Cideko Air Conqueror Keyboard / Gamepad Review

Testing
I had some great carefree times with the Conqueror, but I also ran into some issues. To make it fair, I’m going to split this part up in three different sections, Air Keyboard and Mouse Performance, PC Gaming, and PlayStation 3 Gaming & General Use.

Air Keyboard and Mouse Performance
Rating: Very Good

Cideko really hit the nail on the head. The Conqueror is the perfect wireless keyboard and mouse combo. The 3D mouse is quick and easy to use. The one drawback of the 3D mouse is you can occasionally lose track of where the center is located. For instance, if I move fast enough so the mouse cursor flies to the edge of the screen, when I start to go the other way, the center of the device will no longer be a 1:1 relation with the cursor. Although Cideko has combated this problem by adding the center cursor feature. As I mentioned earlier, center cursor is one of my programmable keys, this makes it easy to realign the 3D mouse.

After using the keyboard for a while, I was able to type without having to look down at it. The keys are placed in virtually the perfect spot, except the ‘m’ key. I very often hit ‘m’ instead of ‘n’. Overall the feel of the keyboard let’s you type fairly quickly. As a quick test I went to typingtest.com and did the “Rules of Baseball” test. On the Conqueror I hit 35WPM with 97% accuracy which is about the average typing speed. And with some practice, I’m sure I could get higher. As a comparison, typing the same test on my normal keyboard, I hit 106WPM with 93% accuracy. Even though I can type a lot faster with a normal keyboard, for my limited time with the Conqueror, I’m happy with how easy it’s been to just pick up and use.

PC Gaming
Rating: Good

I tested a few different PC games including Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, Monday Night Combat, and Need For Speed: The Run. Each of these games have native support for the Xbox 360 controller, so I wanted to see how well it’d translate to the Conqueror.

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved

Upon first booting the game, none of the joypad buttons worked in Geometry Wars. Although I was able to go into the game’s options and configure its joypad input options. After doing that the Conqueror worked fine to control the ship while playing but the Start button still didn’t work. Also, I’d get some occasional dropouts. The wired Xbox 360 controller doesn’t experience any dropouts in Geometry Wars; however, Geometry Wars was the only game I noticed the dropouts with the Conqueror, so maybe it’s just the gamer.

Monday Night Combat

Unlike Geometry Wars, every button worked in Monday Night Combat except with one caveat, the left stick’s Y axis was inverted. Up was down and down was up. So when I wanted to walk forward, I walked backwards, and vice versa. I messed around with Monday Night Combat’s settings for a while, but no matter what I tried, I couldn’t fix the inversion issue. Although I wasn’t ready to give up, so I did what anyone would do, Googled the problem. I found a piece of software called “Xbox 360 CE”, where CE means controller emulator. After some tinkering with Xbox 360 CE, I was up and fully running in Monday Night Combat.

Need For Speed: The Run

A different scenario than the previous two, in NFS: The Run, some keys worked and others didn’t. I thought this was pretty odd so I hit up the options to see what was going on. Turns out, NFS: The Run thought the Conqueror was a steering wheel and mapped the input accordingly. After a short laugh at the game’s error, I knew my secret weapon, Xbox 360 CE, would fix the issue. I configure Xbox 360 CE for NFS: The Run, start the game, and find out I have the same problem! At this point I was sad, very sad. But as I did with Monday Night Combat, I decided to Google the problem. Sure enough many others were experiencing the same issue. Luckily for me, they’d already found a fix. Turns out NFS: The Run required another controller input dll file. Once I popped that in the game’s root directory, everything was fine and I was ready to race across the country.

PlayStation 3 Gaming & General Use
Rating: Very Good

Payday: The Heist

Payday: The Heist is a first person shooter where your primary goal is to complete a heist. For more information about Payday, check out our Gaming Friday article. How did the Conqueror fair in a FPS you ask? Extremely well. In fact, I prefer the Conqueror to the normal PS3 controller in Payday. Playing Payday with the Conqueror felt fresh, whereas the normal PS3 controller feels clunky. I’ve played Payday a lot on the PC, and prior to using the Conqueror on the PS3, the PS3 version was no match for the PC. Although the Conqueror brought the PS3 version of Payday pretty much equal to its PC brother.

Street Fighter III: Third Strike – Online Edition

While games that use analog sticks are fun, most gamers will play fighting games with the d-pad. The Xbox 360’s Controller is praised for pretty much everything besides its horrendous d-pad. Gamers tend to strongly favor the PlayStation 3 Controller’s d-pad, but how does the Conqueror stack up? To put it simply, pretty well. I nailed hadokens and shoryukens with ease, although I did have one slight problem. The ergonomics of the Conqueror cause my thumb to slightly hit the left analog stick during super moves. Never once did this interfere with my moves, but if I were to have played for 3+ hours, there would probably be a mark on my thumb from where it was rubbing.

Little Big Planet & Eufloria

Sackboy and his platforming game were conquered by the Conqueror. The same goes for Eufloria. There isn’t much to say here other than the Conqueror worked as expected in each of these games.

General Usage (XMB)
Perhaps the coolest thing about Conqueror’s implementation on the PS3 is you can use the 3D mouse to control the XMB. There’s a direct 1:1 correlation between moving the Conqueror and navigating the XMB. It’s a bit of a novelty, but I actually found it a bit easier at times than using the analog sticks or d-pad.

PS3 users will also be pleased to know that the Conqueror’s keyboard works in the XMB to type messages, in game, and in the web browser.

One issue that might bother PC and PS3 gamers is the Conqueror lacks any rumble feature.