Xbox 360 Messenger Kit

Upon receiving a message the key will flash for a few seconds to notify you, and then upon pressing it up pops the transparent chat window in which you can start or continue a conversation. At any time you can press the messenger key and the chat window pops up for fast conversation access. It works rather seamlessly for the most part.

In addition to the keyboard, a new wired headset is provided. Microsoft have done this because once the keyboard is plugged in, there isn’t space for the old headset to plug in. As a result they’ve provided a new modified one with a 2.5" audio jack that plugs in under the keypad itself. This is where I first noticed a slight issue that could possibly plague users of this headset. If you take a look at the illustration above, notably the red circle you’ll notice the flaw. The connector is extremely difficult to place into the audio jack and one sharp twist can seriously damage that rather thin cable feeding into the jack. Microsoft really should have added a cord protector of sorts to the end of that jack. For this reason I am not ditching my wired headset at all. I can’t see this new one lasting too long; luckily I do have my wireless headset.

The headset also comes with a rather handy mute/volume box, which can be clipped onto your shirt if needed. Each end of this box has a small cord protector, which is a better effort than the one on the jack itself.

Conclusion

Bear in mind that these opinions are extremely early ones. I have had the pad for around 6hrs and that’s it. In this time I have mostly tested out the keypad rather than the headset itself, which I am assuming should be rather glitch free. The keyboard is a simplistic and hard to really fault. I can reach every key with my thumbs alone, and given that I have large fingers I still have no trouble pressing keys in rapid succession. On the whole the keyboard is a good solid product.

I do have my concerns about the headset though, and I am worried about its long term reliability and robustness. The standard heatset that comes with the 360 is a solid performer but the thin wire feeding into the jack has me concerned. All in all, you’re mostly paying for a keypad and that is a great little device for those who frequently like to message people. As a bonus it can be used globally on the other 360 features too such as renaming music playlists etc. For £25 I’m not complaining at all!

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