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Slick design, lightweight and easy on your wallet, the Qanba Drone arcade stick is perfect for travel and casual play

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • August 8, 2016 at 5:35 p.m. PDT • Comments: 41

Qanba and Eightarc have teamed up to create the Drone, a three pound, 14 x 6 x 9.5 inch budget fightstick.


We've spent some time using the Drone, nitpicking and analyzing all of its features and facets. Despite its small size, the Drone doesn't draw much attention to the fact that it's a lightweight budget stick.

While we wouldn't go as far as to say its a reason to forget spending money on and using traditionally-sized arcade sticks, the Drone is pretty impressive for a stick of its kind.

Hit the jump below to see our full review.

Overview:


The black and yellow honeycomb design drives home the worker bee theme, which is tastefully done. This is a good thing, because you won't really be able to change the art as it's directly printed onto the face.

The Drone is a smaller stick, but the buttons and joystick are positioned high enough on the face to give your lower palms a big enough surface to comfortably rest while you play. This is a luxury not always afforded by smaller arcade sticks.

The lightweight design make travel and storage extremely easy, but this could pose a problem for those who like more substance beneath their hands whilst playing.

Parts:


This is the department where stick sticklers may have the most issue. The Drone's buttons certainly get the job done, but seasoned players will notice right off the bat that they are not quite on par with the traditional Hori or Sanwa parts we're more accustomed to.

Both the joystick and the buttons are relatively loud upon use, which is not necessarily a drawback, but did draw enough of our attention to make it worth mentioning.

Extras and tidbits:


Stick movement is often an issue with smaller models, but the Drone does a good job countering this issue with its effective anti-slip pads.

Qanba took an interesting route with the cable storage area, as this stick simply offers an open tunnel under the lower part of the face. There are no doors or flaps to secure the cable you'll be doing a lot of wrapping and stuffing.

The Drone also comes with a turbo button, lock option and PS3/PS4 switch all right atop the face. While it is a PS4 product, there is no touch pad on it. This is a pretty forgivable omission however, as you don't absolutely have to have a touch pad to get by in most fighting games.

Overall review:


If you're new to the scene and looking to get a reasonably priced stick that's still tournament viable, the Drone is a great investment.

It's a budget stick, and it doesn't try to hide that. It's probably not going to be a first choice for those who are accustomed to heavy duty arcade sticks, but is perfect as a starter.

If you're going to invest in a long haul product that you can customize and use over years of tournament circuit play, you may want to look at higher end sticks. The Drone is perfect for more less intense settings, and with its very efficient $89.99 price tag, it's hard to beat as a more casual option.

Pros:
+ Great as a starter fightstick.
+ Price is very reasonable, especially considering that other sticks on the market can easily run for twice as much.
+ Stick feels smooth. Can perform everything easily.
+ Anti-slip pads on back effectively help keep the stick in place while you play.
+ It's small and lightweight, which makes in nice for travel.
+ The design is really nice. The black and yellow keeps with the Drone theme, as well as the honeycomb hexagon print on the front. Very cool looking.

Cons:
- Doesn't seem to have much in the way of customization. The back has a small cover that lets you swap out the ball top, but opening the stick up will require the traditional removal of screws and some crafty part replacement.
- Buttons can feel a little stiff compared to those found in higher end sticks.
- Feels a bit congested as all of the stick's 15 buttons and two switches share space on the face.

Images


Eightarc Drone image #1 Eightarc Drone image #2 Eightarc Drone image #3 Eightarc Drone image #4 Eightarc Drone image #5 Eightarc Drone image #6
Click images for larger versions

For more information on the Drone, be sure to check out the Eightarc store.
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