A fully featured wheel with more buttons and toggles than you can shake a stick at. We take this budget wheel out for a test drive.
We have a Winner!
The Frontech Voyager Wheel has 10 buttons, foot paddles, a gear-stick and a full size steering wheel. It's kinda like a hybrid between a game pad and a wheel; there's even a directional axis right where your left thumb rests on the wheel. It has a full 180-degree turning radius, and judging by the box, there's a rumble effect too.
Bend it like..Schumi?
The Voyager wheel has three adjustable positions, and can be bent to a total adjustable angle of 40 degrees. So you can have it fully upright while seating it on your lap, or have it bent when you have it on the table. Due to its positioning angle, we were unable to fit it on the desktop without obstructing the entire view of the monitor. Instead of a clamping mechanism, it uses suction pumps to stay grounded. They are very effective, but it increases the height of the wheel a lot. I just found it a lot more comfortable to keep the wheel on my lap.
Thanks to USB, it was automatically detected by XP, and after some calibration we were on the road in no time. The drivers came in a floppy, and added some rumble effects to the game. Actually there's just ONE rumble effect that goes on throughout, it's quite monotonous, and doesn't add any facets to the game at all.
The all plastic build didn't help much in making the drive experience smooth. The wheel wasn't well greased and made squeaky sounds while making turns. The foot paddles, on the other hand had a nice springy feel to it.
The wheel was quite responsive, and handled quite well on Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. But when it came to Colin Mc Rae Rally, which demanded grueling tracks and hairpin turns, it performed poorly. This wheel is meant for arcade type games more than racing simulations.
It's an unconventional design, and it works well in certain conditions, but performs poorly in others. You will have some problems with placing this wheel on the table and viewing the screen, its best advised to clamp it to stool or place it in between your legs.
This wheel is meant for arcade type games more than racing simulations. This wheel is not really comparable to force feedback wheels like the Logitech WingMan Formula Force GP and Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback Wheel. The Rumble effects are a nice addon, not an outstanding feature. At Rs 3,000, it's a well-featured full size steering wheel, for someone looking for a cheap deal.
Test Unit Sourced From: Jupiter Infosys Limited, Mumbai.