Whilethe classic mouse and keyboard combination is suitable for First PersonShooter (FPS) and Real Time Strategy (RTS) games, there are certaingenres that aren't fun with a keyboard or mouse. Racing games, sportstitles, and console ports just aren't suitable for them. Thankfullythere have always been controllers out there to solve this gaminggaffe. Logitech, a long time leader in peripheral and PC accessories,takes aim at this market with the ChillStream. Will this gamepad be thenext cool thing, or ultimately end up with a chilly reception?
- ChillstreamTechnology: When turned on, a fan inside the controller adjusts airstream for cooling the user's hands. The controller offers threesettings: Off/Interval/High
- Full Speed USB Controller
- 'Soft touch' spray finish on bottom housing
- Vista Guide Button with player position LEDs
- ImprovedD-pad: Instead of a D-pad that pivots on a fixed point, Logitechcreated a floating structure that sits atop four prongs. This structureensures the most accurate directional response
- PC with Pentium® processor or compatible
- Windows® XP or Vista
- Available USB port
- Logitech® ChillStream™ controller
- User guide
- Gaming Software
- 1-year limited warranty
Unlikethe XBOX pad, the ChillStream is more rigid and has a more definedshape while the XBOX controller is more rounded and no definite lines
Onboth sides of the controller you can see air vents. This brings me tothe main selling point of the ChillStream. Do you ever get sweaty handswhile playing games? Yes, it may sound geeky to sweat while sitting infront of a screen, but in all truthfulness it does happen and it's notfun. The Chillstream features a 40mm fan to cool your hands and preventthe cold sweat that we hate so much, hence its name. An intake on theback of the controller takes in air and exhausts it out of these ventscooling your dripping paws.
Flippingthe controller over, we find the air intake. Logitech chose to use ametal mesh to cover the intake giving the controller a more distinct,and unique appearance.
Logitechincorporated a means of controlling the fan. You have the choice ofrunning it at HIGH, LOW, or completelyOFF. The snowflake shaped lightwill blink slowly when set to low and will stay illuminated when set athigh. I don't sweat a lot while I play so I like to keep it low or off.
Gettingthe controller setup was very easy. Install the drivers from the disk,plug it in, and you're up and running. I personally only installed theMicrosoft Common Controller Driver because I hate to have unnecessaryprograms.
The first game I tried was FIFA 2007. For this game Ididn't have to change any of the settings to get the controller to workand I was able to start playing immediately. Since I was using akeyboard before, there was a learning curve to get the hang of it. Ittook a few minutes but eventually I was able to move the players, pass,and shoot the same way when I was using a keyboard.
Afterplaying FIFA I thought I would try a racing game so I fired up Need forSpeed Carbon. Most gamers know that playing a racing game on the PCwith a keyboard isn't very fun or challenging. A quick control changein the options and I was ready to play. The controller was veryresponsive and performed the same way most other controllers do. Onefeature I missed was the lack of rumble feedback, as Logitech didn'tincorporate it into the ChillStream.
Warranty & Support
The ChillStream includes a 1-year limited warranty. FAQ's and Support Pages are available online.
TheChillStream is a great product but it does have a lot of minor problemsthat could be addressed. For one, I found the integrated fan to bequiet on LOW but is a bit noisy when set to HIGH, which if you playwith headphones or have your speakers cranked up, the noise will bedrowned out anyway. Secondly, the controller's shape was comfortablefor me to hold but I can see people with bigger hands having problemsholding it. Finally, the ChillStream uses a new and improved D-Pad thatis essentially a floating structure that sits atop four prongs.According to Logitech, the new D-Pad ensures the most accuratedirectional response, and that was the case during testing, though atthe expense of creating an excessive amount of noise.
For me,holding the controller came naturally, as it will for anyone accustomedto the XBox style of gamepads. The Soft Touch spray on the reverse sideof the controller is soft but isn't slippery, and the rubber texture onthe analog sticks also provide good grip, both of which are crucial forthose intense gaming moments where a slip of the finger could cost youthe match. When I first heard that this controller had a fan, I hadmixed thoughts, picturing it as a gimmicky feature. But after testingthe controller, the fan has grown on me, almost making me forget thelack of any rumble feedback. The fan adds comfort to an alreadycomfortable controller, and while I don't find myself sweating an awfullot during gaming, it's feature I'd now rather have than be without.
Ifyou're the type that plays a lot of sport, side scrolling, or otherwiseconsole preferred titles, the ChillStream will transform your PC into aglorified gaming box and keep your hands sweat free while doing so.
- Looks sexy
- Cooling works well
- XBox 360 button layout
- Can be noisy
- Shape of controller may cause problems for people with larger hands
- Not compatible with Michael Buffer's catch phrase, "Letttttt's get ready to rumble!"