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Nyko iType2 Keyboard/Controller


MastaRedSnappa
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The iType2 is a new keyboard/controller combo from Nyko. It has all the features of the standard PS2 controller plus adds a small QWERTY keyboard at the top of the controller for text-communicating in supported games (or for more easily entering Game Shark codes). The keyboard includes four programmable macro buttons (which can store up to 32 key presses each) and access to numbers, symbols, punctuation, etc. via a shift-like "Fn" key. The iType2 plugs into the standard PS2 controller port as well as one of the USB ports (for the keyboard). In fact, the keyboard is just a standard USB keyboard as it was fully functional on my PC as well (yes, I have alot of free time and no, I am not typing this message with the iType2!).

 

Because of the inclusion of the keyboard, the iType2 is larger than the standard PS2 controller but it still fit comfortably into my hands (think a standard PS2 controller on steroids, not the hulking original Xbox controller). The controller feels well constructed, with no flex. Compared to a standard PS2 controller, the analog sticks are a little looser, the buttons a little stiffer (although, I suspect in time that they will become less stiff with use), and the D-pad is larger. The amount of vibration appeared comparable to a standard PS2 controller. The placement of the Select/Start keys threw me off at first because they are lower than on a standard PS2 controller. I kept instinctively reaching for it and came up hitting the Enter key of the keyboard instead. Luckily, I did not have the Enter key set to launch my PS2-controlled weapons of mass destruction!

 

Typing with the iType2's keyboard is very reminiscent of thumb typing with a RIM Blackberry or Treo keyboard. However, unlike those devices, the small "Chiclet" keys of the iType2 are very clicky and require a slightly greater amount of force to activate (probably due to the "clickiness", if that's a word). The keys are large enough and sufficiently spaced so that hitting the wrong key is not really a problem. The fact that numbers and common punctuation don't have their own keys (but are only accessible via shifting with the "Fn" key) is inconvenient but understandable given the size of the controller. Doing alot of typing with the iType2 would be a chore, but for quick messages (which are usually sufficient in games) it is certainly capable. The great thing about the iType2's size is that it is possible to quickly shift between keyboard and controller by slightly adjusting your grip to allow your thumbs to reach the keyboard. If you'd like a more standard keyboard size/layout, I would look at Logitech's NetPlay controller (it looks like a standard PC keyboard but with PS2 controls on the left and right ends) or any USB keyboard.

 

I bought the iType2 to use with Everquest Online Adventures: Frontiers and did not want to have to switch between a USB keyboard and a standard PS2 controller whenever I wanted to type in-game. I looked at Logitech's NetPlay but the size of the controller and the fact that you cannot type without completley changing how you hold the controller were deal-breakers for me. So far, the iType2 has fulfilled my needs. If you are looking for a keyboard/controller combo for the PS2, the iType2 is definitely worth a look.

 

FYI: I picked up my iType2 at Best Buy for $24.99 (damn, I love the $5 video game coupon in BB gift cards).

 

FYI2: If you're ever on EQOA, I play on the Diren Hold server. My character's name is Macwilder, a level 9 human ranger.

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