The British manufacturer Precision Sim Engineering is known mainly for its high-quality steering wheels. This is likely to change with the Pro Switch Panel. 20 illuminated buttons and two 7-way switches in a slim housing are supposed to take over the function of a button box.
Ordering and shipping
The Pro Switch Panel can be ordered directly from Precision Sim Engineering’s webshop and is priced at £249. The additionally selectable RAM mount costs an extra £35.
Unfortunately, relatively high shipping costs of around £50, as well as taxes and, above all, additional customs duties, are added to the stated prices for shipping to the EU. Thus, the Pro Panel including the mount ends up just scraping the €500 mark, which definitely doesn’t make it a bargain.
Scope of delivery
The scope of delivery is really impressive. Not only the panel including USB cable and 6 sheets of stickers are accommodated in the very elegant box. At the same time, you will find screws, sliding blocks and spacers as well as the appropriate tools for mounting on a Ram mount or a VESA mount. The only thing you won’t find is a printed version of the manual, which is only available online:
- Pro Switch Panel (PSP)
- PSP Mounting Plate
- 2.0m USB 2.0 Cable Type A / Type B (not shown)
- M4 thumbnuts
- RAM Mount Hardware:
- 2 x M5x16mm countersunk bolts
- 2 x M5x16mm socket cap bolts
- 2 x M5 nyloc nuts • 2 x M5 aluminium profile t-slot nuts
- 1 x 4mm hex key
- 1x 3mm hex key
- VESA Mount Hardware:
- 4 x M4, 35mm length spacers
- 4 x M4x12mm countersunk bolts
- 4 x M4 nyloc nuts
- 1 x 2.5mm torx key
- 6 x Sticker Sheets
Precison offers a RAM mount as an accessory, which can also be ordered separately: Amazon*
Using two ball-and-socket joints, this allows almost infinite adjustment and can be mounted on an aluminium profile, for example, using the slot nuts supplied. Although the connection is not free of play due to the design, it offers very good flexibility in aligning the panel.
The combination of the pre-mounted VESA mount with the corresponding mounting screws makes it easy to use solutions already available on the market or to get creative yourself. There are also drilled holes for a RAM mount, which has also been mounted for this review. After assembly (including detailed instructions), all that remains is to plug in the supplied USB cable and you’re ready to go. Unfortunately, the cable is very wide and prevents it from being mounted directly in the centre of an aluminium profile, for example.
The following systems are supported:
- RAM Mounts, RAM-B-238 Diamond Bases
- VESA 75mm x 75mm Mount (Maximum thickness of mounting surface = 5mm)
The panel itself presents itself in a simple design that convinces with a very well-made housing made of slightly matt plastic. All in all, the following functions are accommodated
- 20 illuminated buttons, which have a very crisp trigger feeling and thus appear very high-quality.
- Two 7-way switches (left, right, up, down, left and right rotation, push) with aluminium caps.
Insgesamt hat man so also 34 mögliche Funktionen zur Verfügung, welche man frei belegen kann.
The buttons are provided with raised areas so that the high-quality stickers supplied can be easily aligned with them. Even though the stickers are supplied in duplicate, you are unfortunately stuck with the corresponding symbols once you have applied them. The choice of stickers is basically good and varied, but you should be sure that you want to use the stickers before you “finally” apply them. For this review, therefore, no stickers were applied for the time being.
The heart of the Pro Switch Panel is definitely the software. This is divided into two components.
With the in-house ChromaWorx software, the colours of the individual buttons of the Pro Switch Panel can be adjusted. This is done via an easy-to-use interface that is probably aimed primarily at beginners and makes it possible to adjust the colour of the Pro Panel in just a few minutes. Profiles for Simhub can also be exported here and imported again.
However, things only become interesting with the use of Simhub. Here, all buttons can be freely configured and, for example, flag effects or similar can be realised. More complex applications such as animations after a button is pressed are also possible in principle. However, this is also where the problem lies: in order to be able to exploit the full potential of the Switch Panel, one has to familiarise oneself deeply with the functions of Simhub, which is likely to quickly overwhelm beginners in this area in particular. Even though Precision provides sample profiles for IRacing, the expectations of such an expensive product are simply different. More sample profiles and, above all, more detailed explanations would be highly recommended, especially since there are no comparable products and thus no profiles from the Simhub community.
Comparison (Switch Panel vs. Button Box / Stream Deck)
Compared to a conventional button box, the Pro Panel scores mainly with its fully customisable LEDs and integration in Simhub – the latter is also the biggest advantage over a Stream Deck, which can only be integrated in a very complicated and rudimentary way via third-party plug-ins. On the other hand, a stream deck has the advantage that you don’t have to attach stickers and can change the layout at will.
Of course, what you ultimately choose is mainly a matter of taste, but the Pro Switch Panel is the one that best conveys a real motorsport feeling.
All in all, Precision Sim Engineering delivers the expected high-quality product with the Pro Switch Panel. The quality of workmanship, presentation and design are top notch, but also come at a price. Thanks to the full Simhub integration, the configuration possibilities are almost unlimited, but the learning curve is unnecessarily steep due to the lack of standard profiles and explanations.
All in all, the Pro Switch Panel is an excellent product for simracing enthusiasts with a corresponding budget.
- Official Simhub integration
- Excellent workmanship
- Two 7-way switches
- Scope of delivery
- Positioning / type of USB connection
- Missing standard profiles