It's What's Inside That Counts
Opening up the Solitaire-J Unit, you can immediately see the attention to detail that SlikStik is known for. The wiring is well bundled and routed, with solid connections and (for an arcade controller at least) a clean layout.
The Solitaire-J Unit uses the latest version of the Ultimarc IPAC/2, a very nice refinement of the old IPAC/2 design which now includes a diagnostic LED and auto-PS2/USB switching (no more jumpers to switch over to USB use!).
The Solitaire includes two cables coming out of the back of the unit: one is a PS/2 cable to plug the Solitaire-J Unit into your PC, and the other cable is a passthrough cable for connecting a PS/2 keyboard to the unit. You can change the Solitaire-J Unit over from PS/2 to USB operation by simply attaching an included plug adapter.
The IPAC/2 is fully programmable, allowing you to reprogram the unit if you wish to change the key assignments (although I'd recommend just changing the key assignments in MAME).
Big. I hate to keep coming back to a single word, but that's what I keep thinking. This is a big single player controller — you've got plenty of space, lots of buttons, room to manuever. This is a controller designed for adult-sized game players. If you're looking for a controller you can stash away after you're done playing, this may not be the controller for you.
If, however, you want a great single-player gaming experience, the SlikStik Solitaire-J Unit is a great choice. The unit retails for $169.95, which is very fair when you factor in the excellent components used and the quality of construction.
If you're looking for the ultimate single-player control panel, the SlikStik Solitaire-J Unit is it (especially with the optional Tornado spinner!). Recommended by RetroBlast.