Review: Thrustmaster BT LED Display

Review: Thrustmaster BT LED Display

Product: Thrustmaster BT LED Display
Release Date: March 15, 2018 (EU), May 15, 2018 (US)
Manufacturer: Thrustmaster
Original MSRP: €169.99 (EU), $169.99 (US), £139.99 (UK)
This product was provided by the manufacturer for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy.

The Thrustmaster BT LED Display is a premium niche item aimed at the racing enthusiast. It mirrors an LED Display from some F1 cars or to a smaller degree a Rally car. There are very expensive wheels on the market with a lesser display integrated into the unit but this offers something for every gamer without all of the fuss and hassle. But is it worth it? I believe so.

With a rechargeable lithium-ion battery offering about thirty-five hours on a single charge, it uses the same cable as the one used for my DualShock 4’s. It uses Bluetooth wireless technology to connect to the console, which means it can be placed anywhere within a ten meter (thirty-three foot) radius of the PlayStation 4 it’s synced to.

Pairing the device is quick and easy and only needs to be done once and because it’s an officially licensed PlayStation 4 product, compatibility isn’t going to be an issue. The firmware can be updated using all of the information available on the Thrustmaster Support site.

So, “What games work with the device?”, I hear you cry. At the time of this review, DiRT 4, WRC 7, F1 2017, Gravel, and Project CARS 2. The only one of those I do not own is Project CARS 2 but I can attest that it works exceptionally well with all of the others.

The best I’ve found is F1 2017 where you can choose to show anything from your current speed to fuel remaining. As anyone who has played the the game can tell you, this is a very handy accessory to have.

The only strange thing I noticed is with DiRT 4, between races the display is blank and it only lights up again when I’m about to start. It’s not really a big deal but the first time it happened I thought the battery had died.

The battery lasts ages and depending on the racing rig it can be continually plugged in. The brightness can be adjusted, which I lowered when I put it near my T150 Steering Wheel as the glare was mildly distracting.

As you might have noticed I wrote ‘near’ my T150, as there is no way of feasibly resting it atop of the unit. There are, however, two M3 threaded holes on the back of the display for attaching the device to a stand or custom built rig.

The fifteen LEDs along the top of the unit are used for a tachometer function (RPM) and it works very well. When I was driving a little classic Mini along a randomly generated course in the excellent DiRT 4 it helped tremendously knowing when to change gear without taking my eyes off the screen.

For the majority of the time I had the display sat just below my TV, on my old PS4 Camera, just in my peripheral vision, which meant I could glance down and see the central numeric display showing the current gear and the left and right alphanumeric displays showing my speed and time.

The six marshalling LED’s along the bottom aren’t used for every game but are just as prominent as the rest. The three push-button rotary dials and power button are easily accessible (if you are close to the unit) and feel well made and nice to touch.

Conclusion:
The BT LED Display is the perfect addition to a racing enthusiast’s setup and it works with most of the popular racing games on sale today. It compliments and adds to the immersion of the game and provides some vital information at a glance.

With a quick and effortless one-time pairing process with the PlayStation 4 and no need to do anything with the game’s settings, it couldn’t be easier to use. I love this little beauty and now that I’ve used it, I couldn’t imagine playing a racing game without it.

Score:
9.0

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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