For a gaming edge, use a programmable controller
Requirements: Windows Vista or later, spare USB port
When Valve announced its ‘radically’ redesigned controller, the PC gaming world held its collective breath for something different and something that could take the Xbox controller to the next level. Sadly, that never happened and the Steam Controller was a bit of a flop.
This left the PC controller market quite stagnant despite the best attempts from Razer, Gloteck, Logitech and the like. However, Speedlink has recently Improved its controller/gamepad product range with the launch of the Quinox Pro.
The Quinox Pro is modelled after the classic Xbox controller, In both size, shape and weight, but It offers gamers a little more technology to play with.
It features both Dinput and Xinput options, so those with both modern and older games can use it; four back-mounted paddles; an extra two buttons positioned between the two triggers; haptic vibration; LED lighting and the usual array of D-pad; two analogue sticks; and Back, Start, Home and ABXY buttons.
Speedlink has also included a small OLED screen to help you view the various options and configurations you can set. Accompanying the screen are a couple of controller dials, which allow you navigate the menu and fine tune the programming and settings. Furthermore, the Quinox offers a 2.4-meter, detachable USB cable and switches on the base to power the controller’s vibration function and swap between Dinput and Xinput.
Despite the numerous buttons and added paddles, the Quinox feels surprisingly uncluttered and comfortable. Even with the added underside paddles, you rarely accidentally hit anything you shouldn’t, and when you need to, everything is within easy reach.
The sticks aren’t removable; changing to longer stick lengths is often a must-have options for some gamers, but it’s hardly necessary, as they already stand out taller than a conventional Xbox controller.
Programming the Quinox and accessing the two profiles can be a long-drawn out process that is, admittedly, a little hit and miss. To access the profiles you need to press one of the two controller dials and via the OLED screen, navigate with the D-pad. Furthermore, programming a macro and reprogramming the paddles requires you to select the profile, select the paddle, select Program from the screen and begin the macro sequence. Once you have the hang of it, the process doesn’t take too long, but it’s a little awkward at times and requires a fair amount of pregame setup time.
Personally, we would have preferred a software version of the programming, along with the software option to turn the LEDs on and off too, much like the programming of Speedlink’s gaming mice, for example.
In terms of performance, though, the Quinox worked well on all the games we tested it with. The macro function performed as well as expected, offering us an over-powered ability beyond what we’d have through a standard controller -keyboard and mouse macro use was still far superior, however.
The Quinox appears to be pretty sturdy too, so fighting games can be played without worrying too much about whether you’ll have a functioning controller or not at the end of the round. To be fair, we’d say the Quinox isn’t quite as high a quality design as the Xbox controller, but it’s better than Logitech’s and Razer’s recent entries and certainly better than the attempt from Valve, mm David Hayward
A good controller, with plenty of options