Peripheral manufacturer Ideazon launches FANG, the latest in its line of gamer-centric devices. Let’s see what this dedicated gaming pad can do for you.
We found the FANG extremely comfortable for extended gaming experiences. The layout makes reaching numbers 7-0 much easier for the left hand and allows the thumb to rest on the space bar much more comfortably. We also liked being able to shove our regular keyboard aside and game with only the mouse and the FANG.
We really enjoyed playing BF2 with the FANG, if only for the fact that the “prone” button was far more accessible. This is especially useful after being revived by a medic while surrounded by enemy troops. The mod file for this title maps some useful communications tools for online play to keys on the FANG, while leaving most of the other controls close to the default layout.
As mentioned above, we had to map the flashlight to the otherwise unused “B” button in order to operate it from the FANG. Due to the intuitive directional “butterfly” layout, we found ourselves using the “lean-left/lean-right” controls much more often. The “use med-kit,” “crouch,” and “Slow-Mo” buttons were likewise more easily accessible. We especially appreciated the “F” key’s secondary marking of “Use.” The second row of numbers along the top of the FANG made it easy to switch between types of explosives without having to look at the keyboard or take our hand off the directional keys.
Even without a mod file, Quake played beautifully using the FANG’s default layout. Like F.E.A.R., the weapon selection keys are easily accessible by touch, which allowed us to keep our eyes on the action at all times.
Playing Oblivion requires frequent use of the TAB button, for which the FANG fortunately provides easy access. Similarly, the “cast spell” control (“C”) can easily be mashed with the middle joint of your thumb during the heat of battle.
Unlike Ideazon’s full-size gaming keyboards, the FANG isn’t really intended for non-gaming purposes. However, the FANG retains the same media control buttons found on the MERC and integrates with Windows Media Player just as nicely.
As mentioned before, we certainly enjoyed the ability to push our regular keyboard off to the side and game with just a mouse and the FANG. It gave our gaming experience a decidedly arcade-like feeling. The pad is also far more intuitive to use than a standard keyboard. Those new to shooters and Role Playing games (RPGs) might find that the FANG makes the learning process easier. More experienced players will likely find the ergonomic layout to their liking as well.
The FANG is an absolute blessing for laptop gamers. One of the biggest drawbacks to laptop gaming that we’ve encountered (apart from hardware limitations) is that laptop keyboards just aren’t nearly as gamer-friendly as their full-size counterparts. Plugging in the FANG along with your favorite mouse is a liberating experience. It’s also flat and light enough to toss into your laptop bag with minimal hassle.
Lefties will likewise welcome the freedom to southpaw the mouse while having convenient access to controls typically found on the left side of the keyboard. Any lefties that have tried switching to a right-hand mouse for an FPS will know what we’re talking about. The mirroring of the “space” and “P” keys on both sides of the controller makes ambidextrous gaming a snap.