Belkin and gaming peripherals company Razer have teamed up to release the "n52te SpeedPad," one of those strange power-gamer devices created for the hard core PC gamer who never chats during the game to his friends. It's got all the typical stuff, including programmable keys. It'll be available next month for $70.
I've always found these things to be appealing in a way, but odd. I don't find using a full-sized keyboard especially onerous when gaming, nor do I think that giving a slight ergonomic tweak to the position of the buttons and such really helps all that much. And again, while voice chat is becoming more common, supplanting typing mid-game, there are still plenty of times when I need to hit some strange key in a game to activate an uncommonly used function.
Does anybody use one of these type of controllers and love it? I'm actually sort of looking at these things, because I'm thinking about moving my gaming/media PC off my desk into a corner, ditching my office chair for a couch. Right now, my planned solution is craft something like the Phantom Lapboard to rest on my lap.