Over the years we’ve reviewed many controllers at FULLSYNC. And some of our favourites are those you can take with you on the road, as we do like to get out and about when we can. That’s why I was eager to try out the PowerA Nano Enhanced wired controller for Xbox Series X|S.
I wasn’t specifically looking for a compact, officially licensed Xbox controller, but the fact this is one was already a bonus. As long as it could provide the perfect balance between form and function that’s all that really mattered. So, let me share my experience with this controller that is designed to cater to gamers with smaller hands or those looking for a travel-friendly option.
Design and ergonomics
As I started using the PowerA Nano Enhanced controller, I immediately noticed how well-designed it is, prioritising ergonomics and catering to users with smaller hands. The compact size of the controller makes it an ideal choice not only for adults with smaller hands but also for kids who find standard-sized controllers cumbersome. I found the button response to be clicky and satisfying, which added to the overall enjoyment of my gaming experience.
The controller’s construction feels sturdy and reliable, on par with official Xbox controllers, which gives me confidence in its durability. I was pleasantly surprised by the programmable rear buttons, which proved to be a valuable feature in games like Overwatch 2. The process of programming these buttons was intuitive and straightforward, allowing for seamless customisation to suit my preferences.
Functionality and performance
In terms of functionality and performance, the PowerA Nano Enhanced controller has been consistently reliable across various games. Its compact design makes it easy to pack for trips, ensuring I can enjoy gaming on the go. I’ve used the controller extensively, clocking in a fair few hours, and I remain impressed with its responsiveness. However, it’s worth noting that some users have encountered stick drift issues after using the controller for a few weeks.
One of the standout features of this controller is the programmable rear buttons, which offer a customisable experience and a competitive edge during gameplay. Personally, I prefer mapping the L3/R3 buttons to these rear buttons to minimise wear on the thumbsticks. Additionally, the inclusion of a 3.5mm stereo headset jack and Share button further enriches the gaming experience by allowing easy audio integration and effortless sharing of screenshots or clips.
Cable and connectivity
Regarding cable and connectivity, the PowerA Nano Enhanced controller is equipped with a lengthy cable that, at times, feels unwieldy given the controller’s compact design. It’s a shame that a wireless version isn’t currently available, as this would have made the controller an even more attractive option for gamers seeking flexibility and freedom from cords. Another minor drawback I encountered was the occasional disconnection of the USB cable during particularly intense gaming sessions, which proved to be a source of frustration.
Value for money
Taking into account the PowerA Nano Enhanced controller’s ergonomic design, responsive buttons, customisable rear buttons, and overall solid performance, I believe it offers excellent value for money. At around the £30 mark, or £24.99 at Argos, it is an affordable alternative to the official Xbox controllers and provides additional features such as programmable buttons, which may not be expected at this price point.
While there are some minor drawbacks like the cumbersome cable and the lack of a wireless option, these do not significantly impact the overall gaming experience, especially when considering the controller’s affordability. Moreover, its suitability for gamers with smaller hands, children, and those in need of a travel-friendly controller adds to the value proposition.
Overall thoughts on the PowerA Nano Enhanced controller
In summary, the PowerA Nano Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox Series X|S stands out as a strong option for gamers seeking a compact controller with customisable buttons at a budget-friendly price point. Its comfortable design, sturdy construction, and consistent performance across various games make it a worthwhile investment.
While the presence of a lengthy cable and the absence of a wireless variant may dissuade some potential buyers, these shortcomings do not significantly detract from the overall value and gaming experience that the controller provides. For those who can look past these minor inconveniences, the PowerA Nano Enhanced controller is certainly a top contender, particularly for individuals with smaller hands or those in search of a backup controller suitable for younger players.
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