Normally features like rumble and turbo are reserved for large gamepads that have lots of room for those features. Genius has broken that tradition by introducing the Pandora Pro. The MaxFire Pandora Pro is very small and has both dual rumble and turbo.
- Mini Foldable USB Game Pad for Windows XP/2000/ME/98SE
- Mini direction stick for easy and advanced control
- Turbo button for auto repeat, great for shooting and action games
- Retractable USB Cable and slim box included, easy to carry
- Dual motor provides real vibration effects such as hits, explosions or crashes
With dual motors to provide the feedback you will feel things on both sides of the controller. This provides a little more realism to the effect.
The Turbo feature is simple to use and great for games that require you to press the same button over and over really fast.
The design of the MaxFire Pandora Pro is the highlight of this controller. It is completely different than any other modern controller I have seen. When it is open it almost resembles the original Nintendo controller.
When open the front of the controller is where you will find the majority of the buttons. On the left is a directional pad. To the right of that are the turbo and clear buttons. The turbo is self explanatory, and the clear button is to clear the turbo. The right side has 4 buttons and the top has another 4 buttons. There is also a Mini USB plug on top for connecting the controller to your computer.
The controller comes in a nice plastic case. The case has a spot for the controller, retractable USB cable and there seems to be a spot for a memory card, but nothing came in that spot. Because of this wasted space it would be more compact if you just folded it up and carried it without the case. For compactness, I think it would have been a better idea to get rid of some of the foam, the memory card spot, and make the plastic case much smaller.
Testing a controller is fairly easy. I loaded up a game and started playing. As long as the game supported controllers like this one it worked without a problem. I even used the turbo button without problems. The rumble feature is nice, but it could be improved. Even though there are two motors it feels a lot like there is only one. It would be nice if the motors were more independent so they could provide a better feel. I suppose the game software would have to be written to support the two motors. The one thing I did have problems with is shooter games that require very precise movements for aiming and such. The analog sticks have a little bit of a dead zone that makes it so precise movements near the center of the stick do not register. In addition because the analog stick slides it is harder to move it smoothly. With a little practice I was able to get fairly good.
The software provides a couple of pages where you can test the buttons and effects of the controller. The first page is the button and analog stick page. The second page is the effects page, you can adjust the strength and duration of the vibration and test the vibration. The third page adjusts the gain for different aspects of the controller.
Warranty and Support
The Genius MaxFire Pandora Pro comes with a 1 year parts and labor warranty. Everything seems solid on the controller, but with all the button mashing you will be doing in your games, it is possible that a button will stop working. Hopefully, if it is going to happen, it will happen during the warranty period.
I really like the features of the controller. The controller is really small so it has room for a few features, but I think Genius has made some good compromises. If you have big hands you may have trouble with the small size; however, I think most people will be ok with it. You should be able to pick this up for about $25. As always compare prices before purchasing.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|