Joysticks and Wheels: The Winter 2002 Collection

Logitech Freedom 2.4 GHz Joystick

It's not easy to be innovative in joystick design, but Logitech has just done it by doing away with the cord. It has to be said that being cordless is a great asset for pads and joysticks. It makes them much easier to store away, and they are always ready to use. No more wires to get in the way, especially when the joystick is placed next to the mouse and keyboard. In a perfect world, all three would be cordless and work together easily with a universal sensor. The technology does exist, and it is called Bluetooth, but it never actually seems to materialize. Actually there is Microsoft, which has a Bluetooth cordless keyboard/ mouse set, but all the other manufacturers of input devices should start making them to this standard, too.

Powerful Technology

In the meantime, the best we have is one sensor per device. Actually, the Freedom uses 2.4 GHz bandwidth, like Bluetooth. And you can use several Logitech joysticks and pads at the same time. We used the cordless controller with a joystick and pad with no trouble. They are detected together and can be used together in a game without cross-interference. One of the advantages of the Logitech solution is its totally transparent automatic channel allocation. And it works! When the devices are idle, you just need to press one of their buttons for them to be operational, no matter the order in which you run them. Another advantage of the Logitech 2.4 GHz technology is fast and reliable transmission. Like Bluetooth, output can reach 1 Mbps and manage up to 1600 exchanges per second in duplex, more than adequate for a joystick. We found no lag at all between activation of the joystick and response on the screen. You can also move a few yards away and then have objects standing between the joystick and the sensor without the operation being affected. So we could say that the cordless technology here is completely mastered and that the Freedom is no different from the wired version for response time and operation.