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Computing

HP Envy Inspire 7900e Review: A Versatile Office Printer

“The HP Envy Inspire is an excellent home office printer for the hybrid work world.”

Pros

  • Strong photo-printing performance
  • New Quiet Mode for near-silent printing
  • Companion app packed with features
  • Versatile workhorse for home office or home use
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Boxy shape is uninspiring in the home
  • No USB port for printing from flash drives

A few years ago, it would have been unimaginable to think that we would still be as reliant on the printed document as we are today. But the reality of remote work changed that.

HP’s new Envy Inspire series has the distinction of being the first printer that was designed by engineers living under quarantine for everyone who has to live, study, and work from home during the pandemic. Printers have experienced a newfound renaissance in our workflows, and the HP Envy Inspire 7900e is a printer that feels like it was created with that reality in mind.

It comes with some helpful features to keep us productive as the world looks forward to transitioning to a hybrid work environment when things return to normal.

Design

Unlike HP’s Tango series, which was designed to blend in with your home, the new Envy Inspire doesn’t hide the fact that it’s a printer with a scanner attached to it. The Envy Inspire comes in two models: The Envy Inspire 7200e is the more compact iteration with a flatbed scanner on top, while the more premium Envy Inspire 7900e, the model we received for review and the one that’s launching first, comes with an automatic document feeder (ADF) with duplexing capabilities.

Each is available in a number of colors, including a green-hued Everglades, purple-toned Thistle, cyan Surf Blue, and a neutral Portobello. Regardless of which you choose, this looks like a printer– no doubt about it.

HP's Envy Inspire 7900e comes in one of four colors.

The colors are applied as accents to provide a pop of color to an otherwise boring off-white box, and on our 7900e, we found the Portobello on the ADF and on the paper tray.

Measuring 18.11 x 20.5 x 9.17 inches, the 7900e is a utilitarian home office workhorse, with an ADF on top and a front-loading paper tray. The more compact 7200e could pass for a modern and boxy version of HP’s Envy 6055, while the 7900e series draws from HP’s OfficeJet Pro series for its inspiration.

Like most modern printers, both new Envy Inspire models come with a built-in 2.7-inch color touchscreen to access printer settings and shortcuts.

Because the Envy Inspire is mostly geared toward home users — families and students — and small home office workers, the paper tray is a bit small for the capabilities of this printer. On the front and toward the bottom of the printer, you’ll find a 125-sheet paper tray. This is more than double the 50-sheet input tray on the Tango X, but the paper tray leaves a lot to be desired for small office environments. Most home office printers start at around 200 sheets for the paper input tray, and the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e comes with a 500 sheet tray. This means that for every time you replace the paper in the input try on the Office Jet Pro, you’ll have to do that four times on the Envy Inspire. Given that the Envy Inspire isn’t a compact printer to start with, we’d have loved to see HP increase the device’s overall height slightly to accommodate a larger input tray.

The new Quiet Mode reduces noise by 40% while it’s printing.

A new innovation, and one that’s appreciated, is that the photo printer tray slots directly into the paper tray as a modular add-on above where you’ll load standard 8.5 x 11-inch sheets. The photo tray can accommodate borderless prints in standard 4 x 6-, square 5 x 5-, or panoramic 4 x 12-inch sizes.

Traditionally on most printers, the photo tray is located on top of the paper tray but on the exterior. Relocating the photo tray to the interior helps to prevent dust buildup, especially if you aren’t printing pictures regularly.

Photo tray of HP Envy Inspire.

The biggest design change — and one that you can’t visually see — on the new Envy Inspire is a new printing mode. A new Quiet Mode reduces noise by 40% by using smart algorithms to slow down the printing process for a more quiet experience. The mode was developed during quarantine by HP engineers who found themselves disturbed by loud printer noises while on conference calls — a drawback of having to share office space with children who needed to print homework assignments.

HP claims it has combined the best features from its Tango, OfficeJet, and Envy line to create the Envy Inspire.

“We built what we think is the best printer, for families to work, learn, and create — really to get things done, no matter what life has in store,” Jeff Walter, HP director of strategy and product marketing, told Digital Trends. “Whatever you need to create, we can help families do that.”

Walter added that the Envy Inspire is a product that combines HP’s best writing systems from the OfficeJet Pros, the best photo capabilities, and the best app features from its HP Smart app.

Performance

An app is required to setup HP's Envy Inspire.

