• Thu. Jan 27th, 2022

Xbox / PC controller test Nacon Revolution X Pro: ultra-configurable and not so unaffordable, the winning recipe? – Digital


Nov 27, 2021

Construction and ergonomics

Grip (big) hand

As we said in the introduction, the Revolution X Pro shares a lot in common with the Revolution Pro Controller 3, and the main one is probably the grip. It is a voluminous controller, with thick handles, which can very strongly disconcert at first contact. There is certainly not much of which the appreciation is more subjective than that of the ergonomics of a controller, and this one can convince the players with the big hands appreciating to have the palm full; but we think we can say that his very clumsy side may also, for a significant proportion of players, at best require a little time to adapt, at worst cause irremediable discomfort for some of them.

One of the causes of this is the positioning of the middle finger, constrained by a very pronounced hollow at the back of the joystick at a very great distance from the edge buttons. The bumpers in particular (LB and RB) can only be achieved by making a rather inconvenient large gap between middle finger and index finger – again, small hands in particular will suffer. Some additional efforts could have been made to arrive at more universal lines.

There is still much to be satisfied with the side of the additional buttons, which benefit from a very welcome repositioning compared to the Revolution Pro 3. The buttons S1 and S3 in particular now fall very naturally under the last phalanx of the middle finger, and s ‘now use very instinctively. The S2 and S4 buttons are a little more questionable: they require you to pinch the handle by a gesture that requires a little practice … but which at least has the merit of avoiding involuntary activations, even when you tense up on the controller.

As is customary in the Revolution range, the weight of the lever can be changed thanks to small masses that can be housed in the handles. But whatever the choice you make, it remains a very light lever: it displays on the scale only between 232 g (empty handles) and 264 g (masses of 16 g each). This is compared to the 241 g of a Series X / S standard controller without its batteries (295 g with the batteries), or to the 340 g of the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller.

A not really premium construction

Side finish, the lever uses a rigid plastic after all very banal; its touch is clearly not that of a “premium” controller. However, we appreciate the very pleasant textured surface of the grips. The latter also extends to the facade and to the bumper ; in this way, even the index finger is always in contact with it, up to the last phalanx.

More questionable on the other hand, the assembly screws are hidden by rubber caps whose touch denotes frankly with the rest of the body of the controller, which one can find destabilizing. But let’s see the bright side: these caps have the advantage of being able to be removed without any constraint by the user, and house perfectly standard Phillips screws. The disassembly of the lever will therefore be relatively easy if necessary.

The controller comes with a fairly well-made rigid storage case, and a detachable cable – albeit, let’s repeat it, a wired controller – USB-C to USB-A of 10 feet. Despite its braided sheath, this cable is very rigid, and weighs a little too much for our taste on the top of the controller. But fortunately and obviously it is possible to replace it with any standard USB-C cable.

Audio ambitions that fall apart

Nacon places a surprising emphasis on the audio capabilities of its controller, first and foremost because it includes a Dolby Atmos for Headphones license: as soon as it is plugged into a Windows 10/11 PC or an Xbox console, Dolby’s virtual surround processing becomes free to use on all supported games – otherwise it would cost € 18.

Activation of the Atmos license is done through the Dolby Access app, available in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10/11 and Xbox.

The intention is laudable, but it comes up against a very big bone: the headphone output with which the controller is equipped is extremely poor. The signal supplied, in addition to the fairly high background noise from which it is polluted, especially lacks a lot of energy in the bass – in deficit of nearly 10 dB at 20 Hz.

Frequency response of the headphone output. The 5-band equalizer integrated into the configuration application only allows the problem to be reduced very marginally (red curve).

The sound is terribly lacking in punch and stance, and no virtual spatialization, however convincing, can make us put that into perspective. The Revolution X Pro is therefore strongly discouraged for players who are used to connecting wired headphones to their controller.

Measured value Medium (laptops)
Output level 210 mV RMS 157 mV RMS
Distortion + noise 0.017% 0.013%
Dynamic 77 dB 101 dB
Crosstalk -50 dB -64 dB

Personalization and configuration

The Revolution X Pro offers two pairs of interchangeable sticks, with concave or convex surface. We absolutely appreciate that this choice is offered to us, but its interest is unfortunately largely eroded by the fact that these sticks use a very rigid coating, and therefore quite slippery. This makes convex sticks particularly laborious to use, especially since they have the bad taste of being totally smooth, unlike concave sticks. The reverse would have seemed much more relevant to us.

