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Logitech G27 and Wheel Stand Pro Deluxe V2: Review

The Logitech G27, released in 2010 to replace the G25, is a steering wheel game peripheral for the PC, PS3, and PS2. It's a pretty old device by now, yet three years later it remains to be the best mid-range racing wheel which rivals some of the more high-end options.

Apart from having a budget that was way under a Thrustmaster T500 RS (over $500), I purchased the G27 because it has a manual stick shift and clutch, and the shifter is separate from the steering assembly, allowing you to place it on your right or left-hand side, depending on which side you're more comfortable with. Since I live in Japan and am planning on getting a driver's license here, a friend suggested I buy this to help me get used to driving with a lefty stick shift.

In conjunction with the G27, I also purchased a Wheel Stand Pro Deluxe V2 ($180). Attaching your G27 to it allows you to play with your wheel using practically any seat. Think of it as a cockpit without the seat… you supply your own, which could be a regular dining room chair or even a sofa. Another advantage of having a wheel stand is that it gives your G27 a permanent and more stable fixture, as opposed to attaching it to your desk or coffee table.

I've played Gran Turismo 5, the Gran Turismo 6 demo, and F1 2011 with this setup.




SPECS (partly ripped from the internet):

LOGITECH G27
Force feedback - Dual-motor force feedback mechanism with helical gearing simulates traction loss, weight shift, and road feel with quiet steering action.

Six-speed shifter with push-down reverse gear

Paddle shifter - Made of steel, replicates shifters on super cars and F1 race cars.

RPM/shift indicator LEDs - Integrates with racing game software to indicate when the user should shift gears

11-inch wheel and leather-wrapped rim

Steel gas, brake, and clutch pedals - Gas pedal slightly lower to allow for heel and toe. Adjustable pedal position.

The G27 attaches to your system via USB.

Logitech is a Swiss company. Devices are made in China.




WHEEL STAND PRO DELUXE V2

Wheel Stand Pro Deluxe V2 without wheel


360 degree adjustable steering wheel column

Quick release mechanism for rapid adjustment

Adjustable for all sizes of players and for every chair and sofa

Handcrafted full metal construction for lifetime durability and stability

High quality anti-sliding rubber feet prevent floor damage

Easy upgrade for other wheels


Designed to support the Logitech G25/27 wheel and Microsoft Wireless Racing Wheel for XBOX 360

Wheel Stand Pros are made and designed in Poland.

This is how it looked in the box


IMPRESSIONS

LOGITECH G27

Force feedback - While the only other experience I have with force feedback on steering wheels is with arcade racing games, the feedback on the G27 feels realistic. The steering wheel tightens when you'd expect it to, and engages force feedback on curbs pretty accurately - bigger bumps produce bigger feedback, smaller ones create only a slight jolt. The wheel though, when driving in a straight line with the car's weight distribution neutral, is a little too loose and sensitive for me.

Shifter - The shaft and gate are made from steel, so shifting feels solid, however its very small size makes it look and feel like a miniature toy shifter. I do realize that the G27's wheel is also smaller than an actual wheel, but for some reason only the shifter feels too much like a toy. Hence, in my opinion, the shifter is weakest link with regard to the overall racing simulation experience of the G27

Another negative point is that I find myself occasionally missing gears when downshifting, particularly when shifting from 3rd to 2nd. This could be because of my own technique, but I have heard about other players complaining that the gear shift sometimes doesn't fit smoothly into the gate or gets caught in between gates. I usually have to be quite gentle with it when shifting down to 2nd gear to ensure it doesn't miss.

Pedals - Steel and very durable. There is some pressure to allow for varying inputs of braking and throttle control, but the brakes are not progressive. By that, I mean the pressure of the brake pedal does not increase the harder you step on it. Additionally, I feel the accelerator pedal's pressure is a bit light.

Quiet steering action - This is one improvement over the G25. The previous wheel had some noise when steering (check out videos of G25s on YouTube). Although the G27 isn't entirely silent, any sound it does generate doesn't bother me in any way.

