Sim racing enthusiasts have witnessed a significant shift in the accessibility of Direct Drive (DD) wheelbases, with affordable options emerging even at the entry level. In this PXN-V12 Lite review, we delve into a captivating bundle that caught the attention of many, expertly examined by Michel.
Table of Contents
- The Evolution of Affordable Direct Drive Bases
- Unveiling PXN’s V12 Lite Bundle
- Unmatched Compatibility: A Game-Changer for Console Racers
- Unpacking Features of the PXN-V12 Lite Bundle
- In-Depth Analysis of the PXN-12 Lite Wheelbase
- Exploring the PD-HM Pedals
- Software Quirks: A Blemish on an Otherwise Solid Bundle
- Final Verdict: PXN-V12 Lite Bundle – A Solid Entry into Direct Drive
- Pros and Cons at a Glance
The Evolution of Affordable Direct Drive Bases
Gone are the days when Direct Drive technology was reserved for the elite sim racers due to its exorbitant prices.
Fanatec’s introduction of the CSL DD in 2021 marked the beginning of a transformative era. Since then, various manufacturers, including the less-known but promising PXN from China, have entered the scene with their own hardware solutions.
PXN showcased its diverse range at prominent events like Gamescom and SimRacing Expo in 2023, introducing hardware from entry-level sets to full rigs, featuring the intriguing 16 Nm DD base named V15.
Unveiling PXN’s V12 Lite Bundle
At the entry level, PXN presents the V12 Lite bundle, encompassing the base, PD-HM pedals, and the W DS Racing Wheel.
Priced at approximately €550/$550, this bundle sparks interest not only for its affordability but also for its wide-ranging compatibility.
Unmatched Compatibility: A Game-Changer for Console Racers
The PXN-V12 Lite stands out for its compatibility, not just with PC and Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One but also with PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
Achieving the latter involves a dongle seamlessly integrated into the wheelbase, making this bundle an enticing option for console sim racers and those who frequently switch platforms.
Moreover, the PXN Wheel app, available on iOS and Android, allows users to tweak base settings without relying on a PC.
Unpacking Features of the PXN-V12 Lite Bundle
The wheel itself, boasting a solid 300mm diameter, exudes quality for its price point. While the synthetic leather and red stitching demonstrate overall good craftsmanship, some minor imperfections in stitching might be discernible.
Notably, the wheel comes equipped with shifter paddles and dual clutch paddles, a feature not commonly found in this price category.
Additional features include an aluminum quick release reminiscent of MOZA Racing or Simagic, an RGB shift light stripe, and two rotary switches.
However, the buttons, though functional, exhibit a slight wobbliness and lack resistance.
In-Depth Analysis of the PXN-12 Lite Wheelbase
The PXN-12 Lite wheelbase, generating a maximum torque of 6Nm, weighs just under 5 kilograms. With four mounting holes at the bottom and a bracket kit for desk mounting, this wheelbase offers flexibility in setup.
Michel’s testing across various titles, including Assetto Corsa, Assetto Corsa Competizione, iRacing, DiRT Rally 2.0, EA Sports WRC, and Gran Turismo 7 on PS5, revealed commendable force feedback (FFB) performance.
Exploring the PD-HM Pedals
Accompanying the bundle are the PD-HM pedals, a trio that grants users the flexibility to choose the number of pedals they wish to use.
Adjustable in position, angle, and height through the included mounting plate, these pedals offer customization to suit individual preferences.
However, given the price point, it’s important to note that the PD-HM set leans towards the basic side. The brake pedal allows adjustments with different springs and elastomers, replacing the traditional load cell with magnetic HALL effect sensors.
Software Quirks: A Blemish on an Otherwise Solid Bundle
While the hardware impresses, the same cannot be said for the PXN software. Michel’s review highlights unsigned Windows drivers, incomplete instructions, a pedal setup bug, and missing translations, detracting from the overall user experience.
Fortunately, these software issues are detached from the bundle’s build quality, allowing room for swift improvements.
Final Verdict: PXN-V12 Lite Bundle – A Solid Entry into Direct Drive
In conclusion, the hardware quality of the PXN-V12 Lite bundle shines through. Priced attractively, it presents a viable option for beginners eager to explore Direct Drive without a hefty financial commitment.
The expanded compatibility adds another layer of appeal, catering to a diverse audience.
Pros and Cons at a Glance
- Affordable entry into Direct Drive.
- Wide compatibility with PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.
- Solid hardware build with commendable force feedback.
- Adjustable and customizable features for both wheelbase and pedals.
- PXN Wheel app facilitates convenient settings adjustment via smartphone.
- Software issues, including unsigned Windows drivers and missing translations.
- Basic PD-HM pedal set with potential for further tuning options.
- Potential challenges with warranty claims for hardware imported from China.
While the PXN-V12 Lite bundle isn’t without its flaws, it stands as a testament to the evolving landscape of affordable sim racing gear.
As technology progresses, compromises in certain aspects become acceptable trade-offs for the accessibility and performance offered by this budget-friendly option.
As PXN continues to refine its software, the V12 Lite has the potential to solidify its position as a compelling choice for entry-level and budget-conscious sim racers.