Not often do I see a gaming pad that makes me think I'd like to use it over a standard keyboard, but Belkin and Razer have managed to make it. Based on Belkin's aged n52, the n52te brings Belkin's styling into the 21st century. Gone is the Bland grey colouring of the old model in favour of a snazzy black look with 'cool blue' LED back-lighting.
The styling bears a striking resemblance to many keyboards produced by gaming-peripheral guru's Razer - not co-incidental considering the company was conscripted to perform the makeover. Obviously the revamp isn't purely aesthetic, changes have also been made to the layout and functionality of the device.
Notable inclusions are the addition of hot-swappable profiles to the device, meaning you can choose between layouts for different games without having to enter the devices software interface and an improved 8-way directional pad. The software provided allows macro recording, which is always a useful feature of a gaming device. Of course, if you don't want that you can simply set the buttons to emulate normal keyboard keys, which is useful if you simply want to change the controls within a game to suit the controller rather than adjusting the controller to the game.
Release is slated for November and you'll be outlaying £50 to pick one up. Arguably you could get a decent keyboard and mouse setup for that amount of cash, but if you really want or need a gamepad I honestly can't think of any better alternative.