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GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition Gamepad
Score: 75%
Developer: Thrustmaster
Device Type: Controller


This is a wired Xbox 360 gamepad for Ferrari fans. Ferrari F1 racing fans may really like the design, featuring a red and white motif with a Fernando Alonso signature and logos of his sponsors (Santander Group, Shell, Kaspersky Lab, Pirelli, Fiat and Ferrari).

The GPX features unique lighting effects, a satin-smooth rubberized backing and extended triggers intended to offer more precise control.


The controller looks good dressed up in the Ferrari F1 livery, and, for that matter, the lighting effects look cool as well. The Light Speed Gauges are LED meters which reflect how much their respective trigger buttons are currently squeezed. The Light Feedback feature uses red LEDs inside the controller to light up the base of the clear analog sticks when the force feedback motors are active. Both of these effects look good... if you're looking at them. (Take a look at the picture... Those analog stick bases are clear, not red; they're lit up in the picture.) If you don't want the lighting effects, you can turn them off with two slide switches near the USB cord, but it's a corded controller, so the lights aren't going to drain a battery or anything and, given that it's not easy to even see what the lights are doing, it seems unnecessary to even allow these lighting effect to be turned off, but there you go - you can turn them off if you like and they're not going to accidentally get turned on or off, based on the recessed location of these switches.

The analog sticks have nice response, as do the various buttons. The button layout is typical with no surprises and nothing is really noteworthy - bad or good - about the buttons. They do what they're supposed to do. The trigger switches, on the other hand, are worth mentioning, as they extend further down than the OEM Xbox 360 controller's does. This gives a little bit more precision, which is a good thing for a genre that depends heavily on what you're doing with these triggers.

The thing that most impressed me about the GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition Gamepad, however, is the feedback vibration. It seemed to activate over a wider range of frequencies, perhaps? That is to say, the overall strength of the vibration motor seemed about right when there was heavy force feedback going on, but it felt better than most when very small levels of force feedback were being triggered. This helped to convey slight vibration difference in different road surfaces, for example.

  • Light Feedback*
  • Light Speed Gauges*
  • Built-In Xbox LIVE Headset Connector
  • 8'4" USB Cord with Quick-Disconnect Breakaway Feature
  • Compatible with Xbox 360 / Win XP / Vista / 7 / 8
  • Licensed Ferrari F1 Livery Red and White Color Scheme
  • Bears Signature of Fernando Alonso
  • 2 High-Frequency Vibration Motors
  • High-Precision Analog Sticks
  • *On/Off Slider Switches For Special Lighting Features
  • Soft-Feel Rubberized Back

Drawbacks & Problems::

The features that are most greatly promoted are the lighting effects and the Ferrari F1 license. However, the lighting effects, while cool looking, are unlikely to be seen much at all when you're playing a game. I found myself puzzled, trying to think of when I look at the controller while playing a game and my tests showed that unless I'm actively trying to look at the controller (and putting myself in awkward positions to do so), I'm unlikely to notice the lighting effects much at all. In order to see them, I found I had to lay on a beanbag chair while playing and hold my hands up so that the GPX was in my field of vision. If you want the controller to look cool to spectators when you're playing, that's another thing altogether. The Light Feedback illuminates the sticks when the feedback motors are active, allowing spectators watching you to observe when your feedback feature is going off. The Light Speed Gauges are much the same way, neat in theory, but unlikely to be something you'll use personally; but again, someone watching you play would have an idea of how much you have the triggers depressed. So, it may prove to help your little brother figure out how you make those sweet turns and remain in control, I suppose.

I like what they were trying to do with the rubberized backing. When I first picked up the GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition Gamepad, a smile came over my face; the coating felt soft and comfortable. However, given just a matter of minutes of holding the GPX, I noticed that it retained my hand's heat too much. Perhaps the satin texture doesn't allow enough air flow between my hand and the controller, but my hands begin to sweat almost instantly when I use the GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition Gamepad. I found that I would end up wiping my hands on my pants in between races. Ug. Again, I know what they were going for, but something's just slightly off, resulting in a controller that feels like I can't get a good grip on it and makes my hands sweat.

The length of the cord is about average, but at under nine feet, I couldn't sit on the couch to play my games. Instead, I had to sit in front of the couch, in the middle of the room, or risk pulling the cord and disconnecting the controller. Mind you, there is a quick disconnect, so you're not likely to pull your 360 down by the cord or anything, but it would still be bad to accidentally disconnect the controller, especially if playing online.

I really wish the rubberized backing didn't make my hands sweat. It's so silky soft and very comfortable... at first. If you're a fan of Ferrari F1 racing, the fan-collectible aspect might put it over the top for you. However, while I really like the action of the force feedback motor, the back texture really precludes me from being able to recommend this controller, unless you can get your hands on one and find that the rubberized backing isn't a sticking point for you.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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