Flight Sim Realism
Saitek has developed a series of panels to increase flight simulation realism. While added realism is definately achieved, basically they do nothing more than bring some of a plane's controls and gauges outside of the virtual cockpit onto your desk, freeing your screen. This saves a lot of view-changing and mousing around. However, since they do not bring all of those controls and gauges onto your desk, not even if you got several of all of them, view-changing is still essential. To avoid view-changing, something like Track-IR would be more useful. Also, the view changing now takes place on these controls and gauges, for instance, unless you have 4 radio panels, if you want to see NAV1's tuning instead of COM1's, you'd have to rotate the knob on the left side of the Radio Panel. This display-select knob is a little tough to turn around, btw; requires more force than I expected. The tuner knobs are a lot smoother. These panels are made to be ******* on the yoke which is meant to be ******* to your desk, but if you do not have a yoke, pressing the buttons on the panel will just move the panel backwards. The panels are rather smoothly made so they slide easily. Saitek supplies velcro patches to stick on the panel and your desk so they won't move, but I would not want to stick those velcro patches directly on my desk. Sticking them onto another panel won't have much effect - screws are supplied for that purpose anyway. The supplied USB cable is kind of tough, not easily bendable. Some USB devices are lighter than the cable's toughness and as such will not stay where you put them, and this is true for the radio panel. But again, these panels were meant to screw on the yoke. USB devices may need more power than you think so it is advised to use a powered USB hub or directly into the computer. Esp. if you have more than one panel.The Radio Panel looks like how Saitek designed it, regardless of the chosen plane in the flightsim. I have not noticed the Radio Panel to have any impact on a computer's performance at all.I think these Saitek panels are really cool and for me, being an aviation enthousiast, worth the cost. But if you're just an occasional flightsimmer, they are probably not.