Fanatec’s latest hardware release can be fitted with various wheel bases and rims to better suit the user’s needs.
Photo credit: Fanatec
Sim racing hardware manufacturer Fanatec has just announced its newest piece of esports racing kit – the CSL Universal Hub. The new product follows on from the concept of the ClubSport Universal Hub, but it will be available at a far lower price of €149.95. Both are wheel hubs which can be attached to almost any Fanatec wheel base, while also allowing a wide array of wheel rims to be paired with the hub itself.
Anything with a hub pattern of either 3x50mm or 6x70mm will work with the CSL Universal Hub. This includes every current Fanatec wheel rim on the market, and many options from other manufacturers as well. The hub also boasts a high degree of adjustability, so that it can expand or contract to fit the diameter of various shapes of steering wheel. Eight buttons and four switches, including one rotary switch, means that users won’t be lacking for options or control with the new set up. To round off the bells and whistles there is also an LED display, which is capable of conveying three digits of appropriate information.
Yes, we did! You’ve asked for it and now it’s here. Our new entry-level hub offers many of the advanced features of the ClubSport Universal Hub at a lower price. Follow the link for all details https://t.co/BBox60coLA pic.twitter.com/Jurea2cWhZ— Fanatec (@fanatec) January 21, 2021
The fact that the universal hub has all this functionality while managing to retail at around half of the cost of the ClubSport version is partially down to a lack of Xbox compatibility for the CSL hub. On top of this, the CSL Universal Hub is made of plastic, while the ClubSport equivalent is almost entirely metal with plastic buttons. This, naturally, means that the CSL is a visibly cheaper item, though this may not be of great concern to many users.
There have been some reservations expressed towards the new equipment, both by online forum users and by media outlets. As one would expect, the lack of compatibility with Xbox consoles is a leading cause of disappointment for sim racers who would otherwise be interested in the hub. Additionally, Boosted Media’s review of the product describes it as “quite clumsy to work with”, and a couple of other factors came under fire too. All in all, the new CSL Universal Hub seems like a solid budget option relative to its ClubSport predecessor, but it is not without its flaws.
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