The Envy Inspire wasn’t built for speed. Unlike office printers, home users aren’t queuing up around the printer to retrieve their documents. Still, the Envy Inspire is a robust printer capable of delivering speeds up to 15 pages per minute (ppm) in color and black-and-white, with the first page ready in as fast as 18 seconds.

Print resolution is up to 1200 x 1200 dots per inch( dpi) for monochrome pages and 4800 x 1200 dpi for color prints and photos. Print speeds here were just shy of the 24ppm output on the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e, which is one of the best printers on our list this year. Compared to the slightly older HP OfficeJet Pro 8025’s 10ppm color speed, the Envy Inspire’s speed was no slouch.

To put the speeds into perspective, the Envy Inspire’s boxier build houses internals that allow it to print at speeds much faster than cuter, more design-centric home printers. The HP Tango X, another highly ranked printer, tops out at around 10ppm monochrome and 8ppm for color jobs, roughly half the speed of the Envy Inspire.

Page per minute is only half of the print speed equation, with the second half being how fast the first page can be ready. In my experience, I found that the first page was ready in just over 15 seconds, and HP’s print speed claims were largely accurate, with speeds hovering between 12 ppm and 16 ppm. Printed text appeared crisp and was legible even in small fonts.

Color prints were similarly sharp. Photos printed to Epson’s glossy photo paper appeared sharp, and the quality — sharpness, tones, and dynamic range — rendered by HP’s Envy Inspire rivaled prints created from online photo service Shutterfly. Shutterfly’s prints appeared slightly warmer compared to HP’s photo print rendering. And like Shutterfly, HP’s mobile app gives you access to a variety of different templates to create posters, greeting cards, invitations, and other printable content.

HP's Smart app for printing from mobile. I cannot comment to how HP’s photo capabilities will be on HP photo printing paper, as none was supplied for this review. In general, most printer manufacturers recommend you pair their printer with their branded photo paper for the best results. HP stated that the new ink technology on the Envy Inspire delivers a 40% wider color gamut and new ink technologies to render true-to-life photographs.

HP claimed that when printing to 4 x 6, 5 x 5, or 4 x 12 paper, the printer will be smart enough to choose the photo paper tray — rather than the standard letter-sized paper tray — for printing. I didn’t get to test this feature, as I didn’t have photo paper in these sizes to test.

Though it’s admirable that HP is promoting its cloud-based approach to printing, the setup of the Envy Inspire could have been more simple. Out of the box, you’ll need to download the HP Smart app and follow the prompts to begin printer setup before you can print or make copies. The app will guide you in connecting to the printer’s ad-hoc Wi-Fi network so you can then connect to your home or office Wi-Fi network. After the printer connects, it will take a few minutes for the printer to update its firmware.

This means that unlike a traditional printer, not only is the overall process a bit involved, but you’ll actually have to use HP’s dictated process before you can do anything with your printer.

Unlike dedicated photo printers, the Envy Inspire doesn’t have separate cartridges for color ink. Instead, the printer is powered by two ink cartridges — a black one, and a combination cartridge with three ink colors for cyan, magenta, and yellow.

Both cartridges — and paper — need to be installed for you to begin setting up the printer, so we recommend you do this right after the printer is taken out of the box and all protective tape is removed — and there’s plenty of it!

The ADF on the top of the Envy Inspire 7900e can scan up to 50 pages at a time and handle up to 8.5 x 14-inch paper, while the flatbed can handle 8.5 x 11.7-inch sheets. Scanning resolution is set at 1200 x 1200 dpi, and scan speeds are at about 8 ppm. In addition to using the hardware for scans, you can also use your smartphone’s camera as a scanner with HP’s companion mobile app, which is available on both Android and iOS smartphones.

Duplex scanning, copying, and printing can be done on this printer, which will help you save paper if needed. If you’re worried about conserving ink, you can set the printer to print in draft mode. This mode will produce lighter prints, but you’ll use less ink and gain faster print speeds.

The nice thing about the Envy Inspire is that it comes with more advanced capabilities to simplify your document workflow, making it feel like a more capable office printer. You can set up custom shortcuts to simplify what you need the printer to do. For example, small businesses with more involved bookkeeping needs can program a shortcut to make a physical copy and upload a digital copy of a document to a cloud service like Google Drive or QuickBooks whenever they scan a receipt or invoice. In addition to saving documents to the cloud, you can also configure shortcuts to email you the scans.

