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Logitech Freedom 2.4 Cordless Joystick

Courtesy: Andre Malesh. Posted:

Some games simply don't work properly if you use the traditional mouse and keyboard combination. It's no coincidence that this reviewer has recently acquired Microsoft's Combat Flight Simulator 3, and as a result the subject of joysticks has been looming large.

Zooming around the clouds to shoot down the jolly old Bosche is all well and good, but it's much more fun using TV-Out rather than a PC monitor. Playing a game sat in the comfort of your favourite armchair is a whole new experience, just so long as your joystick has a long enough cable, or you can take a whole new approach and go wireless.

Logitech has released the Freedom 2.4 Cordless Joystick as part of its wireless range, alongside wireless mice, keyboards and gamepads. That '2.4' indicates that the joystick operates in the 2.4GHz frequency range, which is 802.11b and Bluetooth territory. Oh yes, and also your microwave oven.

Once you install the controller software on your Windows 98/Me/2000/XP PC you plug the USB receiver in and you're up and running. Well, you are once you insert the three AA batteries (supplied) in the base of the joystick and press the receiver connect button.

The Freedom 2.4 uses frequency-hopping to avoid interference from all the other devices operating in the same range, and the joystick works at a range of up to six metres from the receiver. Logitech claims the battery last 'up to 50 hours' but common sense says that will vary depending on which batteries you use.

The joystick is impressively styled in a skeletal tripod way, and it feels like a quality piece of hardware. It is positively covered in controls, with an eight-way hat switch on the top, circled by four programmable buttons. There's a trigger and also a thumb button. On the base are four large buttons for your left hand and at the rear is a throttle lever. It also has a twist function which works far better as a throttle control to our way of thinking.

While you can program the buttons yourself, the idea is that games writers create specialised profiles for the controller that you download from the game's site or from Logitech.

The only absent feature is force feedback, but that's no surprise as the only power source is those three batteries.

This is an impressive piece of hardware, and it's a very good joystick for its price. We are all in favour of getting rid of the rat's nest of wires around our PCs, and this is a positive step in the right direction.

We give this product 8.2/10.

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