iPad Accessory Review: Logitech Joystick for iPad
Reviewed by Guy Dayen
Rating: (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: It's great to have a substantial object to stand in for the virtual iPad joystick when a game doesn't allow you to have a floating joystick. My finger tends to slide off the iPadís virtual joystick because of the screen's slickness.
What's Not: The joystick sometimes seems to cause a bit of a lag in game play, because you have to use it just right. Of course, this may be a case of needing a lot of practice to master; but some people might get frustrated and give up before giving it a chance.
Depending on where exactly you situate the joystick on the iPad's surface, it can be difficult to access the iPad's multitasking app bar. You really have to finagle around the bottom suction cup to reach an app's icon.
Logitech makes tons of accessories for the iPad. They have really embraced the platform over the last two years, and they offer over a dozen products to enhance the iPad experience. Most of them are in the area of keyboarding or sound, but there is one product in the gaming department: their joystick for iPad.
Iíve been using the Logitech joystick for a few days, and I like it, simply because I find my finger tends to slide off when I play a game that has a virtual joystick, especially if it is fixed in one place rather than floating. In the heat of the game, I donít often keep my eyes on the joystick. Iím too busy looking at other things, and Iíll find myself with a completely irresponsive game because my finger is suddenly an inch or two away from where the virtual joystick or pad is. The Logitech joystick allows me to feel exactly where my controller is, so I can concentrate on the game itself.
I have to say that you need to practice using the joystick. Itís sometimes tricky to hit exactly the right spot on the iPadís screen. Depending on how forgiving the gameís virtual joystick actually is, you have to give yourself a few practice rounds before really getting into the game. This is where game tutorials are a blessing, so you can get a good feel for the interaction between the Logitech joystick and the virtual joystick before you really lean into the game.
The Logitech iPad joystick is a flat clear plastic disc, 2 inches in diameter and just over 6 ľ inches in circumference. Since it is clear plastic, it doesnít impede your view of the iPadís screen in any way. The center of the disc is not solid; there is a clear flexible spiral, upon which sits a little black button which is just under ĺ of an inch in diameter. This is where you rest your finger to control the joystick. The fact that the button isnít clear is immaterial, since it is covered by your finger. The flexible spiral allows for a good amount of play in the joystick button, and movement is easy and feels very natural. Overall, the Logitech joystick looks very sleek and stylish.
There are two suction cups to one side of the circle, which can be positioned according to the userís preference. I tend to put them over to the side edge of the iPad so they wonít interfere with my view of the screen. There is a distance of 2 ĺ inches from the top to the bottom edges of the suction cups. So the unit itself is not so big as to take over screen real estate, but still big enough to feel substantial and easy to maneuver when playing games.
What the kit includes
The Logitech joystick comes in a single unit, so gamers wanting to use double joysticks will need to buy two. The joystick comes in a small pouch for easy storage, which serves well to keep the unit dust-free. This is an important consideration, since the joystick adheres with two small suction cups. Keeping those clean is vital, since a dirty suction cup will not stick well to the iPad. This is a nice touch from Logitech, and in my opinion, shows that they really thought through on the idea of the joystick and how it needed to be used. Itís those little details that demonstrate the quality of the products a company puts out. There is a little multilingual instruction sheet that comes in the package as well.
The Logitech Joystick might not be for everyone; some people just find it more natural to play directly on the iPadís screen. However, I found it to be a useful alternative; itís nice to have an option when playing games that use a virtual joystick to control the action. Since the Logitech joystick is relatively inexpensive, itís a viable option for most games. In fact, itís one of those things that make a great stocking stuffer for the iPad addict in your circle of family and friends. (But be aware that it is much too big to be of any use on the iPod Touch or the iPhone, so donít buy it for the smaller devices.)
There is a need to practice before full-on gaming, so you feel comfortable with the joystick and how it interacts with each particular game. There is also a bit of an issue with reaching the multitasking dock, depending on how you position the suction cup, but itís really a minor point. Most people donít bother with that during the heat of battle, as it were!
I wonít always use the Logitech joystick for every single game, but it will definitely be one of those iPad accessories that will be used, and not tossed aside after a week. All in all, itís a very good product. It fulfills its function as promised, doesnít add to the weight of the iPad, and actually makes some games even more fun to play. I give it thumbs up!
Price: $ 19.99 (SMRP) for a single joystick
Web site: Logitech
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