So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
The Gamers Playroom Gamers Cockpit
- Great sound, great fun, the 'wow' factor
- Price, seat not easily adjustable, sore feet
It's expensive, but could be worth every cent for the fantastic experience if you love racing games.
Price$ 1,199.00 (AUD)
The Gamers Cockpit is an impressive, purpose-built driving simulator unit that is perfect for those who absolutely love racing games.
Packaged with a real-life car racing seat, a 2.1 Logitech sound system, a Logitech Driving Force Pro steering wheel and pedal system, a widescreen LCD television and a Sony PlayStation 2, the Gamers Cockpit is the most fascinating console peripheral we've ever come across.
In the Gamers Cockpit it actually feels like you are sitting inside a car. Apart from the obvious lack of movement, everything else is spot on, including the sound, the setup and the steering wheel and pedals.
The 2.1 Logitech sound system on the Gamers Cockpit is outstanding. We tested a variety of cars from V8s to four cylinder turbos and it actually sounds like you are driving a car. The speakers are located right behind your head, which makes you feel like you are close to the track. They provided a crisp, clear sound with a good amount of bass in our test lab. The subwoofer located under the seat makes the entire cockpit vibrate, especially when driving on bumpy or dirt tracks.
As soon as we slid into the cockpit we noticed that it provides a secure platform for the steering wheel and pedals. With most steering wheel gaming devices, the pedals and wheel are difficult to secure. The Gamers Cockpit solves these problems and provides a comfortable position for both the driver and the included hardware devices.
The seat in the cockpit is very easy to move in and out of, and is even available in black leather. The standard model that we tested was in black upholstery and did get quite warm after an extended period of use. An excellent feature of the cockpit is that the wires for the speakers and the steering wheel are secured and hidden along the base of the metal tubing, making them barely noticeable.
The LCD television on the Cockpit we tested was a 17" model, but a 23" upgrade is available. The television worked well and the position means you are very close to the action, but we felt a larger screen would have been much more impressive. The TV is set at eye-level and after more than 2 hours of continuous use, we were still in a comfortable position.
The Logitech steering wheel and pedal system included with the cockpit is also very impressive. The steering wheel has full 900-degree movement and vibration and is very responsive. When we tested rally car driving simulation, the lifelike feel of the wheel was outstanding, spinning in and out of control as our car swayed through off-road dirt. The pedals are included with the steering wheel and sit firmly on the base plate under the wheel and, although they worked fairly well, we felt that they could have been spaced out more.
There aren't many aspects of the cockpit not to like, but nothing is perfect. The seat on the Gamers Cockpit is not easy to move back and forward, and if you have a few different people using the cockpit, this could be a problem. The seat is adjustable, but you have to unscrew the adapter at the base of the frame and then slide it across, before screwing the adapter in again--it's not quick or easy. We would have liked to see the seat mounted on rails, much like a car.
The only other negative aspect of the Cockpit is the price--at about $3000 for a fully tricked package, it's far from cheap. However, it must be said that this is a specialist and purpose-built product and isn't mass-produced. The cockpit is available as just a seat and frame, or as a complete driving simulator package.
Overall, the Cockpit is one of the most impressive products we've had to review. If you have money, space and a lot of spare time, we can't think of anything better to own.
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