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Joysticks For Flight Simulation: Using A Lever To Fly A Plane!

Saitek X45, Continued

The big drawback is the function of the button that selects three different modes of assignment. Do you understand? Well, we don't either! Actually, in theory, this is what makes it possible to change the functions of the buttons while the game is being played. For example, if you want to move on from a dogfight to a bombing raid, you have to use different controls.

The same problem arises if you change aircraft in Flight Sim. The basic idea is a good one, but due to its poor design, it is hard to believe that Saitek ever tested this program properly. And that's not all - if, at a later stage, you install a steering wheel from the Saitek range, its driver will uninstall the X45's driver! How practical! This means that you can't use two Saitek peripherals at the same time! The X45 is literally downed by its defective drivers and a few problems of ergonomics. That's a pity because the basic idea is excellent, and flight simulation fans have very few accessories of this nature available to them.

However, in flight simulation mode, the precision of the whole device is excellent, with the one exception of the steering. To end on a positive note, the X45 and its software are easily recognized by Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Summary Table

NameSidewinder Precision 2Cyborg 3D GoldFox 2 ProExtreme Digital 3DAfterburner 2 *X45
CompanyMicrosoftSaitekThrustmasterLogitechThrustmasterSaitek
Price$45$40$38$35$65$80
Specifications
Number of buttons886888
Rudder barintegrated on the handleintegrated on the handleintegrated on the handleintegrated on the handleintegrated on the handle and the throttle control leverbehind the throttle control lever
Throttleintegrated on the joystickintegrated on the joystickintegrated on the joystickintegrated on the joystickseparateseparate
Directional hat111113, + 2 wheels
Compatibility
Windows 9x/Meyesyesyesyesyesyes
Windows 2000yesnoyesyesyesyes
Windows XPyesnoyesyesyesyes

* Not yet available in North America