By Andrew Liszewski
For laptop gamers on the go who don’t necessarily want to rely on a cramped keyboard comes the MaxFire Pandora Pro gamepad from a company called Genius. While the design looks pretty clever I question the ergonomics, but I guess for short periods of gaming while waiting for a flight or something this would be quite handy. It uses a miniature analog joystick which the company claims is not unlike the one found on the PSP but anyone familiar with the PSP will admit it’s not exactly the perfect solution for analog controls on the go. However it is still quite usable.
The other side of the gamepad has buttons arranged in a 4-way control scheme making them useful for directional movement or other functions. On the top edge you’ll find an additional 4 small ‘shoulder’ buttons that can be programmed for custom functions via some included software. It even has a Turbo button which is something I haven’t needed for the past 15 years but could be useful if you’re really into classic MAME gaming.
And besides the minuscule form factor the gamepad can also be folded in half making it even more compact for travelling. You can currently find the MaxFire Pandora Pro online for about $35.