So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Logitech Wireless Drum Controller
A pricy game peripheral to rock out with
- Good build quality with soft drum pads, easily adjustable
- Expensive investment, what do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?
If you're a serious rocker, Logitech's Wireless Drum Controller peripheral for the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 is an investment you can justify thanks to the good build quality, adjustability and ease of storage. Casual gamers may be happy with the significantly cheaper drum kit in the Rock Band or Guitar Hero game bundle.
Price$ 399.95 (AUD)
The Logitech Wireless Drum Controller is a well constructed and easy to adjust peripheral that will stand up to punishment from even the most enthusiastic gamer. It's expensive but it offers a few notable advantages over the Guitar Hero or Rock Band bundled peripherals. We tested the PlayStation 3 version of the device.
Setting up the Wireless Drum Controller is slightly time consuming, but this is because there's good scope for adjustment. Each of the three drum pads can be moved along three axes, and there is an additional degree of rotation to aim the pads at the player. The control pad can be moved horizontally and vertically around the centre bar, while the two cymbals have horizontal and vertical adjustment. The positions of instruments can also be swapped, so the system can be configured to suit a wide range of playing styles. We configured ours for "awesome". That's just how we roll.
The Logitech Wireless Drum Controller can also be folded away for temporary storage — a merit of its modular construction. The fold-out legs don't lock into place during normal use, so there's a small possibility of accidentally kicking them inwards and destabilising the drum kit during frenetic gameplay — trust us, we know this from experience.
After the somewhat complicated set up, connecting up the drum kit is a breeze. Colour-coded plugs connect each instrument to the control pad, which wirelessly communicates with the PlayStation 3 through a supplied USB dongle. Two AA batteries power the whole setup — there are no wires tethering the peripheral to the PlayStation 3 or a power outlet.
The drum pads and cymbals feel impressive. The rubberised surface means hits are quiet and feel solid. The adjustable rigidity of the cymbals means you can strike one several times in quick succession when necessary. We found the kick pedal to be the weakest link — although we appreciated the adjustable pedal weight, the pedal itself relies on friction to stay in place and on carpet we found it slowly inching away when used repetitively. We didn't notice any significant inaccuracy when testing with Guitar Hero: Metallica on PlayStation 3; everything from soft taps to hard hits was registered with no noticeable lag. (Some televisions display more input lag than others — our Pioneer plasma is not well suited to fast-paced games, for example.)
Logitech's Wireless Drum Controller is an expensive piece of equipment. At just on $400 it's pricier than the full Guitar Hero 5 band kit (which includes the game, a guitar, a drum kit and a microphone) — but only time can tell how the improved build quality translates into buyer satisfaction.
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