In recent years, accessories like the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller and the Scuf Prestige Wireless Controller have offered major enhancements to the conventional joypad experience with additions like customizable rear paddles and textured grips. Unfortunately for our wallets, these premium features typically come at a premium price point.
However, I recently went hands-on with a product that manages to incorporate some of these qualities for a fraction of the price. Here are my thoughts on the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller.
Bottom line: If you're looking for a wired PC controller with options for customizable rear buttons, this is a tough price to beat.
- Textured grips
- Great ergonomic feel
- Half of the customizable rear buttons
- Very affordable
- Joystick edges are rough
- Slighty cramped button layout
- Two awkward customizable rear buttons
EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller: Price and availability
As price is easily one of the most impressive features of the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller, it's important to stress the value of this product. For just $26 you get some of my favorite features from controllers like the Xbox Elite Series 2, which is normally $180. You can currently purchase this wired gaming controller from Amazon for $28 or directly from EasySMX for $26.
EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller: What you'll like
|Compatibility||Windows/Android/PS3/Amazon Fire Stick|
|Cable Length||6.5 feet|
|Vibration||Five adjustable levels|
|Programmable buttons||4 - M1, M2, M3, M4|
What's immediately apparent upon holding the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller for the first time is just how much inspiration the design team pulled from the latest Xbox Wireless Controller. The rounded, ergonomic shape and textured grips are very reminscent of Microsoft's latest efforts, which adds a great deal of comfort to the overall feel. As someone who primarily plays with Xbox controllers, I felt right at home using the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller.
Another element I greatly appreciated was the customizable buttons on the back side of the controller. I've been spoiled by the paddles on the Xbox Elite Series 2, especially when it comes to first-person shooters where I never want to take my thumb off the right stick or games like Monster Hunter: World that require a fair bit of d-pad based inventory management. There are four buttons to customize on the rear of the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller and two of them funtion quite well. I programmed mine for jumping and dodging in games like Overwatch and Dark Souls 3.
For players looking to add a little extra flair, you can also toggle on or off a series of LED lights around the face buttons and right joystick. This doesn't necessarily add anything impactful to playing games, but it's a neat option for those who just want to make their controller pop.
EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller: What you won't like
While the overall feel of the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller is comfortable and intuitive, the button positioning and joystick edges leave a lot to be desired. The customization buttons in the center of the controller take up a great deal of real estate, making the d-pad, sticks, and face buttons noticeably cramped. I would glady do away with the gimmicky Turbo control to give the other buttons more breathing room.
It's also quite disappointing that two of the four customizable rear buttons are essentially unusable due to some incredibly awkward placement. I had to arch my fingers in very unnatural positions to press the buttons closest to the inside of the controller.
At first, I enjoyed the texture and weight of the joysticks on the EasySMX SL-9111, but the more I used them, the more unpleasant they became. The caps of both sticks are thin and lightweight, which makes using them feel quick and snappy. Unfortunately, because they are so thin I found they eventually began rubbing the edges of my thumbs raw after several hours of use. This is something that seemed to go away after a few days of use, but there was definitely an uncomfortable adjustment period.
EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller: Competition
There isn't a great deal of direct competition in the sub-$30 price range that offer the same set of features as the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller, but if you can do without the customizable rear buttons, the Amazon Basics Xbox One Wired Controller still gives you textured grips, an Xbox-centric button, and joystick layouts. We even awarded it our best budget pick in our best controllers for PC gaming list.
For slightly over double the price of the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller you can also get yourself the official Xbox Wireless Controller, which delivers a similar hand-feel with the flexbility of wireless connectivity. The minor refinements to previous models make it one of my favorite all-around gaming controllers.
EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You're looking for a value PC controller
- You enjoy the feel of the new Xbox Wireless Controller
- You want the option for customizable rear buttons
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want to use this with most gaming consoles
- You prefer more spacious button layouts
- You want to use all four rear buttons
The EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller is a prime example of cost vs. caveats. It undoubtedly packs an impressive amount of features and functionality into an incredibly budget-friendly package, but this value doesn't come without its own set of drawbacks. However, If you're looking for an Xbox style controller for PC and want to stay under $30, this will certainly get the job done.
With an overall shape and feel shockingly similar to the latest Xbox Wireless Controller and a solid collection of premium features like textured grips and programmable buttons, the EasySMX SL-9111 Wired Gaming Controller offers players a way to experience some of the benefits of elite controllers without shelling out over $100. The tight button layout and rough joystick edges might be a deal-breaker for some, but at this price point those complaints are easier to ignore.
Miles Dompier is a Freelance Video Producer for Windows Central, focusing on video content for Windows Central Gaming. In addition to writing or producing news, reviews, and gaming guides, Miles delivers fun, community-focused videos for the Windows Central Gaming YouTube channel. Miles also hosts Xbox Chaturdays every Saturday, which serves as the Windows Central Gaming weekly podcast.