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Entry level HOTAS
on 21 May 2015
Like many others, I got Elite:Dangerous a few months ago and decided I wanted to use a HOTAS controller.
Not knowing whether I would like E:D I didn't want to spend a lot, so I picked up a Speedlink Black Widow (the cheapest HOTAS I could find).
Well within no time at all it was clear that E:D had me hooked, and I started looking at possible upgrades from the Black Widow, which, while a decent enough controller for the price, is not particularly accurate, has a limited number of buttons and lacks yaw control on the stick (though it does have an analog rocker button axis on the throttle which I use for yaw).
I shortlisted the X52 from Saitek and the T-Flight from Thrustmaster. I spent a long time reading/watching reviews and trying to weigh up the pros and cons of both given that there is obviously a substantial price difference.
In the end I was swayed by many positive reviews to go for the cheaper T-Flight. This was a mistake, and I shall explain why:-
Whilst it is undoubtedly a good controller for the money, it is still very much an entry level HOTAS and as such is constructed of very inexpensive materials. Had this been the first HOTAS I bought, I would probably have been happy enough, but as I already have the Black Widow, it is just not enough of an upgrade and in some ways is inferior to that slightly cheaper stick.
The T-Flight has slightly improved precision over the Black Widow along with a few more buttons and the additional yaw axis on the stick itself, but when I compare the feel of the two, the Black Widow wins hands down. Whilst it is still plastic, it has a kind of soft-touch finish to it which is so much more comfortable than the hard plastic of the T-Flight. Also the buttons have a very cheap, loud, 'clicky' feel to them and the trigger is quite uncomfortable on the T-Flight whereas the buttons on the Black Widow are more 'cushioned', and the trigger is larger with more rounded edges. For me at least, this makes moderate to prolonged use far easier/more comfortable with the Black Widow.
Good enough as a cheap, entry level HOTAS.
Not a good choice as an upgrade from the Speedlink Black Widow.