The Cyborg uses Saitek's SST Programming Software to map functions to its keys. While the software is incredibly flexible, it's not nearly as intuitive or convenient as it could have been. On the one hand, you can assign nearly any keystroke or macro to the pad's 21 keys, and map the analog stick to mouse controls, directional keystrokes, and a variety of other commands. On the other hand, each key must be mapped manually for anything beyond the default WASD/directional functions, and saved to a profile that must be loaded manually every time you start your computer.
Like virtually all half-keyboard game pads, the Cyborg is strictly for users who use their mouse with their right hand and the WASD game keys with their left hand (the natural layout for right-handed users). Unfortunately, southpaw gamers who handle their mouse with their left hand will find the Cyborg extremely uncomfortable, and half of its buttons nearly useless without a quadruple-jointed pinky finger.
The Saitek Cyborg Command Unit offers a good amount of flexibility and some colorful flair to your PC gaming setup. Its on-the-fly, three-profile switch and analog thumb stick make it a bit more useful as a gaming tool than simpler designs. Unfortunately, its software feels cumbersome, and you have to manually reload your profile every time your start your computer.
We compared the Saitek Cyborg Command Unit head-to-head with the very similar Belkin Nostromo n52te. Both the Belkin and Saitek pads work great for most PC games, but they're best suited for different genres. The Belkin n52te works better for first-person shooters and more twitch-based action games, with its short key throws, responsive feel, and digital direction pad. The Saitek Cyborg Command Unit's greater key count and customizable analog control stick makes it better for massively multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft and real-time strategy games such as Supreme Commander.
If you already have a good gaming keyboard, or simply feel comfortable gaming with your current keyboard, you might not want either pad. While their customizable controls and ergonomic designs are great, these pads seem superfluous when placed next to a gaming keyboard like the Razer Tarantula or Microsoft Reclusa. On the other hand, if you have a notebook computer with flatter, less responsive keys, a smaller pad such as the Saitek may well be a useful addition to your accessories list.