable 1600DPI mouse. Even in that case, where there were only three or four programmable buttons, the functionality of the SST software was impressive; with the Cyborg Command Unit, the SST software is incredible.
There is no macro too long, no limit to the number of shiftstates and profiles, and a huge array of programming possibilities in between. I can’t imagine the software side of the Cyborg Command Unit being much better than it already is – the only slight annoyance I discovered was that no profile is loaded upon a reboot.
That said, the hardware deserves some criticism. While the button layout is good, the key action is not. The keys on the Cyborg Command Unit remind me of an old, gummed up Dell keyboard, and it doesn’t take much lateral force to prevent the buttons from being depressed. Put simply, the buttons feel clunky.
The rest of the unit isn’t much better, really. It’s obviously very cheap to make, and while it’s definitely sturdy enough to sit on a desk, I wouldn’t trust it to take much abuse. The hand rest is solid plastic with almost zero coating – no rubberized surface here – meaning that hand sweat was an issue over longer periods.
Finally, as I said before, I’m a little disappointed in the color of the LEDs. The programming software refers to red, green, and blue, but the actual colors are red, yellow and green, with a red line that doesn’t change color and can’t be turned off.
Price is a large factor here; for a current retail price of ~$35, I think that the Cyborg Command Unit offers a HUGE variety of programming features – probably more than any similar device on the market. While the build quality and color scheme are far from perfect, the software makes up for a lot. There is no question that the Cyborg Command Unit is a very good value, so I’m going to award it an 8 out of 10.
In the future, I would recommend that Saitek try to offer more appealing (read: blue and/or UV) LEDs, a more comfortable hand rest, and higher quality keys. The Cyborg Command Unit wins with software and price, but a better-rounded product would be welcome.
- Fantastic programming capabilities via Saitek SST software
- Good button layout
- Price (~$35 USD)
- Keys feel clunky
- Physical build and aesthetics are not very good
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