GWSystems Fragpedal Classic

Makaveli - 2007-05-20 20:52:46 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: Makaveli   
Reviewed on: May 22, 2007
GWSystems
GWSystems
Price: $79.95

Introduction:

When playing video games, it is very satisfying to be completely immersed in the game. The best way to be immersed in the game is to feel like you’re there shooting the enemy, casting spells, flying a plane, or going almost 200mph in a Ferrari F50. Now think about how much easier, and different, it would be to be able to play the games with your feet as well as your hands. Today, you can get your feet into the game with Good Work System’s Fragpedal Classic and see just how different your gaming feels. 

Good Work Systems create innovative and ergonomic computer peripherals that increase performance for gamers. The company made a splash in 2002 by creating the world’s first optical gaming mouse. GWSystems continues to manufacture unique gaming products to electrify the gaming world.


Closer Look:

Since the Fragpedal Classic is rather new, the company is still designing the packaging for this product. However, you can still buy the Fragpedal Classic by going to their website. 

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect when the box came. I was still perplexed about the pedals when I saw them packaged because I thought there was only one pedal in the package.


The Fragpedal Classic is two pedals, one for each foot, and each pedal has two buttons. When I opened the package up, I noticed how nice the pedals looked and I really got a feel for the buttons. The buttons are stiff, so they don’t push down like a key on your keyboard.


The underside of the pedals are designed to grip the surface on which the pedals rest. The pedals are connected to each other and a USB cable comes out of one of the pedals.

 


The USB cable has the acronym “GWS” on the end of it for Good Work Systems.


Now onto the accessories. The Fragpedal Classic comes with the pedals, a mini-CD driver disc, and a few pages on the specifications and product details.

 

Installation:

To install the Fragpedal Classic, plug the unit into a free USB port. Then insert the CD into your optical drive to begin the installation. After that, navigate to where you saved the drivers and open the configuration program to start getting your pedals set up.


Configuration:

Once I installed the software, I took a brief look at the program and thought I was going to be in a world of hurt to learn how to use this software. But once I looked more in depth at the software, I learned that it was the exact same software used for GWSystem’s RTR-720 gaming mouse. I had to dig through the program to find out what I could or couldn’t use with the Fragpedal Classic. The first tab is called “Button Settings” which is where the user can see just what attributes each button has. The Fragpedal Classic can only use the options for buttons 1-4 since there are no more buttons on the pedals. You can edit the buttons in this tab, but not as in-depth as you can in “PAL Builder”. The last two screenshots show the options you can quickly put into place if you click a button to customize it.

 


The next tab is “Master Settings”. This tab is not for the pedals because this tab allows the user to change X,Y settings and LED brightness settings, which is not possible with the Fragpedal Classic.


The middle tab is probably the most important because it allows you to completely customize the pedals. This tab is called “PAL Builder”. 


To set up the buttons how you want them, first select the button which you want to work with. Then, enter in a name for the profile. For me, I put in “WoW” because I am going to create a World of Warcraft profile. After the name, you can go to “Button Type” and select which option you’d like the button to have. I chose “Click Only”.

 

Configuration:

Once you’ve selected the button type, you are prompted to select an action for the button. The screenshot on the left displays the actions you can select; for my button, I chose “Press Selection Key”. You can either select a modifier key, such as Alt+Control, or enter in a key yourself. I selected “Text” and then I entered in “OverclockersClub” for button 1.

 


You can even enter in your custom code to make your Fragpedal Classic have a personal touch to it. You can do this under the tab named “PAL Editor”.


The last tab is called “Profile Management” which is where you can do just that. You are given 30 slots for profiles you want to create. I thought an extremely cool feature is “Select Application” because you can tell the program to watch for a certain program in the Task Manager. When it sees the program, it can switch to the wanted profile so that you don’t have to keep going into the configuration utility to change profiles.

 


Now that you know how to set up your Fragpedal Classic, let’s move on to test this unit.


