Nyko Xbox One Type Pad (review)

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One of the most frustrating moments when console gaming is when you need to type something on the console. Whether you are playing a game with chat enabled, setting up a new account, or using your console to watching Netflix, nothing is more frustrating than when that text entry box pops up and you have navigate across the keyboard with the stick or d-pad. The good people at Nyko know how real the struggle is and have come out with a solution for the Xbox One: The Nyko Type Pad. Will this type pad make the difference between being able to enter in text instead of throwing your controller in frustration? I got my hands on one to find out.

Design

Nyko designed the Type Pad to fit to the form of the controller without changing the comfort of the grip. It feels like they really wanted to make the Type Pad an extension of the controller, not just an accessory, and in this aspect they succeeded. The back of the pad matches the curvature of the controller so the way you hold the controller doesn’t need to change and the material used matches that of the controller as well. Nyko made the controller light enough so it doesn’t add unneeded weight while avoiding a cheap plastic feel. There is also a small directional stick that can be used instead of the thumbsticks on the controller itself.

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The keys glow in the dark to make typing easier in low light situations. Although having them actually back lit would be a nice touch, the glow in the dark feature did come in handy since my gaming set up doesn’t have the best lighting. Added back lighting may have caused the design to not be as form fitting as well which, given the choice, I would take the form fitting option route they chose. Lastly, there are ports at the bottom of the Type Pad to allow the user to plug in a headset either with the chat adapter or using the 3.5mm port, depending on your controller.

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One of the drawbacks that I noticed was being able to feel the screw holes on the back of the pad. When Microsoft designed and built the Xbox One controller, they did so with out any screw holes on the back of the controller. This may be a small change, but it is one that is noticeable when switching back and forth from the Xbox 360 controller to the Xbox One. When using the controller with the pad attached, you can feel the screw holes on the back. Again, not a big deal, but that would have been a nice touch to match the controller if they had done it with no screw holes.

Functionality

Using the Type Pad is sort of a mixed bag. First, it is very easy to install. It is compatible with both the original Xbox One controller and the new one. Simply attach the Type Pad to the bottom of the controller, just like you would with a chat adapter, and press the sync button. While the LED indicator is flashing, plug the included wireless USB adapter into the USB port on the Xbox. After that it is ready to use. This Type Pad can not only be used on the Xbox, but also on the PC using the same connection method.

However, I found that is where the ease of use hits a slight bump in the road. During my testing, I found it a little difficult to type without any serious typos. The buttons are sensitive, so pressing them too long causes the letter to be entered in multiple times. A test on Netflix caused me to type in “MMighty Morppphinn PPPower Rannnnngersss” instead of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” It appears as though the directional stick cannot be used to move the cursor, causing me to have to delete the entire line of text to fix the mistakes.

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Adding to the frustration is the size and closeness of the buttons. Now I realize that they can only be so big since the pad has to fit on the controller, but I found them to be just small enough for me to hit more than one at one time or hit the wrong button because of how close they are. This shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for you, as you may have different size hands than I do and may not have the problem, but it’s something to keep in mind. After using the Type Pad for a little while, I was able to type with very little mistakes, though it was not by any means speed typing.

Final Reaction

The Nyko Type Pad for Xbox One is a good solution to a frustrating problem. It is made to match the design of the controller, glows in dark for easier use in dim lighting, and is super easy to install and use on both Xbox and PC. Though the size and closeness of the keys may cause some typo issues (depending on the size of your hands), this is still a great addition to your gaming peripherals and worth a look.

Rating: 3.5/5 Atoms

NR 3_5 Atoms - B-

 

 

Learn more about the Nyko Type Pad for Xbox One, including where to purchase, on their website here.

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