Now, I must admit that I am not a wealthy man. As such, money does not flutter particularly readily from my wallet, which makes being a car enthusiast rather... Difficult, to put it mildly. However, there is a solution for the cash-deficient gear-head; sim racing. Through a computer or gaming console of some description, one can get behind the simulated wheel of a vast array of cars, from the mundane to the insane in games like Forza or Project Cars. And while it's possible to play these games using a conventional controller, anyone hoping for that extra level of realism will want to splurge on a racing wheel. However, those can get frightfully expensive, with the best examples going for upwards of a thousand bucks. For a high schooler with no fantastic amount of cash, that's an almost unthinkable price. Still, there are cheaper options, and after a considerable amount of research, I settled on the Logitech G920.
1. It's inexpensive, weighing in at a comparatively low $399
2. It's reliable
3. Unlike some competitors, the pedal set comes with a clutch as well.
4. The construction feels fairly sturdy.
1. The Force-feedback isn't particularly strong
2. Because it's gear driven, the feedback is choppy and quite noisy
3. The brake pedal is ridiculously stiff
All that is well and good, but the important thing is really how it feels to drive. The force feedback is, again, not particularly strong. However, it's enough to feel when the wheels slip, and enough to offer some resistance when the car starts to turn. In addition, the small amount of vibration passed through to your palms gives some sensation of the road surface. The wheel has a smallish diameter, but it's easily useable and comfortable. The flappy paddles rotate with the wheel, and click firmly into gear. The only real downside of the wheel itself is the gear drive. While it provides decent enough feedback, it's very choppy, and creates a horrendous racket. This is incredibly annoying after any more than about 20 minutes, but it's not a deal breaker. The pedals are, as a unit, good. The construction is largely plastic, but it's strong and solid. The gas pedal has good travel and the communication with the in-game car is quick and accurate. The clutch is likewise easy to use and strong, but problems arise quickly with the brake pedal. Because of a design quirk, wherein a block of rubber was placed inside the spring, the travel stops abruptly about a third of the way down. After that point, a simply massive amount of force is required to move it any further. With some calibration in-game, this issue can be partially remedied. However, for an otherwise well designed product, the flaw is very annoying.
As a whole, the G920 is more or less what it's supposed to be; a wheel that provides reasonable force feedback and a good driving experience for a comparatively low price.