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Cyber Snipa Gaming Peripherals Cyber Snipa Gaming Peripherals: PC Gamers often spend a lot of money on the right weapons for the job. We find out if Flexiglow's Cyber Snipa gear is worth your hard earned.
Date: September 2, 2005
Written By:

If you are a regular reader of this site, then you won’t be a stranger to the name . We have reviewed a few of their Mice, Keyboards and Mouse Pads, finding them to be flashy, fun and of course, most importantly, usable. Now if you personally found them to be too flashy, you might be interested in a new line of peripherals from ; the products. The items have been designed with gamers in mind, and feature (currently) a gamer's Gamepad, Mousepad and a Keyboard. Naturally of course, we just had to get a look for ourselves.

Cyber Snipa GamePad

• Designed to improve game control, speed and accuracy
• No learning curve for experienced FPS gamers
• USB device that will operate alongside your keyboard.
• Ergonomically designed navigation and function keys
• Optimally engineered tactile key feedback
• Can be used with any FPS game that allows programmable key mappings
• Built in volume control
• Removable non-slip palm wrest
• 1.8m (6ft) USB power cord

The packaging for the Cyber Snipa Gamepad is unfortunately one of those “I feel like a 5 year old, mummy can you open this for me please?” boxes, which while keeping everything secure, does take you a while to get into. Once inside, you find the gamepad itself and little else. The main reason for the lack of extras is quite simple; it is a USB device and is totally plug and play. No drivers are needed so no CD is supplied. The Cyber Snipa GamePad mimics the functions of a keyboard but in a more ‘gamer’ orientated layout so no instructions are really needed either.

The bottom half of the pad has this removable wrist rest made from neoprene which is quite comfortable and large enough for you to move your hand around into different positions during long game sessions.

The keys themselves are no different from a keyboard, which makes it completely universal and compatible with any game that can be controlled by keyboard. The only difference is that the keys themselves, rather than being laid out and shaped like a keyboard, have been shaped and laid out to further enhance your gaming control. The most dominant keys are the direction keys, in blue, set to mimic the functions of the WASD and QE keys on your keyboard. The keys on the gamepad are larger than those of a standard keyboard, which during intense button bashing is good in that you won’t be accidentally pressing the wrong button, although I did personally find it a little uncomfortable at first due to the extra stretching out of the fingers.

Another key that is often used in FPS games is the R key; often set for Reload, the Cyber Snipa GamePad even marks the R key as such. We also have an F 'use' key and TG keys which you can obviously bind to whatever you need. Left of the direction keys we find the TAB or ‘goal’ key. The TAB key is obviously a lot smaller than that of a keyboard which does help to provide more room for extra keys, but the downside is you will have a small learning curve while you get used to it being smaller. We also have access to the H key here, and while it is obviously on the wrong side of the ‘keyboard’, for a gamepad it is good that you have easy access to an extra key. Left of these keys are two keys to be used for volume control and they will lower or raise the system volume. I would have preferred it if they were also bindable to a key function, so that for example one could use them to control the sound volume of Teamspeak while maintain the volume of the game, but they will only control the system Master Volume.

Directly below the TAB key area is the Shift/Control keys. I personally use Shift as my Crouch key and while the Cyber Snipa GamePad has the Shift key labeled as Run/Walk, there is nothing stopping you binding this to anything you wish. We also have the Z key sitting next to the shift key. Big deal I hear most of you say, but those of us with a British keyboard layout have an extra key (the \ and | key) between the Shift and Z keys on a keyboard. This means we have to twist our hands around more to keep our fingertips on the WASD keys while pressing the Z key. More often than not I don’t use this key with a keyboard, but it certainly a possibility on the gamepad. Below these is the large CTRL key, a key I personally use for Zoom in many FPS games.

Below the Direction keys and central with the pad are the ALT and N keys, which basically suffer from the same problem the Z and X keys do on a keyboard; being below the direction keys, it’s almost impossible to press them without lifting your fingers off the direction keys. They could obviously be bound to a non-critical function such as perhaps a ‘say’ bind, something you wouldn’t do while moving.

Moving right we have the XCB and Space keys. Like the Z key, the X key on a keyboard is usually difficult to get to but it is directly below the D direction key on the gamepad making it very usable. The C key is labeled as crouch which is quite a common binding in games. The B key is moved closer to the C than you would find on a keyboard, so why not use the V key? We’ll get to that in a bit.

Moving to top left we have the ESC key, something you obviously need to access the menus in most games. The Cyber Snipa GamePad has numerical keys 1-7 which should be enough for most games weapon binds, but if not then I’d suggest using the T and G keys as well since they are nearly the same distance away as the numerical keys from the direction keys. We also have access to the Function keys; F1 through to F4.

Top right on the Cyber Snipa GamePad has the V key, labeled as the Voice key, which you could perhaps bind as a ‘Push to Talk’ key in Teamspeak or similar software, or just as the text ‘chat’ key many FPS games have.

On the left side of the gamepad we find a push button to control the blue LED under lighting. There is also a blue LED on top of the gamepad, which sits central between the Function keys and the Numerical keys; this one acts a bit like a Power indicator and can’t be turned off.

In use, I found the gamepad to have a slight learning curve or perhaps an adjustment period would be a better way of putting it. I can’t say it improved my game, but having the extra keys within easy reach was certainly nice and if you push the keyboard out of the way you do get a lot more room on your desk for your mouse. LAN goers will certainly benefit from the use of one of these pads, since you could get a decent laptop, a USB mouse and one of these gamepad's in one shoulder bag/laptop bag, and still maintain the ‘keyboard left, mouse right’ position afforded from a tower/monitor/keyboard setup.

One thing I would like to have seen is the same lattice work foam backing as used on the mousepad on the gamepad. The gamepad does move around more freely than the mousepad. I’m not saying it slips everywhere when you use it (far from it) but it is easy enough to push it around with the heel of your hand.

I would personally prefer to game using this pad than a laptop keyboard although that is going to be subjective. Do I prefer it over a normal keyboard setup? Yes and No. It’s cheap enough that I do like the extra buttons afforded from the layout, but the rest of the functions can be found on a keyboard. I’m really of two minds about this. It would all depend on the game. If you have a game that you think to yourself “hey, if only these keys here were accessible more easily” than you will likely find the Cyber Snipa GamePad something you like. If you are happy with your current keyboard layout then you probably won’t find it offers much to you.

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