Hardware Review: Saitek Cyborg evo
Another model in Saitek's line of adjustable joysticks is available on the market, and Ciril Rozic was eager to evaluate its features. Is there more to the evo than the adjustability, and is it enough for a quality game controller?
Continuing its line of game controllers, earlier this year Saitek came out with a new joystick called evo. Evo is an abbreviation for “evolution”, and yes, it’s a small e in “evo”. It currently sells for $39.95 at Saitek’s web site, which puts it squarely in the middle of the current joystick price range.
For those readers only looking for a quick list of features and a summary, here is the list straight off Saitek’s web site, and the reviewer’s summary is, of course, at the end of this article:
- Rapid-fire trigger
- 5 fire buttons
- 8-way ‘point-of-view’ hat switch
- 3D twist for rudder control
- Lever throttle
- 2 shift buttons
- 4 base buttons
- Single spring gimbal mechanism
- 3 position handle adjustment to suit all hand sizes
I was really looking forward to testing the evo, and not just because it’s a new game controller. Over the years I have gone through the frustratingly frequent experience of losing joystick after joystick to various malfunctions, the most common of which was the inevitable potmeter failure. Even if every other part worked perfectly, the potmeters that transform stick motion into electrical signal levels would wear out, causing an irregular, spiky signal and thus rendering the device useless. Unfortunately, the time available for reviewing was not long enough to verify the longevity of this controller. All the same, the evo is another chance to find the “holy grail”: a joystick with durable potmeters.
The first examination of the joystick was to see how it looked and felt at first sight and grip. Afterwards, the stick was tested more thoroughly with two currently relevant games.
Be Careful with that Cable!
Some reviewers like the looks of the evo, but I didn’t exactly stop breathing when I took it out of the box. The base actually looks rather nice with its part metal, part plastic plating and sleek contours, but the stick itself has buttons and other parts sticking out of the main structure that make it look a bit like a scaled-down contraption from the cable TV show Scrapheap (also known as Junkyard Wars in the US). Never mind; it’s not so ugly that it will poke out the user’s eye out, and joysticks are not fashion accessories anyway.