UMS Ultra Bubblebox Review

UMS Ultra Bubblebox
PriceEtsy
ReleaseOctober 23, 2022
CompatibilityNS / GC / N64 / PC

Introduction

The Bubblebox by UMS Ultra was designed to be a more ergonomic option for platform fighters like Super Smash Bros, Rivals of Aether, and Rushdown Revolt. The firmware is flexible enough to cater to different games, including non-platform fighters. Also available is a WASD variation that is still for platform fighters.

Performance

Thanks to the foam underneath, the Bubblebox should not slide around during play. Also, its size makes it appropriate for both lap and desk play. The matte texture of the casing provides a comfortable resting space for one’s wrists.

As for the keycaps, depending on availability, you may be able to get bubblegum, hexagon, round, or square styles. The stock switches feel fine to use, but if you prefer something else, you will be glad to know that the switches are hot-swappable. MX switches that are 3 pin and 5 pin are fine. Note that the Bubblebox was designed to accept Gateron switches, but it is not compatible with optical switches.

What is particularly nice about the Bubblebox’s layout is that, despite being similar to other box/rectangle controllers, there are still minor nuances like distancing that could make you prefer it over industry competitors. No input issues were experienced while testing this product.

Hardware

The Bubblebox is built with quality hardware. Despite the slim and light build of the Bubblebox, there should not be any denting or malleability if you press on it. Durability is the name of the game here.

The Bubblebox runs on a modified version of the Haybox firmware, meaning you get full XInput support. Native Nintendo Switch and PC support is achievable through a regular USB cable.

If you opt for the DIY kit, you get:

  • 3D-printed body in your desired color & layout
  • 3D-printed bottom panel in your desired color
  • 3D-printed keycaps in your desired color & style
  • Hardware & screws
  • Model BirdD USB-C breakout board
  • Raspberry Pi Pico PCB (optional)
  • USB-C to GCC cable (optional)

The USB-C to GCC cable gives you GameCube compatibility, but if you would like Nintendo 64 compatibility, you would need a USB-C to N64 cable, which UMS Ultra does not usually carry.

What you would need to source includes:

  • 22-30 gauge solid-core/stranded wire
  • Soldering supplies
  • Hot-swap sockets
  • MX keyboard switches

There is a chance you will get an Allen key with your order. Included is a user guide to help you with swapping and other useful features.

Appearance

The Bubblebox has a simple look that can be summarized as a plain case color and a plain keycap color. The keycaps come in colors available for Polymaker’s ABS and ASA filaments, such as black, light gray, light blue, and purple. You might also be able to request colors not currently in UMS Ultra’s stock.

Conclusion

It would not be surprise if a Smash player wins a major tournament with this nifty innovation!

  • Hot-swappable switches
  • Durable hardware
  • Versatile size
  • Nuanced layout
  • Optional WASD layout
  • Comfy texture
  • Slim & lightweight
  • Anti-slipping
  • Firmware modes
  • Included guide

Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Link

Etsy