Hands on: Handheld Bluetooth keyboard that doubles as a gaming controller
Hands on with the Mad Catz S.U.R.F.R
It can never be said that Mad Catz doesn’t think outside the box. The S.U.R.F.R is a unique device and one that could bring the best of both worlds to the ever-expanding range of Android and PC TV set-top boxes.
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The S.U.R.F.R is an impressive controller. The rubbery, soft-touch qwerty keyboard is a revelation. The keys are small, but have a raised centre to make them easy enough to differentiate and provide a satisfying click when pressed. In fact I wrote several paragraphs using the S.U.R.F.R without making a single mistake. That surprised me, considering I struggle to write out a password correctly on the mini Bluetooth keyboard I use with my set-top PC.
The dual analogue sticks are also solid. Controls are responsive and they feel as good as any mobile gaming controller I’ve used. As well as sticks you get a D-pad surrounding the left stick, shoulder bumper buttons and an adjustable grip. It really is very clever indeed.
The Mad Catz S.U.R.F.R can be used with a PC and has dedicated buttons for media playback, but also a toggle that lets you use the left analogue stick as a mouse. Anyone who’s used a PS4 will know a touchpad is preferable to an analogue stick in this scenario, but an analogue stick will do the job in a pinch.
Whether the S.U.R.F.R will be right for you depends on whether you value its ability to play games over having a touchpad to use as a mouse. However, as an Android controller, where a mouse pointer is less relevant, the S.U.R.F.R provides the best of both worlds.
The S.U.R.F.R is an innovative keyboard controller that’s useful in a number of different cases. At $79 it’s not too expensive either.
The Mad Catz S.U.R.F.R will be available to buy at the end of March or early April.