The iPad Pro has a gorgeous display, copious volume and great output from a speaker system that blows away the competition. It is, however, the first iPad to price as if it were a laptop computer, and while the Pro is obviously not a laptop with its keyboard and port selection, it can be configured as such. We’ve already tested the 13 inch Pro and will be reviewing the 10.5 inch model soon, so we thought we’d take a look at what is actually different between the two models.
Whether you’re a pro gamer or serious competitor, you know the price of entry to the games you play can be hefty. That’s why there’s an army of gamers with the means to buy the most expensive gear available, but who don’t have the means to afford it. Luckily, there are a number of companies out there that offer gaming gear at a reasonable price. This makes buying high-end gaming gear a necessity for the average gamer, but a luxury for those with the means to buy it.
What if we could still have the same power and performance in our gaming PCs or laptops, but at a much lower price? That’s what the new ThunderX2 DDR4-3200 (PC4-2133) memory is all about. Without the cost of a special motherboard, one can buy the memory in 4GB single modules, 8GB dual modules, or 16GB quad modules right off the shelf.
While there was a lot of talk about the PS5’s DualSense after it launched along with the console last fall, the next-gen Xbox controller hasn’t generated much buzz. It’s a fine controller in its own right, and it got some minor improvements in the Xbox Series X|S, but most of the major innovations are behind the wall of the $100+ Elite controller. That’s where Nacon’s new compact RIG Pro controller comes in. For competitive gamers who want high-end features without the high price tag, the RIG Pro Compact controller is a versatile option.
RIG Pro Compact Controller Overview: Performance Elite without decal
The first thing you will notice about the Pro Compact Controller is its small size. While it’s not as small as some of the other manufacturers’ controllers that hit the shelves 10 years ago, the Pro Compact deserves its name because it looks more like a PS3 controller. The offset analog sticks from the Xbox are still there, but the Pro Compact takes some getting used to. When I first started playing with it, I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to get used to it, but after about two weeks of heavy use in role-playing, sports, competitive multiplayer, and other games, I can honestly say that I’ve gotten used to the Pro Compact and appreciate the many features that make the form more forgiving. Chief among these features is Pro Compact’s lifetime access to Dolby Atmos 3D sound. Nacon claims that this is the world’s first Xbox controller to offer Dolby Atmos, and that it works with any headset. I have tested 3D headsets in the past and have come to the conclusion that this feature is the most important for a modern headset. So it’s very interesting to see and use a controller that offers this functionality for any custom headset. To activate it, simply enter the code that came with the headset and then download the Dolby Atmos application to your PC or Xbox. Since access to Dolby Atmos typically costs $15 per license, lifetime access with a controller is a significant advantage, provided the controller proves its worth in other ways. Fortunately, this is usually the case. With its own Xbox and PC app, the Pro Compact offers full key remapping, the ability to create multiple custom profiles (two of which can be assigned to the controller itself), and dead zone adjustment. While regular gamers won’t be too interested in these new level features, the Pro Compact is clearly aimed at competitive gamers, and for them such features are unheard of for a $50 controller price. While the buttons on the front are larger and flatter than on the standard Xbox controller, I didn’t feel like they were any better or worse than their regular counterparts. However, the shoulder buttons, including the bumpers and especially the triggers, are fantastic. The LT/RT keys are perfectly strong and lock securely. The internal haptic sensors also provide a more subtle sound. While there’s nothing DualSense level here, it was nice to feel a slight trigger when I placedbuilds in Fortnite . It’s a trait that crept into my head without me noticing and that I still love decades later. I was also pleased to discover a dedicated share button that allows the RIG Pro Compact to keep pace with the Xbox controller added last fall. But moving the home and menu buttons to the outer center of the controller is something I couldn’t get used to, and I don’t see the point of it. While the first controllers grouped these buttons in a trio next to the Xbox button, the Pro Compact has moved them to the Y button and to the northeast corner of the left analog stick. This not only makes them too close to other functions, but also makes them less intuitive to find. Unfortunately, I could never get used to the fact that these keys are so far apart. In multiplayer games, where the left menu button so often opens the map or other important functions, its placement on the Pro Compact only slowed me down, which is at odds with a lot of other things that seem well thought out. The controller is always connected to the network, which Nakon says reduces latency. I think the main reason is that Microsoft doesn’t allow third-party developers to make wireless controllers for the Xbox, but for me the cable still works. The thick mesh feels very sturdy and is just under 10 feet long, which is probably enough for most players. The hollow analog sticks feel great and offer a smooth turning feel more reminiscent of DualSense, and are even faster than other manufacturers’ controllers. The disadvantage of these snowshoes is the asymmetrical thumb rest. The left joystick features a grid-like design, while the right joystick features only the brand’s logo, suggesting that the logo is as useful as the joystick itself, or confirming that this part of the controller is more about fashion than function. Finally, the D-pad is closer to the Xbox One controllers than the X|Series controllers. Improvements in this area were among those previously mentioned that Microsoft introduced with its new controller last fall, but the Pro Compact falls somewhere in the middle of the first-party offerings, offering neither the super-satisfying click of the new controller nor the inaccuracy of the old one. In that respect, it’s good, but not great, although it’s clear by now that other parts of the film are truly excellent.
RIG Pro Compact Controller Test – TheConclusion
- Excellent buttons on the shoulders
- Lifetime access to Dolby Atmos 3D sound.
- Smooth and fast analog sticks
- A long cable, almost 3 m long
- The D-Pad is in the background of its ego counterpart.
- Moving the menu buttons seems awkward and unreasonable
- Its small frame makes it the perfect size for everyone.
The biggest obstacle with the RIG Pro Compact is its form factor. It takes a while to get used to and feels almost nostalgic for a PS3 controller, but the small size means not everyone will find it comfortable. Other changes are also a bit frustrating, but not unforgivable if you can get used to them in the palm of your hands. If it fits, you get high-end features for about a third of the price of the competition, which is an impressive deal. Customizing keys and dead zones is a good start, but it’s mostly for the top 1% of players. The superior triggers and, most importantly, the addition of Dolby Atmos 3D sound for life deliver on the promise of the Pro Compact and enrich the gaming experience for everyone. It’s not perfect, but for gamers who want something more than the standard Xbox controller, the Pro Compact is hard to ignore. [Note: Nacon provided the RIG Pro Compact controller used for this test].In my post last week on the subject of ‘Elite’ features, I mentioned that I often see new gaming laptops costing hundreds of dollars more than what a laptop like the Razer Blade, with similar specs and features, sells for. This typically is because the models with ‘Elite’ features come with a hefty price tag, but this is an unfair comparison.. Read more about sticker shock usage and let us know what you think.
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