Other useful features include the ability to create Printables, which are photo cards and invitations from templates. These are great for crafting or for sending a birthday card, for example, if you forgot to pick one up from the grocery store.

Another app feature is the ability to use the app to send a mobile fax. HP includes a trial of its mobile faxing service, and you can configure it to send a digital fax from the app. The Envy Inspire doesn’t include faxing capabilities natively, and this could be a useful feature for when you need to generate a fax.

I really appreciated HP’s new Quiet Mode, which reduces noise levels by about 40% by slowing down the print speed by approximately 50%.

“As we developed it, it was really interesting, … because we developed [Quiet Mode] during a time we also personally experienced,” Walter said. “So now if you’re working from home, and there’s multiple people in the house using the printer, you can, for example, schedule Quiet Mode from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., when you might be on Zoom calls, and have the printer print 40% Quieter during those times.”

HP's new Quiet Mode

Because I don’t need a printer to be a speed champion at home, I generally have Quiet Mode always enabled, rather than scheduled for the working day, as there is a perceivable difference in the level of noise generated by the system.

“What we do is we essentially slow a lot of things down, and we try and optimize around this adjustment for how we could cut the noise roughly in half,” Walter explained. “And so we end up slowing it down by about 50%. There’s things like, you know, how fast is the paper turning? How fast is the cartridge going back and forth? And all those things create different decibel levels. And so some things are slowing down more than others, some are being adjusted more than others, and so we just tweaked everything.”

The Envy Inspire’s double-sided photo printing is a great addition.

The company explained that the print quality isn’t affected by Quiet Mode, which I found to be accurate.

For home users looking to print photos or work on scrapbooking projects while in lockdown, the Envy Inspire’s double-sided photo printing is a great addition. Not only does the Envy print gorgeous photographs, but it can extract the exchangeable image file format data from your smartphone’s camera to print the location from the geotag, the date, and the time on the back of the photo. This makes it easy to remember when the memory was created. You can also add your own personal note — like “Grandma’s 80th birthday” — as a caption.

For the time being, the duplex photo printing capability — with date, location, and timestamp — is limited to the mobile app, but the company is working on bringing it to its desktop software in the future. The reason for launching the feature on mobile first is that most of our photos are already on our smartphones, HP said.

The Envy Inspire is designed to work with PC and Macs, as well as Android and iOS devices. In addition, HP also worked with Google to make the Envy Inspire the first printer certified for Chromebooks.

“We also thought about all the devices that are going to be in the home,” Walter said. “So as more and more kids are doing schoolwork or technology is becoming more and more important for students, what we did is we work with Google, who has a certification program for Chromebooks. And we made sure that HP Envy Inspire is HP’s first printer that’s going to be certified to work with Chromebooks.”

Our take

The HP Envy Inspire joins HP’s printing universe as a capable printer for all your home, crafting, and work projects. With the Envy Inspire, HP has not only delivered on its promise to bring together the best inkjet technologies into a single printer, but it also created a tool with features that may prove to be helpful as more people work from home during the pandemic, including a Quiet Mode and strong photo capabilities.

Is there a better alternative?

HP’s Envy Inspire utilizes inkjet printing technology, and the company claims that it combines the best features from the Tango, Envy, and OfficeJet Pro lines. Suitable inkjet alternatives include the HP Tango series. Be sure to view our recommendations for the top inkjet printers.

If you need a faster printer to handle documents, HP’s OfficeJet Pro 9025e is a terrific alternative. For budget-conscious shoppers who are worried about the price of ink, refillable tank printers, like Epson’s EcoTank ET3830 will reduce your long-term ownership cost with cheaper, refillable ink tanks.

How long will it last?

HP’s printer is backed by a one-year limited hardware warranty that can be extended to two years. The printer benefits from periodic software updates to help it stay secure and potentially even gain new features over time through the HP Smart printing app.

Printers aren’t designed for annual or biennial upgrades like smartphones, and the HP Envy Inspire should last for many years provided you continue to supply it with fresh ink and paper. The company offers a subscription ink service that makes replenishing ink simple, but it doesn’t offer the same for paper. Having a combination subscription for replenishing ink and photo paper would make this an excellent printer for the craft room, home historians, and budding photographers.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you’re looking for a home printer that can print, scan, and copy, the HP Envy Inspire is an excellent choice. Unlike Envy printers before it, the Envy Inspire doesn’t reinvent the printer design. Instead, HP plays up the utilitarian aesthetics of this printer to deliver a solid, all-around workhorse that will fit nicely into your home or home office workflow.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Computing

Acer’s ConceptD 7 Ezel is a laptop for creators with a versatile display and top-shelf parts

Acer’s ConceptD 7 Ezel is no ordinary line of convertible laptops. It can flip and rotate its display into five different modes from traditional clamshell to tablet, and it’s touch/pen friendly as well. Its stylish design is both beautiful and quiet. The ConceptD 7 is already well-configured, enough so that it was crowned the best content creation laptop of 2019 on our Full Nerd podcast, and the ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro takes it up another notch with the highest-end parts available. 

