The Air Flo controllers from Power A fix a problem that I don't have, namely sweaty gaming hands. Sure they get a little moist after a few hours of extended gameplay, but thanks to a busy life, prolonged gaming sessions are about as frequent as Blue Jacket win.
From a distance the Air Flo controller looks like a slimmed down version of the standard wired Xbox 360 controller with green exhaust vents along the front and side of the "arms" of the controller. Flipping the controller over reveals a large intake fan that circulates air through the rest of the controller. The controller it self is a bit lighter than you would expect it to be but the controller feels well built.
A closer look at the face of the controller reveals two additional buttons at the top of the controller (above the Xbox button). The one on the left toggles the backlight off and on while the one of the right rotates through the three fan speeds (off, low, and high).
Two things became apparent when I sat down to play games with the Air Flo controller. The first is that I could have used another five feet of cable as the 10 ft cord was a bit short for my living room. Given the amount of power required to run the fan and backlight I'm guessing there's no practical way for the Air Flo to be a wireless controller as you would either need a huge battery pack or you’d be replacing the batteries every three hours.
The other noticeable thing is that the fan is a bit on the loud side when switched to the high setting. It's not late 90's computer fan loud but it is loud enough to annoy the dogs and rouse the attention of a significant other if they are the same room. The noise was loud enough to draw the interest of my youngest dog who found the whirring to be of great interest every time I cranked turn the setting up to the highest level.
The controller itself is fairly comfortable in short gaming sessions. I did experience some finger cramping in longer sessions due to that the controller is not nearly as "deep" as a standard Xbox 360 controller that I’m used to. The vents are slightly concave and make gripping the controller a little easier.
As a controller the Air Flo is rock solid. The sticks are nice and tight and the buttons are responsive and not too squishy. The d-pad is responsive and the whole unit has a good quality feel to it. I do wish the rumble motors were a little more powerful but they get the job done.
How does the Air Flo part of the Air Flo controller work? Well you can definitely feel the air coming out of the controller when the fan is engaged. It's not distracting and it certainly keeps the controller cool and your hands dry during long gaming sessions. I was a little worried that they might dry my hands out further but that wasn't the case.
Outside of some light finger cramping (I do have big hands) and the short cord the Air Flo controllers are a pretty solid investment if you have sweaty hands and need a controller to help manage the extra moisture.
A solid controller that solves the sweaty palms issues for gamers as long as they are within 10 feet of their console.
Rating: 8 Good
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Hi, my name is Charles Husemann and I've been gaming for longer than I care to admit. For me it's always been about competing and a burning off stress. It started off simply enough with Choplifter and Lode Runner on the Apple //e, then it was the curse of Tank and Yars Revenge on the 2600. The addiction subsided somewhat until I went to college where dramatic decreases in my GPA could be traced to the release of X:Com and Doom. I have been a Microsoft Xbox MVP since 2009. View Profile