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     " Hey lets take a device designed to give gamers a more realistic feel of their games and take away half of what makes it seem realistic! "

      Title: R-80 Wheel by Saitek

      Format: Racing Wheel for PC

      Reviewing Monkey: Simi N.

      The Hype: Get the feel of racing without the hassle of pedals. No annoying connections and save valuable space!

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Ergonomics: While not the best wheel in the market on this regard, the Saitek R-80 certainly isn't too bad. The wheel itself is molded so that your hands can rest on it fairly comfortably. The hard plastic that the wheel is made out of, however, definitely doesn't feel too great or provide you a whole lot of grip. The other major problems with the ergonomics are that a) the buttons are situated in a way that will make your hands cramp up if you have to use them too often and b) the paddles that replace the pedals are situated in a way that makes you move your hands from the very comfortable 10 and 2 position to the much less desirable 9 and 3. 3 out of 5.

      Features: Believe it or not, one of the listed features of this product is that it doesn't have pedals! Instead the designers have taken away the would-be pedals from the floor and have mounted them on the wheel saving you, John Q. Monkey, space in the long run. What the hell kind of feature is that? I can't even believe that this idea got wind. Let's imagine for a second that you run a successful gaming hardware company known for making some very cool products and at one of your meetings an employee says, "hey lets take a device designed to give gamers a more realistic feel of their games and take away half of what makes it seem realistic!" Now ask yourself, as the CEO, does this employee get fired right away, or does he simply get demoted. I bet none of you chose secret option number three, which is to praise the employee and make sure that his vision hits the shelves by the end of the year! And right you should not have- because it is a terrible, terrible idea. I mean what's the next step in this progression, perhaps a wheel free pedal system? Anyway, now that I have sufficiently ranted on that, this wheel does have one very nice feature. The clamping mechanism is very simple and effectively holds your wheel in place without you having to worry about breaking anything. But overall this wheel is severely lacking in features: no force feedback, no USB interface, only four buttons, it really gives about as little as it could. 1 out of 5.

      Performance: The wheel performs well in all of its functions. The problem is that there aren't many functions to perform well in (but that is more of a features issue). The wheel really doesn't have much to do, but it does that "not much" admirably. The wheel will give you more control over the steering of your vehicle in almost any game (that has vehicles). The buttons function even with light pressure and the wheel mounted pedals...(pause for a deep sigh)... well yeah, they work to. 4 out of 5.

      How it Compares: Truthfully, this is the only wheel on the market that I know of that doesn't have floor pedals. So okay Saitek has obviously cornered the market in this aspect, but who wants to corner the small market of parents who are ignorant about their children's desires and are willing to buy something that, "saves space," over something that provides a more accurate racing experience? Other than that stupid feature this wheel is well suited to challenge the bottom line of the rest of the wheels out there. I mean let's face it, this wheel is cheap for a reason and in that respect it isn't too bad compared to the other, "budget entries," except for that stupid wheel mounted pedal thing. 2.5 out of 5.

      The Verdict:

       A decidedly below average wheel, this entry certainly delivers on the features that it promises to, but those features are either poorly thought out (like the wheel mounted pedals) or are simply lacking (i.e. the four buttons that are pretty much a standard these days).

      The Good: It has a cool color scheme, the clamping mechanism works well

      The Bad: It takes away the feeling of really racing with wheel-mounted pedals, it has a decidedly low number of features and the features that do exist aren't much compared to other wheels.

      The Overall Ugly: You can get better wheels out there for the same price. If you really hate dealing with floor pedals you should get this.

      What it's Worth: $10.00

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