Flexiglow Cyber Snipa PC Gamepad
Review by Old RoosterJuly 2004
The One-of-a-Kind Keypad with a Funny Name
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when the good folks at GoGamer sent this new Flexiglow product for review. Was it a gamepad, keyboard, joystick or mousepad? And what the heck does “Snipa” mean? Well, what I’ve found, after a week of FPS gaming, is that this very neat little device has moved to a special place on my desktop. This gamepad is efficient, streamlines gaming, and is quite unique. Let’s describe it a bit.
First, a word about Flexiglow is in order. Founded in 1998, the company is based in Australia and Hong Kong. Initially specializing in lighting effects for a broad spectrum of business and industrial uses, they have recently moved into the world of PC gaming. Their trademark is always to have some kind of direct or background lighting on a productwith these products now ranging from an optical mouse to mouse pads to Lazer Bean LED Kits. Check the GoGamer website for the full gaming line. The other hallmark of Flexiglow is creativity and excellence of design, something we see evidenced very strongly with the Cyber Snipa Game Pad.
What’s in the Box
The plastic container houses a very attractive black gamepad, 6 inches wide by 9 inches long by 1 inch thick. Actually, gamepad is something of a misnomer since, as the picture demonstrates, the unit really resembles more a mini keyboard. Also included is a user card (in four languages) and a six-foot USB power cord. The only requirements for usage are Windows ME/2000/XP and a USB port.
- Designed to improve game control, speed and accuracy;
- Ergonomically designed navigation and function keys;
- 34 keys allow for individual mapping;
- Tactile key feedback;
- Removable nonslip palm rest;
- Built-in volume control;
- USB device that operates alongside your keyboard.
Games We Tested
The Cyber Snipa has had quite a varied and intense workout this past week. I’ve put it through the wringer with Doom 3, XIII, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Far Cry, Chronicles of Riddick, Brothers in Arms and Max Payne 2. In addition, my son, who has broadband, played Half-Life 2 and Unreal Tournament 2004 online.
How it Performs
My system instantly recognized the gamepad, and there are no drivers to install. A little blue light (that Flexiglow distinction) radiating from under the pad can be turned on or off. The palm rest is extremely comfortable and remained on the pad. Nestling the base of my left hand on this rest, I found all of the keys within easy reach. The main keyboard was put to one side. With particular emphasis on first-person shooter gaming, all of the keys we typically use are there, easily accessed, plus a few extraslike a volume control! Keys depress firmly, with a solid, quality feel.
Whatever keyboard layout you have for a particular FPS title is picked up by the gamepad. Given that some of the pad’s keys are distinctively labeled (jump, crouch, goal, load, use), a few minutes spent remapping proved useful. Keys also have their traditional labels (“C” for crouch). The white lettering on the black keys is large, clear, easy to read. The famous WASD cluster is in the center, highlighted in blue, with larger keys, about the shape of a fingertip. Several other keys are also larger than usualspace (jump), Ctrl, Shift (run/walk). It should be noted that the Cyber Snipa is not a replacement for your regular keyboard, but rather a gaming supplement.
After 10 minutes with the first game (Riddick), it became clear the Cyber Snipa does, as it claims, make this kind of gaming more smooth and easy to control. My son, with his online trial, had even a greater sense of that in his competition with human players. Indeed, that’s where my unit has ended up! For the time being, he says … sure.
With the mouse in the right hand and the gamepad under the left, we both found the WASD positioning and placement of the larger, more frequently used keys definitely speed up the “eyes to brain to hand to screen” transition. Hey, at my age, I need all of that kind of help I can get!
Flexiglow has shown their creative talent once again, with the innovative and unique Cyber Snipa gamepad. Acting as a mini keyboard, with particular emphasis on first-person shooter gaming, a week of solid and extensive playing has moved it from a position of “interesting idea” to a place of “essential requirement” in my FPS play. This pad was clearly designed carefully by and for players. From key selection to positioning to elongated size, ergonomics are outstanding. The wrist support provides great comfort for those long online sessions. The soft blue underlighting provides a pleasant ambience for play times. Plug-and-play assures easy recognition by your PC and games. The USB connection and moderate size allow it to be placed to one side of your workspace when the main keyboard is in use. Construction and durability seem outstanding.
Although I still don’t know what “Snipa” means, I can heartily recommend the Cyber Snipa gamepad to all wishing to become quicker, faster and betterat least with their FPS gaming! For excellence in design and execution, we are pleased to award the gamepad our Gold Star.
Win ME/2000/XP USB port
Where to Find It
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