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Microsoft SideWinder X4 Keyboard

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #3 in Keyboards

Posted

Pros: True dedicated media keys, looks great, backlit, macro keys

Cons: Bit noisy to type on, keys sometimes get stuck in games

For the price of this keyboard (around $30 when I bought it a year ago) you can't really expect too much, however it most definitely delivers in looks and functionality. The fact that it has dedicated media keys and not shared keys like some expensive mechanical keyboards just makes it even better. Its great to type on, but can be a bit noisy and a bit flimsy. The space bar can be pushed down from either side which is great. It also has 6 macro keys and 3 banks, bringing it to 18 macro keys in total. I dont really use them at all, however I can see that it would be great in MMORPGs for instance. The red/orange backlight is not super bright nor super dim, however you can change it between bright, medium, dim and off. The software is needed for macro key functions so keep that in mind. The rest works with and without the software so that's great.

I do have a strange random problem in games, the keys around the WASD area will get stuck - Meaning if I'm moving forward and want to stop, I just keep going forward. It rarely happens but it's a pain when it does happen. My bios also detects this keyboard as 2 keyboards and it's listed in Windows 7 as 2 keyboards as well.

All in all I'm gonna give it 4 stars.

Posted

Pros: Cool, usable, durable, light-up keys, full form, flip up rests, 6(with 3 modes) macro keys, volume control, media center control, etc.

Cons: the software can be iffy (microsoft)

The make of the keyboard is with durable albeit cheap materials. Reminds me of an AK-47. It's not the best out there, it's no mechanical keyboard, but anyone can use it, and it'll do it's job without faltering. Easy to take care of, easy to clean, easy to use. Plus it's back-lit. That's always a plus.

It's taken some soda, some beer, and plenty of pet hair and (disgustingly) crumbs, yet it's so easy to remove the keyboards keys and put them back together.. without even remotely harming anything in the keyboard,

Me and a friend of mine both bought these keyboards for 30$ USD on a newegg deal over a year ago. We can both attest to the durability and usefulness of the keyboard .I've actually played a little trick with a friend of mine, pic below.

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As you can see, it is a wonderful keyboard that I could reccomend to anyone who would be alright without a mechanical keyboard. It's been more than a year and the keyboard keys still respond well to the touch, still feel great, and I'm still ready for action. for 50$, I'd give this 4 stars, but for 30$, it's easily a 5-star piece of input.

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Posted

Pros: Well priced, Solid build quality, LED backlighting.

Cons: Small wrist wrest, dull LED lighting.

I bought this keyboard to replace my Razer lycosa after having some serious problems. After owning the lycosa and being very disappointed with it, I was very hesitant on what keyboard I was going to purchase. I didn't want any of the same problems I had previously, and wanted a keyboard that would last years of regular abuse.


Upon removing the keyboard from the packaging and feeling the weight of the board I knew it was a quality product. First thoughts from looking at the board was the small almost non existent wrist wrest, and the nice thing power cable. The keyboard seems very basic with a few features that appealed to me. Holding the keyboard from both sides and trying to bend it, I experienced almost no flex. Built well indeed.

The keys feel very nice to use and type with. The keys have a standard plastic feel to them, with the rest of the shell made of glossy plastic which I'm not a huge fan of, as glossy plastic gathers dust and finger prints incredibly easily. The keyboard features an Anti-ghosting 26key rollover. Upon testing if this was in fact the case, I discovered it registered slightly less keys than that. This doesn't phase me alot, as I myself only use eight fingers to type. Even for those who can manage to use all ten of their fingers will have no problem with ghosting on this keyboard, which I feel is very cool given the price.

There are six dedicated macro keys along the left side of the keyboard with three profiles per key, giving you up to eighteen macro settings. I didn't find them entirely useful myself as I'm mostly a FPS kinda guy but I'm sure for serious strategy game or MMO players, the macrokeys will make a noticeable difference to how they play.
There are all your standard media keys along the top of the keyboard, save a stop key.
The board uses an extra long space bar which I quite like, and slim profile Fxx keys. They can be slightly awkward to use at first, but I grew used to them over time.

The backlighting is quite dull, I can hardly see it during the day especially with the sun shining directly on it. It's far better once it's in the dark, and may make typing easier for those who cannot touch type. The backlighting has four adjustments. High, Medium, Low and off. I myself leave the backlighting on high at all times and have experienced not one LED burn out.


Overall I'm very happy with this keyboard. It feels very nice to type with, it is very well priced and looks pretty. A solid recommendation for those looking for a decent budget keyboard.

Posted

Pros: Nice feeling keys, great macros, easy to use

Cons: Glossy surface a dust/print magnet

I just bought this keyboard from Amazon.co.uk

Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Keyboard (UK Layout) - £32.48

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And I thought I would post some of my first impressions on here (partly to test out with some extended typing wink.gif ). A couple of nights ago I spilled a whole glass of Dr Pepper over my keyboard and just couldn't clean it well enough to make it work properly, the keys just kept sticking down. Besides, it was more than time for an upgrade anyway.

I was looking for something specifically with backlit keys and macro functionality. I would have preferred wireless, but they tended to be very expensive. My other alternatives were:

However I decided to go with the Sidewinder because it was good value and I generally like the Microsoft keyboards/mice.

It arrived to me from Amazon very promptly and upon opening the familiar packaging, this was unearthed.