Announced Sunday at CES in Las Vegas, the ConceptD 7 Ezel line is one of the latest additions to Acer’s ConceptD PCs and workstations for creators, which were originally introduced last April. These systems are designed for digital-era artists, videographers, designers, and other “creator” types. Acer found these users were often buying gaming PCs for their processing- and graphics-intensive work. The ConceptD line gives them what they want, but in more aesthetically pleasing and office-appropriate designs. 

The ConceptD 7 Ezel’s display flips and floats

All ConceptD 7 Ezel laptops will features a 15.6-inch display mounted with a special two-part Ezel hinge. Most convertibles have one hinge at the bottom of the display that can rotate 360 degrees from fully closed into a tablet mode, with the keyboard upside-down.

acer conceptd 7 ezel floating modeAcer

The Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel’s display has two hinges, one at the bottom and one at the middle, so it can work as a clamshell or “float” at a number of angles for viewing or drawing. 

The ConceptD 7 Ezel hinge is actually a panel mounted behind the display with two hinges. A bottom hinge can rotate the entire display backward about 135 degrees to work in a traditional clamshell mode. A middle hinge flips the display out from the center, so it can float at an angle or go completely flat into tablet mode, with the keyboard safely underneath instead of upside-down. (We’ve seen a similar design on the mainstream HP Spectre Folio.)

acer conceptd 7 ezel pro sp02Acer

The ConceptD 7 Ezel display can work as a conventional clamshell, or rotate and flip into numerous modes, including tablet mode.

The display specs are just as high-end as the rest of the package: 4K IPS touch, with maximum brightness of 400 nits. Color accuracy is a priority for creatives, and these displays offer integrated color correction, 100 percent Adobe RGB color gamut reproduction, and support for Pantone Matching System Colors. Acer says the displays have a color accuracy of Delta E <2.

Materially, the screens are made of Gorilla Glass 6 for high durability. They also have an anti-glare coating for working under bright indoor lights or outdoor sunshine. A Wacom EMR pen is bundled with the laptops for drawing or writing onscreen. 

acer conceptd 7 ezel pro sp01Acer

The ConceptD 7 Ezel laptops will come with a Wacom EMR pen for full drawing capabilities. 

Given the hazy availability schedule, configurations weren’t quite set in stone at the time of the announcement. The ConceptD 7 Ezel will feature up to an Intel 10th-generation Core H-series processor, and what Acer calls “the latest Nvidia GPUs” (meaning the specific parts probably aren’t announced yet). It will offer up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM and up to a 2TB PCIe SSD. Prices will start at $2,699.

The ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro kicks it up a few notches, boasting Intel Xeon CPU and Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 horsepower, plus ECC memory and Windows 10 Pro. Prices will start at $3,099. 

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Categories
Game

8BitDo’s second arcade stick is moddable, stylish and versatile

It’s been awhile since I used a fight stick. As a teenager, I would venture into my nearest arcade and spend what little money I had on Dance Dance Revolution. Once my legs had turned to mush, I would hobble over to the Tekken cabinets and get annihilated by a fighting game fanatic who never seemed to leave. I enjoyed our infrequent bouts but had no interest in replicating the experience at home. Arcade sticks were fun, but not something I wanted to seriously invest in. Many years later, that position has finally changed thanks to the 8BitDo Arcade Stick, a moddable option designed for PC, Nintendo Switch and Raspberry Pi.

The attraction starts with the design. Just look at it. There are plenty of console and PC-compatible sticks that look like they were ripped straight out of a modern arcade cabinet. I like the aesthetic — it brings back many fond memories — but have always wanted something different for my living room. Something that blends in with the absurd number of controllers that dominate my sofa and media center. With its new Arcade Stick, 8BitDo has cleverly drawn inspiration from the iconic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The peripheral is boxy and grey, after all, with a black panel on top and red circular buttons, just like the console’s official controller.

