Hardware review: The MiniStick


In the world of PC games everyone's all too familiar with the tried and true WASD or arrow keys. It's the beginning and end of FPS and third person control on PC although it has it's limitations. Analog control would be nice to have somehow along with that precise mouse control versus the "digitalness" of the keyboard keys as they are wouldn't it?

Here come's the MiniStick to the rescue, I hope. At the moment my laptop is the most powerful gaming computer I have right now as I have one of those new fangled Ivy Bridge machines with an Nvidia 2GB battery sucker at my disposal, so that is what I tested the MiniStick on. After going through the setup process, which was literally minutes, I was ready to get my PC gaming on with what is essentially a makeshift analog stick. 

Once you get the three loop pads in place on your keyboard all you have to do is line up the hook pads (velcro) underneath the MiniStick to match and connect the two with a press down on the unit to secure it.. That's it, you're ready to rock your PC games like never before.

Those who have any apprehension about playing PC games will find the MiniStick a possible solution. It's the closest thing to playing with a "console like" analog stick out there ( and quite possible the only thing).  Pushing the WASD keys are now just like pushing an analog stick. The only issues I found where when it came to playing a game that requires you to use the E or Q keys for in-game actions as those keys are somewhat covered by the MiniStick which could be a serious problem in certain games.

The build quality of the Ministick is the only place where improvement is sorely needed. The entire unit is plastic which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the plastic used is somewhat flimsy and could easily be broken upon rough use or a simple case of forgetfulness if you where to end up sitting on it when not in use.

A great idea is still a great idea even if it has a few flaws which is the case with the MiniStick. The $9.95 asking price for the MiniStick is a bit steep for a piece of plastic, although what you get out of it is easily worth it when you get analog control out of your keyboard giving you better control and in turn more precision. Instead of going all of the way to a gamepad this is a nice half way step that allows you to keep your mouse control intact.