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The box was really high quality and gave an initial good impression from the start, very solid with a nice weight to it.

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and upon opening we find two things, the keyboard and the cd/manuals box:

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The keyboard itself has a glossy finish on the body which shows up fingerprints quite readily but also appears to be quite easy to clean. The keys themselves have a nice satin finish with the letter, number, function and arrow keys having dipped tops and the rest having flat tops.

There is one windows key, one drop down menu key, the six macro keys and a whole host of added functionality buttons along the top. From left to right these are:
  • Bank Switch Button (3 different banks)
  • Macro Recording Button
  • Play/Pause Button
  • Back
  • Forward
  • Mute
  • Volume Up
  • Volume Down
  • Backlight Level (3 levels plus off)

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The keyboard gives a nice glow in the dark but it's not overwhelmingly bright. Honestly, I can't see a time when I'll turn down the brightness of the keys from the top level, but maybe for some it's good to have that bit more choice.

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Upon inserting the CD it starts to install the Micrsoft Intelltype Pro software. This software allows you to do some quite cool stuff. First off you can change the default functionality of a lot of keys for different banks. This means that you can load a gaming profile with, for example, the windows key disabled so that you won't accidentally exit out of a game ever again! You can also add this functionality to start when a specific program opens (e.g the game in question) to make it easier.

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And also you're able to set macros here as well:

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One important thing about the macros is they also record how long you press each key and the gaps inbetween. I know this probably isn't news to a lot of people but I didn't realise that this would be the case until I tried it out, I thought that it would merely send the keystrokes in the right order! The fact you can edit these as well means that you can speed up macros or slow them down as you please. This is a great feature, in my opinion. Having been a power user of Autohotkey before, I was dubious as to the functionality and usefulness of these macro keys but I'm really impressed. They're easy to program, accurate and they're easy to use, what more could you ask?

The three banks mean you can have up to 36 macros programmed in at a time - excellent! Some other standard stuff worth mentioning, the keys feel snappy and have a nice weight and sound to them. You're always sure when you've fully pressed a key, and for the touch typists out there the layout is good. One minor issue is that I often find myself pressing too far to the left of the keyboard, so things like Ctrl-C become S6-S, or Alt-Tab becomes Windows-S2. If you don't get what I mean this picture should illustrate:

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While this is something I will most certainly get used to quite fast, it's definitely worth noting. Interestingly, on the far right of the keyboard above the numpad is a calculator key. This key, as you have probably guessed by now, brings up the calculator. A nice touch, and it can be reprogrammed to bring up anything else (or do one of the many things offered by the software). However, one little niggle is that a second press doesn't close the calculator. If felt this was a shame as you have to move your hand all the way to the other side of the keyboard to press alt-f4 or take your hand off and use the mouse to close it. Minor, but a niggling annoying in my head.

In summary

Pros
Keys feel and type great
Great value for money
Backlight not too bright and not too dark.
Lots of functionality
Great macro keys

Cons
The glossy surface is a bit of a dust/fingerprint magnet

Overall I would give this a 9.5/10 for being such good value and so easy to use.

Thanks for now.

Posted

Pros: High KRO, backlight, no ghosting, macro&media keys

Cons: Glossy surface area

Having used a Microsoft Internet Keyboard for 8 years, the sidewinder feels simply astounding. While the keys are low-profile, they are not completely flat, so they are very easy to get used to. The red backlight really helps when typing in the dark, and you can even adjust it, since it has three levels of brightness, plus off. While I have read some complaints that the media keys work only with Windows Media Player, I found that to be false - foobar2000 responds to them perfectly fine. The macro keys are quite handy when it comes to gaming, though I personally haven't used them that much.
Of course, the biggest advantages this keyboard has over its competitors are the massive key rollover and the lack of ghosting. Again, while some have reported minor ghosting issues, those might have been present only in the older models, since I have not been able to reproduce ghosting even once.
I have only one serious gripe with this keyboard - the surface area is glossy, which means after a couple of hours of usage smudges and fingerprints will be visible all over it. Keep that cleaning towel ready, folks! smile.gif
Another minor inconvenience that some might need getting used to is the fact that the Escape key is NOT at the uppermost-left corner - that one is actually the macro level switch.

All in all this is still a great keyboard and I would definitely recommend it to anyone that does not want to get a mechanical one.
My final rating is 9.5/10.
Microsoft SideWinder X4 Keyboard
Description:

Microsoft SideWinder X4 Keyboard

Details:
DetailValue
BindingPersonal Computers
BrandMicrosoft
EAN0882224949446
FeatureBacklit keys - Adjust key-legend backlighting with three illumination levels plus "off".
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Height8.58 inches
Length19.61 inches
Weight2 pounds
Width2.44 inches
LabelMicrosoft
List Price$59.99
ManufacturerMicrosoft
ModelJQD-00001
MPNJQD-00001
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameKEYBOARDS
PublisherMicrosoft
SKUMICROEWI
StudioMicrosoft
TitleMicrosoft SideWinder X4 Keyboard
UPC882224949446
Number Of Items1
Warranty3 Year Limited Warranty
Legal DisclaimerWe do not in any way represent that any part we sell is legal to possess in your jurisdiction. Check with you local authorities to ensure it is legal for you to possess before buying!
ColorBlack
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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