The design is a clear evolution of the N30 Arcade Stick, another retro-inspired accessory developed by 8BitDo. It’s also similar to the NES Advantage, an arcade-style controller released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. Both peripherals slope upwards and have a circular indentation around the black joystick, for instance. If you ever owned Nintendo’s eight-bit system, or have any fondness for that era of video game hardware, these visual nods will fill you with child-like glee.

8BitDo Arcade Stick

Engadget

The visual direction isn’t a huge surprise. 8BitDo’s entire business is built on well-made accessories that reference iconic gaming hardware. Sega Genesis. TurboGrafx-16. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The company has already proven that it can update classic designs for the modern era.

The 8BitDo Arcade Stick is another brilliant blend of Nintendo heritage and modern video game sensibilities. The peripheral has eight primary buttons, for instance, rather than the two that shipped with the NES Advantage. They’re arranged in a Vewlix layout, which has the first column slightly lower than the other three. The set covers every face button, bumper and trigger normally found on an Xbox or Switch Pro controller. The Arcade Stick also has two extra buttons, P1 and P2, which are primarily used for custom macros.

Serviceable parts

I like the joystick and buttons that 8BitDo has opted for. They’re not the best that money can buy — fighting game enthusiasts will undoubtedly prefer parts by Happ, Sanwa or Hori. For the average person, though, they’re perfectly respectable. The joystick is large enough to hold with a classic ‘broomstick’ or cradled ‘wine glass’ grip. It feels durable and makes a nice clicking sound when you roll it around the gate hidden beneath the top panel. The buttons, meanwhile, are enormous fun to mash. Sure, they have a gloss finish that won’t be to everyone’s tastes. My fingers never slipped off, though, and every button press was registered correctly, regardless of the game and platform.

The Arcade Stick is heavy, too. That would be a criticism in almost any other product category. A fight stick needs to be hefty, though, so it doesn’t slide around on your lap, desk or table. 8BitDo’s latest accessory weighs 2.1KG, which is only 100 grams lighter than Hori’s Real Arcade Pro V Hayabusa stick, which also supports PC and Switch. It’s narrower than most alternatives including the Mayflash F500, but wide enough that you can balance it comfortably on two legs. The base is also equipped with four rubber feet that give it some extra grip. That means you can be confident that the Stick won’t move while you’re in the middle of a tense Smash Bros. match.

8BitDo Arcade Stick

Engadget

In the top-left hand corner, you’ll find a well-organized panel with two physical switches. The first shifts the controller between its Nintendo Switch and XInput (PC) profiles. When you do this, the red button labels — which are actually LEDs built into the machine — will flip to the correct set. It’s an incredibly stylish feature that’s also helpful for casual players such as my girlfriend, who rarely plays video games and needs to look down to make sure that she’s pressing the correct buttons. The second physical switch tells your console or PC that the joystick is serving as a D-pad, left or right analog stick. That means, if you have patience and seriously nimble fingers, you can play any 3D game that relies on a right stick for camera control.

Connectivity 

Next to the switches are three colorful buttons for pairing, going ‘home’ and switching any other button into turbo mode. Below them are dedicated Start and Select buttons, as well as a wireless connectivity toggle. That’s right — 8BitDo’s Arcade Stick can be used wirelessly. Serious players will want to use the detachable 3-meter cable that’s included in the box, given it offers the lowest-latency connection. If you want a cleaner setup, though, the Arcade Stick also supports Bluetooth and a 2.4G wireless receiver that slots into your PC tower, laptop or Nintendo Switch dock. Better yet, there’s a compartment on the back of the Stick for storing the dongle when you’re traveling or using another form of connectivity.

I love having these options. For comparison, Hori’s Real Arcade Pro V Hayabusa stick has zero wireless options and a non-detachable USB cable that lives in a huge compartment at the front of the stick. For many fighting game fans, that’s not a problem — they only want a wired connection anyway. But there are plenty of arcade games that don’t require such precision. You could use the Arcade Stick to play Overcooked, for example, or even a top-down strategy title like Wargroove. In these instances, it’s nice to relax and not worry about whether someone is going to trip over the cable running between your sofa and Switch dock.

