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Saitek P380 Dual Analog PC Gamepad Review

Updated on November 22, 2010

I had been looking for a new gamepad for some time before I found the Saitek P380. I found the process challenging as the range of gamepads is direly small where I live and all that seemed to be on offer was a Logitech gamepad that had a bunch of reviews stating that the joysticks often became stuck.

My old faithful was a Firestorm Dual Analog 2 'Thrustmaster', which was more than excellent and that I would have stayed with for a long time had it not developed the sudden and fairly annoying habit of having the joysticks get stuck in one direction, sending whatever I was playing into a spin of doom. (To be fair, it took many, many years of use and wear for it to reach this point, unlike many of the Logitech gamepads, which seemed to come broken out of the box.

I tried purchasing a generic, cheap gamepad first for about $10. It was a complete waste of money. It was so badly put together that you could stab at a button several times before the game responded, and as we all know, that sort of thing gets extremely tiresome extremely quickly, especially when one

Finally, when shopping for something completely different, I spied a few unloved looking gamepads thrust hastily onto the upper shelves of my local game store. So it was that I found the Saitek. It was very reasonably priced at around $25, so I purchased it, figuring I had nothing to lose but loss itself.

I sat down to play a few games that had been unplayable for sometime due to my faulty collection of near worthless peripherals. My first impressions of the Saitek P380 was that although it was smaller than the Thrustmaster, it had a pleasing solid feel to it, and a design that fit my hands very well (it should be noted at this point that I'm female, so a man with giant man hands might find it too small and fiddly, though I doubt it, as it is certainly larger than the standard Sony Playstation controller.)

One element that one may or may not find pleasing about the Saitek is the shoulder buttons, which are very rectangular and raised about half a centimeter off the body of the gamepad. This means you probably won't be sliding seamlessly between the shoulder buttons, as you can on other controllers.

The D Pad however, pleases me greatly, because it seems to have taken the time to acknowledge that it is not a glorified up / down / left / right button, but rather a omnidirectional tool.

Overall, the Saitek P380 appears to actually work in a way that many other gamepads don't. It does not boast a bunch of extra buttons underneath the controller, but what it does, it appears to do well and with solid reassurance.


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