RPM Lights - Another improvement over the G25. Theoretically, this would have been a neat feature - if you watch F1, you can see very large LED lights on the steering wheel which clearly indicate RPM level and when you should be shifting. But there is a problem with the G27's lights… they're really small and too low from eye-level, so I find it difficult to notice the indication of the lights when playing. As a result, I'd say it's pretty useless.

WHEEL STAND PRO DELUXE V2

This thing is built to last. It appears to be made entirely out of heavy duty steel tubing with some rubber parts at the bottom to keep the stand from moving around. If I were to throw it out the window of my third-storey apartment, it'd probably still be in one piece and usable. That's how heady duty it looks. And with regard to its capability to adjust to any seat, it does that quite well. I use a super-low mini sofa which is only about 15 cm. above the floor, yet the wheel stand was still able to adjust to this seating requirement.

Their advertised "quick release mechanism", which are these levers that lock the center column for the steering wheel in place, aren't as "quick" as you may think. Possible center column adjusts are height, rotation, and vertical tilt. In order to really keep the steering column immovable, you'd have to push down on the release levers very, very hard to completely have them locked, and from that position it's almost impossible to release  the lock with one hand. You could lock it more loosely, but doing so makes the center column occasionally move out of place while using the G27.

Another part I initially had problems with was the actual steel plate on which the steering wheel rests on top of. This plate can be tilted up and down to adjust to your preferred angle, but tilting it requires the use of tools. It doesn't have a quick release mechanism. Furthermore, this plate is a little loose and in order have it completely stable, you'd need to tighten the bolt to a degree that it appears to be dangerously too tight (I can actually see the column warp a bit as I tighten it very securely). I don't see how this could be normal, but any looser and the plate may wobble up or down during gameplay.

Once everything is locked into place, it works totally fine. However, if you want something that easily folds down for storage after every gaming session, I'd look elsewhere. Loosening and tightening the release levers need more effort than it should for such a requirement. In the first week or so, I actually did fold it away for storage after playing, but it eventually became such a pain in the ass that I now just leave it in a set position and drag it out of the way when needed.

Also, while the makers of the Wheel Stand Pro claim that the center pole doesn't hinder heel and toe, it does if you are sitting on a very low chair, like I do.  It is difficult to explain and picture why that is so, but it basically has something to do with your leg position being different from sitting on a regular seat. However, I'd imagine that if I were to use the wheel stand with a chair or sofa that are of regular height, it should be okay. Then again, there isn't really a need to heel and toe with console racing games. Maybe it'd be more important with games such as iRacing for the PC.




CONCLUSION

The G27 and Wheel Stand Pro Deluxe V2 make for a good racing game setup under $500. I did mention some flaws, but admittedly these are minor gripes. What really matters most is the overall sim-racing experience, which I would say is a significant step up (like an entire staircase of steps up) from dual shocks. It's taken me back to the days when I used to go karting at the Carmona kart circuit. I really can't see myself ever playing a racing game with a standard controller again.

There is, however, one thing you should be wary about when purchasing the G27… Many users have complained about calibration issues. Apparently, a part in the G27 called an "optical encoder wheel", which helps keep the wheel calibrated properly, can easily crack. When it does, you will encounter calibration problems. To fix the issue, you can attempt to fix it yourself by referring to various websites with DIY instructions (that require you to open up your G27), or return it to Logitech.

Unfortunately, 6 months after owning the G27, mine became a victim of this problem. I returned it and got a full refund (I couldn't get a replacement. Long story why, but it isn't Logitech's fault), and now I am currently waiting on a new G27 I just ordered.

Based on what I've seen and read on various websites, Logitech has re-released the G27 as part of their newly re-branded "G" series of gaming peripherals. The product line is usually referred to as "Refreshed". There are pictures on the internet showing a new, black box for the G27. The steering wheel itself looks exactly the same, but some claim that the pedals feel different. Hopefully, they've addressed the issue of the flawed optical encoder wheel. So, if you're planning to get one, I'd recommend looking for the Refreshed version. 

New G27 box. Taken by user "ItsAllAboutWins" from GTPlanet.net


Logitech G27 and Wheel Stand Pro Deluxe V2: Review Reviewed by JM Taylor on 8/20/2013 02:14:00 PM Rating: 5

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