8BitDo Arcade Stick

Engadget

Connectivity varies, however, if you start experimenting with platforms that aren’t officially supported. The Stick worked wonderfully with my Android phone, for instance. With a USB-C to USB-A adapter, I was able to plug in the Stick’s dongle and, for a fully wired connection, the included USB cable. The peripheral also appeared in my phone’s Bluetooth settings after I held the pairing button down. So far, so good. If you prefer Apple hardware, though, it’s a different story. The Stick would only connect to my iMac and iPad Pro over Bluetooth — wired and 2.4G wireless were a no-go. I also had no luck using the Arcade Stick with my base PS4.

Software tweaks

Still, it’s a versatile little machine. That flexibility is stretched even farther once you start diving into the customization options. With the 8BitDo Ultimate Software, you can remap any of the 10 circular buttons that sit alongside the joystick. The Turbo button can also be configured to act as the Switch’s capture button or a shortcut that quickly swaps two buttons around. The remapping is also mode-specific. If you change B to R3 in the Switch profile, for instance, it won’t affect how that button behaves on PC. 

If you want to cheat a little, there’s also a tab that lets you assign macros to the P1 and P2 buttons. Within seconds, I had two shortcuts that let me hurl Hadoukens and Shoryukens in Super Street Fighter II Turbo. (Please don’t judge me.) It’s not a feature that serious fighting game enthusiasts will want to use. But if you know someone that’s struggling with a specific combo, this is a great way to give them a helping hand.

8BitDo Arcade Stick

You can save all of your macros and button remapping as a custom profile, too. I like this idea but you can only change profiles through the Ultimate Software app. If you’re playing on a PC, this isn’t a huge problem — simply alt-tab over and make the tweak. It’s not ideal, though, if you’re away from a computer and want to bounce between profiles designed for specific Nintendo Switch games. I would have loved a third switch in the top-left hand corner that lets you cycle through a few different profiles.

Hardware upgrades

On top of all this, you can make hardware adjustments. To get started, you’ll need to flip the Arcade Stick over and remove six Torx screws. (The type with a star-shaped head.) It doesn’t come with the necessary screwdriver, so you’ll need to supply your own. The holes are also extremely deep and narrow, so a small multitool won’t cut it. Once you’ve separated the top and bottom panels, you can start removing parts. The buttons are easy enough to pull out — you simply yank the wires off and push two nubs on either side.

I swapped the buttons with a set that comes preinstalled on Hori’s Real Arcade Pro V Hayabusa stick. The connectors were in a slightly different position, which required some small adjustments to the cabling inside the 8BitDo Arcade Stick. I didn’t time myself but suspect the process took less than half an hour. According to the manufacturer, the stick should support all 30mm and 24mm buttons made by Sanwa and Seimitsu, too.

8BitDo Arcade Stick
Inside the 8BitDo Arcade Stick.

Engadget

8BitDo Arcade Stick
A modified Arcade Stick with Hori buttons.

Engadget

Unfortunately, replacing the joystick isn’t so simple. As YouTuber Mr. Sujano explains, the relevant wires are soldered to the stick’s microswitches. That means you’ll need to cut or desolder these cables before attaching a new joystick. If you’re willing to do this, you can swap in something by Sanwa, Seimitsu, Happ or IL. Seasoned fight stick owners will be used to this process, but it doesn’t feel very newcomer friendly. 8BitDo doesn’t provide any sort of guidance, either. If you’re not sure what to do, you’ll need to find someone who does or follow one of the many fan-made tutorials online.

Wrap-up

For $90, the Arcade Stick is still a great deal. It has a distinctive design that should appeal to Nintendo fans young and old. The peripheral is sturdy and the most important parts — the joystick and primary buttons — are good enough for most people. It’s also possible to upgrade these components down the line, provided you have the money, tools and patience. The Arcade Stick supports a variety of platforms, which is great, but there are alternatives that cover an even broader range of hardware. If that’s your priority, you’re probably better off with the Mayflash F500.

Mayflash sticks are wired, though, just like Hori’s Real Arcade Pro V Hayabusa. With the 8BitDo Arcade Stick, you also get the versatility of Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless. For fighting game enthusiasts, these options will be redundant. But it’s a great option for casual players. I’m also impressed with the 8BitDo Ultimate Software — just like I was while testing the company’s excellent SN30 Pro+ controller — and the customization it offers. If you’re buying a stick for the first time and play primarily on a Switch, PC or Raspberry Pi, the Arcade Stick is a solid option. And if you’re a seasoned fight stick owner, it’s still worth picking up for the stylish case alone.

Gallery: 8BitDo Arcade Stick Review | 18 Photos

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