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Thrustmaster T248 + T3PM Pedals Review

Tim Wheatley - May 2, 2022       0 Comments
Tim Wheatley - May 2, 2022
    0 Comments

I recently reported on the news that Thrustmaster had made their T248 wheel fully-compatible with Assetto Corsa Competizione with a profile that displays telemetry on the LED display, and to my surprise I was soon contacted asking if I wished to write a review on the wheel itself.

I generally regard most of the Thrustmaster steering wheels to be the best force feedback wheels available – before you consider spending a little more for direct drive. While I would never put someone off purchasing a cheaper Logitech G29/920 wheels, I don’t feel like their technology – bulletproof though it is – compares to slightly more expensive entry-level wheels like this one.

Technology

The T248 offers three force feedback profiles that alter feel, but you’ll want to stick with the first because that’s the one developers will be tuning towards. The wheel uses Thrustmaster’s Hybrid Drive technology that they say now offers 70% more power than a T150, and while that’s not a wheel I’ve tried I feel like the feedback could pass a blind test with most people up against the T500 or even the TS-PC/XW.

The wheel has 25 buttons, twice as many buttons as the Thrustmaster T150, and uses non-contact magnetic paddle shifters that should both decrease the response time (a good thing) and increase lifespan (another good thing).

The wheel comes with a set of T3PM magnetic pedals that offer four pressure modes, hopefully breaking new ground that will rid us of potentiometer-based units in the future. As with the paddles this technology both decreases response time and is expected to increase lifespan, but I must say as a user of the T16000M flight stick I have encountered drifting with the groundbreaking 3D (Hall Effect) magnetic sensors in that, and it’s difficult to imagine there won’t be any issues. Whether those problems will be worse than those in a potentiometer-based device? It’s hard to say, but it’s very cool to see Thrustmaster pushing the technology on an entry-level wheel.

Visuals

I’m a huge fan of wheels that look like the real thing, or at least try to. I own a number of F1, Rally and manufacturer-themed steering wheels for various wheel hubs across a couple of manufacturers, because I don’t really like the generic look. Maybe this is personal taste, but I’m a little disappointed in just how generic this wheel looks, despite the fact it is well laid out and completely functional.

The rim itself is a little small, but perfectly usable, with all the buttons and paddles located where they certainly make sense being. The dash LED readout screen looks sharp, and certainly adds to the overall appeal of the wheel itself.


Photos show the black spring fitted, which is stronger than the default one.

Opinion

By far the most impressive part of this package would be the pedals; The T3PM brake pedal can be adjusted for stiffness (see video below), and was surprisingly easy to get used to after switching over from what are generally considered to be a more premium pedal set.

It would be nice if wheels at this price point had replaceable rims, similar to the more expensive hubs we see on the market, as I believe it would encourage users to stay within the same ecosystem as they upgrade and keep their wheel rims. However, I can understand that this is an entry-level product and I’m willing to accept the extra costs that would potentially be involved in doing so.

The wheel rim it does have, although small and extremely generic-looking, is absolutely functional and can again give you the feel of a more premium product. With an array of buttons, the LED display, good force feedback and what appears to be acceptable build quality, it compares well to the entry level T150 it appears to be trying to replace and it probably is your best non-Logitech option in this price bracket.

Pricing

While you could spend less on a Thrustmaster T150 or Logitech G29/920 and still be satisfied in terms of basic functionality, I do feel like the T248 is a step above them as far as technology, feel and features, with the force feedback and pedals standing clear of anything else at this price point. Comparing it directly with the similarly-priced Logitech G923 TRUEFORCE, I wouldn’t hesitate to select the Thrustmaster T248.

Thrustmaster T248 (PC/XBOX version) provided for fair review.

Box Contents

Documentation manual, steering wheel, pedals, alan key, black (stronger) spring, desk clamp, power cable/supply, USB C cable and USB C extension cable.

Product: Thrustmaster T248
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, XBOX
Web: Thrustmaster.com
Price: $399 MSRP

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