Mad Catz Lynx Wireless Controller

Review

posted 8/9/2004 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
Platforms: Xbox
I’ve used a few cordless products from Mad Catz and I’ve always enjoyed how they felt and worked. In fact, I use mostly Mad Catz controllers for my Xbox as I found them to be very comfortable to hold. They have a wireless controller now that’s not too expensive and offers great performance for the Xbox and today we’ll take a look at how the Lynx Wireless Controller. holds up.

The physical design is a slight departure from the MicroCon that I really like. In fact, the Lynx Wireless shares a good deal in common with the Microsoft S controller. If you take the S controller and stretched it out a little, you’d have the Lynx Wireless controller. Button placements are pretty much the same as the S controller with the exception of the white and black ones. Mad Catz’s design with the two buttons is, in my opinion, superior over the Microsoft controller. What makes them better is both are a little bigger and sit higher above the surface. It makes pushing them with my thumb a lot easier and I found myself using the two buttons more in games like ESPN NFL 2K5.

The D-Pad is a change over the S pad as it’s just a cross shape rather than a dial. Using the D-Pad, I found it to be responsive and had good springs underneath. Both horizontal and diagonal movements weren’t a problem with the Lynx Wireless. There have been issues with other controllers where the D-Pad has been problematic. None though were found in the Lynx Wireless.

As with the MicroCon and the Lynx Wireless has that signature rubber grip that’s easy to hold and comfortable on the palms. The grip starts on the top, wraps around the side, and finished halfway underneath. The feature is one of the reasons I use the Mad Catz controller over other ones at home.

Each analog stick feels good and snaps back to the center with good authority. The tension on the sticks is just right: not too loose and not too tense. Pressing each one down gives good feedback as well. I’ve always been critical about other third party controller’s analog stick tension but Mad Catz has always gotten it right.

Both of the triggers are a little thicker than the S pad and also have a softer feel to them. When pressing them back they seem a little deader. That doesn’t impact the performance of them and it’s really one person’s taste on whether they like it better than the S pad. I, for one, found them to be just fine.

The controller uses three AA batteries to power it and should give you about 60 hours of gameplay. To get a little more juice out of them, you can turn off the vibration feature with a push of a slider. Well, if you consider an extra 120 hours a little more juice. That's what Mad Catz claims and the one I am using is still going strong after two weeks of heavy use. The Lynx Wireless is the first one that had an on and off switch so you can ensure that the controller is not sucking any power when not in use. The unit still seems to shut off after a period of non-usage but you can turn it on or off anytime with the power button. With the three batteries, the weight of the controller doesn’t seem that much more than the Microsoft S controller.

A large receiver plugs into the Xbox and has only one expansion slot. That’s not that big of a deal as I don’t think I’ve ever taken up both slots. But Xbox Live owners using the headset will have to sit by the Xbox though as there’s no relay on the controller to the receiver. That’s a limitation of every Xbox wireless controller right now though. There’s a green light on the receiver to let you know it’s on and receiving signal.

Working the in the 2.4Ghz area, the controller actually has some good range and I was able to step pretty far away from the Xbox before it stopped working. It even worked through a few walls and I was really impressed that I was still in control. I was standing in another room about thirty feet away and it felt like I was right next to the Xbox in response time. Mad Catz's site claims a 40 feet range for the controller.

Coming in at $29.99, the Lynx Wireless Controller is definitely a good buy and $20 less than the Logitech Cordless Precision. I really enjoyed using this controller and found it to be responsive and great to use. It doesn’t have any macro features and you’ll need to sit by the Xbox if you want to use the headset. Other than that, the controller works well and at a great range. I also enjoy the transparent case. Mad Catz has another good controller on their hands and a good cordless controller at that.



B
A good wireless controller that has the same limitations in terms of Xbox Live headset. Comfortable and great performing, the Lynx wireless is a good buy.


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