I just got a new N52te Speedpad I loved my old N52 Speedpad so much that when my puppy Scout chewed through the wires of my N52 I was afraid that without it I would not be able to play. I loved my N52 so much I that a gave several to my friends for Christmas. I would have happily bought another of the Original N52 Speedpads but alas they don’t make them anymore. So I had no choice but to upgrade.
The N52 and its successor the N52te are made by Belkin who partnered with Razer for this recent upgrade. The price tag for the speed pad is high at $69.99 MSRP, I think I paid $39.99 for the old one. While I don’t think the changes from the original justify that much of an increase it does offer some new features: back lit keys (pretty but not necessary), a thumb stick on the D-Pad (I find it clumsy and will probably remove it), and new software.
The software is where the N52te really stands out, where the previous software used two programs, an Editor and a Profile Manager, this one is integrated so there is no more saving a configuration then switching between programs to load the configuration while trying to configure your buttons.
The old N52 had four button states available: Regular, Red, Blue and Green where the new one has only three Blue, Red and Green. The programming for switching between modes was different with the original version as well. With the original the Red State Toggle, for example, was a literal on/off switch push it once for Red State, push again to turn Red State off. With the tournament edition the only way to turn Red State off is to turn Blue or Green State on.
Even with the handful of unnecessary changes and the increased price I am quite pleased with the Updated Version. The buttons are smoother and easier to press (especially the thumb trigger) and the improved software means that setting up new configurations is a snap.
For those of you who are considering getting one and wonder how you might use it here is my current raiding layout:
|Blue State Tree Form
||Red State Tree Form
All of my spells are in macros so that they mouse-over cast:
/cast [target=mouseover] Spell Name(Rank #)
The Thumb Trigger button is set to Momentary Red State, so as long as I hold it I can cast any of the spells listed in Red otherwise my defaults are the spells in Blue. I have my bars setup using Bongos2 so that each form has two states and my caster form also has a paging so that I can set my offensive spells to my default and have my healing spells as my altered state. The Up and Down scroll changes pages, and the click of the wheel cycles through states. The Green state holds my travel forms and my Raid Icons and is not linked to forms so it is static. The under thumb button is Set to Next Target except in green state when it is space bar.
In total I have 7 bars with 15 Buttons each and although some buttons are repeated it feels pretty cool to know that I have 105 Buttons under my left hand at all times. I’m not sure how I could ever synergistic-ally play a druid without it. Shifting into an animal form and still have my healing and offense casting spells a mere click away has made me a much better druid.