Specifications:


Pads: The Fragpedal Classic features 2 (7” x 4” x ½”) sleek low-profile wrapped cast acrylic pads with chrome plated aluminum end caps. Each pad hosts two tough polyester membrane switch buttons each and can be positioned individually for optimum ergonomic ease of use. Non-skid rubber base keeps pads in place on flooring or carpet.

Smart Buttons - The 4 buttons are controlled by embedded microprocessor technology that enables multi-command capability for strategic game control
Press – acts like a standard mouse button or keyboard key. Can send a single command or a multi-command macro
Press/Release - sends a command when pressed and another when released. Can function as a command doubler
Toggle – Send one command on odd presses and another on the even presses. Converts game commands that require a button or key to be held down to a single tap.
Timed Multi-Use – Microprocessor timing of button presses enables a different command to be sent on a single click or tap, a double click, or normal press. That’s 3 different commands from the same single button!
Shift – Pressing a Shift button “shifts” the 3 other buttons to a second function, adding 3 additional control options.

Integrated Keyboard - Just like its mate the R2 gaming mouse, the Fragpedal contains the capability of a full-function PC keyboard with four modifier keys and 6-key rollover.

Tap a button and
• Press a keyboard key
• Send a key combo
• Type – send pre-programmed text to the game at up to 750 WPM

Embedded Intelligence and Memory – An embedded Cypress Encore microprocessor running PAL 2.0 gives the Fragpedal Classic powerful macro capability without disc based software, and a 32KB memory chip internally stores and accesses up to 30 different configuration settings for individually customized use with a variety of games and applications.

No special drivers required – GWS intelligent device™ technology allows the Fragpedal to plug and play and just work with full capability as programmed. Compatible with Mac OSX, Linux, and all versions of Windows including Vista. A software application (Configuration Utility ver. 1.05.07) is included for programming the Fragpedal but is not needed for operation.

Fully compatible with the R2 gaming mouse – Shares PAL 2.0 technology, programming, macros and more.

Finish – Burnished Aluminum

USB Cord – 24” between pads; 5’ to PC

Weight – 1 lb

Testing:


Test System:


To test the Fragpedal Classic, I created a profile for World of Warcraft, Counter-Strike: Source, and multi-tasking to see if it helped my gaming and productivity. For World of Warcraft, I made button 1 the key “1” because my main attack happens when I press “1”. Button 2, I made it number “2” and had it be a continuous click when I tapped the button once because this attack didn’t shoot continuous until now. Setting up the buttons for this game specifically did help but I found myself trying to break learned habits and trying to remember which button does what.

For FPS, I tried having the pedals control how I moved and also to switch guns. Like in the last test, the learning curve was steep and I didn’t find it to benefit me too much because I was so used to my technique on the keyboard and mouse that it seemed more in the way than anything.

The last test I did was for multi-tasking. I made a bind for button one to be “ALT+CTRL” so that I could swap applications with ease. Button 2 was set to double-click with just one press on the pedal. This was where I noticed the most benefit to my speed while multi-tasking.

To sum up my tests, I can’t stress enough how steep the learning curve was for me. It seemed like I’d have to look down under the desk to see where the buttons were quite often. Learning which part of the configuration utility was for the Fragpedal Classic and which wasn’t was annoying because I shouldn’t have to sort out which options I can or cannot change.

Conclusion:

Overall, I’m not too impressed with this product because it seemed to get in my way more than anything. While it did make some tasks easier, I really didn't feel like it improved my gaming. The software was ridiculous because it was just the same software for another product that GWSystems manufactures. Having to decipher which part of the program was for the Fragpedal Classic and which wasn’t was a headache. As far as what I liked, I liked just how much you could customize the buttons because the list of what you could make the buttons do is almost unending. The design is good because the buttons aren’t too close together and the grip on the pedals is near perfect. The buttons were sensitive, but didn’t push down too much. I like buttons that really click down, much like the buttons on a keyboard.


Pros:

 

Cons: