Logitech is popular for its computer peripherals manufacturing, which has designed some of the all time best peripherals like mouse, keyboards, trackballs and gaming controllers. They have a perfect idea on how to make the gadgets both comfy and work simultaneously. Their long experience in this market can be felt very well in their gaming accessory the Logitech ChillStream gamepad. This is the first windows optimised controller.
Though most of the PC games can be played well with just the keyboard and mouse combination like the strategy and shooters games, there still exists a few titles like console ports and sports titles that are crying out for a controller. Logitech has given ears to this and released the new Logitech ChillStream Gamepad. The ChillStream is named so because it has got a fan located on its back and that is made use of to keep the hands of the player sweat free and cool while gaming.
Identical look to that of Xbox 360 controller:
Though the Logitech ChillStream attracts itself to be vista ready, it looks identical to that of the Xbox 360. It has got exactly the same button layout with the same layout and the center guide button gives you a great deal of functionality when used with Windows Vista PCs. The ditto layout includes the dual joyticks, a D-pad, an ABXY button cluster, start, select, a pair of shoulder buttons, a pair of triggers and a centre button. Every game will be using the available controls and sticks in a different way, however, we can say that the analog sticks are usually used only to handle the inside game navigations. The controls on the top right hand side of the controller will be the main gaming controls such as firing guns, selecting menus, jumping and other stuff.
Features included to make the gamepad feel comfortable on hands:
Similar to the Xbox360, the ChillStream Game Pad from Logitech is too extremely comfortable in hands with its easy grip plastic on the sides and bottom. The rear side of the controller possesses a “Soft Touch” spray finishing that is astonishingly flat and relaxed. The top half too feels just as good but has also been painted silver. The feel of the controller will not be that appreciated by players with big hands. They might feel that the gamepad is not comfortable but not exactly sublime either. But the feedback from the players with smaller hands will be exactly the opposite. In fact most of them would feel that the controller is easy to use and comfortable to cling on.
Some tweaks made:
Though we said that the Logitech ChillStream looked identical to that of the Xbox 360 controller, there can be a few tweaks that can be noted too. The gamepad has more of an angled look with definite lines. Towards the left side of the ChillStream, to the right of the D-pad and below the joystick, there is a small button. The only main functionality of this button is to control the and operate the speed of the internal fan.
Speed options of the fan:
There are three speed options offered which includes off, intermittent and full on. And when the fan is operating in its highest speed, it can be easily said that it is on, even without touching it as the fan is quite noisy but not offensively loud. The ChillStream can be connected to your PC with the USB interface. Though the chord is a bit short at 6 feet, it must be sufficient for most of the players.
How does the “ChillStream” work?
The signature feature of the gamepad, that is, its ability to cool the players hands works consistently. The working principle of the in-built fan is that, it pulls in air via the front grill and then shoots it through the vents placed in the right and left handles. The grill in the rear side is made of metal and proves to be durable. This is a good news for those who are used to abusing their gamepads. The controller is designed in such a way that, the user will have to give a firm grip over the controller itself and having a firm grip over the controller, the holes that let out air is blocked and hence, the air does not come out as well as it actually should to keep your hands cool. This is one of the major disadvantages as this factor itself negates the whole concept on why most of the gamers would buy the ChillStream.
Installation and set-up of ChillStream Game Pad:
In order to get started, the drivers of the ChillStream have to be installed even before the gamepad is connected to the PC. The steps are very simple, and once the driver installation is complete, the controller will be up and gaming in no time. You will need to configure the controller options and button layouts for each game, which is easy to do, but it can take some time to figure out what works best.
Energy saving feature:
Logitech has employed an energy saving feature in the ChillStream. The auto-off energy conserving feature kicks in, on a couple of minutes of idleness. And when you depress any control on the controller, it will start back to accurately the same point at which the set was left.
Not compatible with the Xbox 360 system:
One very disappointing fact is that, the Logitech ChillStream is not dual platform compatible. When you try to plug in the USB enabled controller into the Xbox360, you will see that the controller continuously flashes the lights and the system and controller does not sync properly.
The Logitech ChillStream was a pre vista PC gaming landscape, which produced some decent results. Though it had a few incompatible titles in its pocket, like the first person shooters that is particularly optimised for mouse and keyboard combo use, the gamepad served well with the titles that are windows compatible.
System requirements and package contents:
The Logitech ChillStream does not need much of a PC in order to operate and its system requirements confirms this fact. All that it needs is a PC with Pentium processor or compatible, Windows XP, or Vista Available and a USB port. The package content includes the gamepad itself, an installation paper and a small and cute driver disk.
Logitech offers ChillStream a limited warranty of one year.
We have come to the conclusion of the Logitech ChillStream review with mixed emotions. Though the controls are very accurate, the feel of the gamepad leaves us asking for more. It would prove to be very comfortable and exiting for people with small hands. The seller feature of the controller, that is, the fan could have done a much better job. The price tag on the controller is also much higher than the other comparable gamepads. You could possibly get the Logitech ChillStream for the fact that it is a good gaming pad with accurate controls but not for its so called Fan feature.
Logitech ChillStream GamePad – Technical Specifications, Features
|Gaming console type||PC accessory|
|Accessory type||Game controller|
|Model name||Logitech ChillStream|
|Compatible Game Consoles||PC|
|Features||Built-in fan , Rubber side grips , Logitech ChillStream technology|
|Interfaces||1 x USB – 4 pin USB Type A|
|Cables Included||1 x USB cable|
|Windows Vista ready||Yes|
|System requirements||Windows® XP, or Vista™ PC with Pentium® processor or
compatible Available USB port
|Package contents||Logitech® ChillStream™ Controller