The sticks are attached to the controller by a mechanical jaw. The mechanism is not as reassuring as the magnetic fasteners often used on higher-end throttles, but we are happy with it.

Much more interesting, however, is the possibility of adjusting the maximum angle of inclination of the sticks, by means of a sleeve to be inserted around the rod. Said angle can thus be set at 46 ° – a bit more than that of a standard Xbox controller -, 38 ° or 30 °.

Low values ​​can be interesting especially for the left stick in first person shooters, in order to gain a little reactivity when moving. Note however, you must then take the trouble to go to the controller configuration application to reduce the saturation angle of the stick. Small hiccup on this subject: it would have been wise for the application to offer presets adapted to each of these angles, but since it does not need to, it is therefore up to the user to configure all this manually. .

A rich, but a bit messy configuration app

Since we are talking about the application, it is of course through it that you can configure your personalized profiles, and organize them in the 4 memory locations available on the controller. Available free of charge in the Microsoft Store for both Windows 10/11 and Xbox, it gives access to a multitude of settings: the most useful (reassignment of all the buttons, adjustment of the response curve of the sticks, the intensity of vibrations…) to the most accessory (adjustment of the colors of the periphery of the right stick), all that one is entitled to expect is there.

The downside of this exhaustiveness is that we can find the application somewhat laborious to learn, in particular the organization of the sub-menus which has something frankly nebulous. You get used to it eventually, but the whole thing could have been more intuitive.

Last point to note before concluding this part: as is unfortunately the case with all “Xbox certified” controllers, the additional buttons can only be assigned to other buttons on the controller, even on a PC; they cannot be used as real additional commands, for example by assigning them to a key on the keyboard.

Precision and responsiveness

The front buttons of the Revolution X Pro are distinguished by their very large size and their positioning very close to each other, in perfect harmony with the “high performance” positioning of the controller. The buttons are both accessible very quickly with very short thumb movements, and little subject to accidental pressure. Their stroke is very clean and linear, without any excessive tendency to rotate: even when the edge of the button is pressed, the activation is generally smooth; including on button B, despite its position at the very edge of the facade. Stroke length and bounce are pretty much the same as the standard Xbox controller, i.e. ideal.

The sticks provide the same satisfaction. The rotation is very smooth, even when the stick is fully tilted: the materials of the rod and the stopper – metal and smooth rigid plastic respectively – have been carefully chosen to obtain as low a friction as possible.

The directional cross, on the other hand, is doing a little worse. However, there are no problems with the sensations, very soft – to the delight of those allergic to the clicking of the standard Series X / S controller – without being spongy, very pleasant. The head of the cross, on the other hand, is quite unstable, and it suffices to press slightly askew on one of the directions so that the latter turns into a diagonal. This might appeal to some fighting game enthusiasts, insofar as the achievement of quarter-circles can be facilitated – but a majority of them especially risk to rail against a lot. backdashes transformed into back jumps; As for the Tetris players, they have not finished lamenting their hard drops untimely. It would also seem that the manufacturer is perfectly aware of this: it is probably no coincidence that he took the trouble to offer an option in the application allowing only the 4 main directions to be left active, and to deactivate the diagonals; a patch that we have a bit of trouble to be satisfied with.

On the side of bumpers and triggers, the feeling is again mixed. The first offer a slightly bastard feeling: although they use a “clicky” switch, they are still guilty of a little sluggishness, the fault of a lack of rigidity of the key, both upstream and downstream of the click. As for the seconds, they are undermined by a resistance that is a little too weak and especially too little constant, which does not help the accuracy of the dosages. They also lack damping on the stops at the end of their travel – you can feel the plastic of the button hitting against the frame of the controller, which is not very pleasant.

We can still give these triggers a merit: they include vibration motors that allow them to reproduce the same “impulse” effects as the official Xbox controllers, with an efficiency very similar to the latter – they render without fail. loss of grip and wheel lock in Forza.

Finally, when it comes to latency, it is of course almost imperceptible – without, however, representing any competitive advantage over a wireless controller. Remember that the wireless protocols used by the latest generation consoles are so optimized that their intrinsic latency is actually not higher than that of a wired USB connection.

One thought on “Xbox / PC controller test Nacon Revolution X Pro: ultra-configurable and not so unaffordable, the winning recipe? – Digital”
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