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Microsoft Sidewinder Mouse and X6 Keyboard Review

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well hello there. I've decided to do a review on the Microsoft Sidewinder X6 keyboard and Sidewinder Mouse since I've been using the mouse for a while, and the keyboard for a few days. I have used the Highest end Razer mouse/keybaord (Lycosa/Lachesis) and although they are good, I much prefer the Microsoft set. First of all I'll review the Keyboard, then move on to the mouse.

THE KEYBOARD



Don't let the picture fool you, the lighting is quite bright and it does show up between the keys as well. Whether that is good or bad is up to you, I'm simply letting you know.

Let me get this out right of the bat; this keyboard feels cramped to almost every other (excluding laptop) keyboards that I have previously used. I commonly find myself hitting the left hand macro keys instead of the shift/tab/caps lock keys, and I will often struggle to find the escape key without looking at it. Also, something about this keyboard is off, like there is too much stuff on the right side of the WASD keys and I find my hands too far spread apart when gaming if I leave the number pad on the right side.

What do you mean leave the number pad on the right side you ask? Well, to those of you who don't know the number pad is removable and can be placed on either side of the keyboard. It is held in by magnets so it won't fall off if you lift the keyboard, but you also won't break it if you accidentally hit it since the magnets will just release instead of breaking the connection. This can be handy for traveling to LAN parties since it makes the keyboard smaller but it is also good for RPG's because you can move it to the left side, and use the number pad as a macro keys. The entire number pad can be assigned macros..twice. There is a button just above the F5 key that switches between the 2 banks of macros. In addition to the ~30 macros on the number pad, there are 6 keys on the left hand side of the keyboard that can also be assigned a macro. There is also a button to switch between 2 banks of macros with these keys, giving you a total of 47 macros if my math is correct. I think that will be more than enough for 99% of the population.

The keys them self are low profile which I love. When I bought my Lycosa keyboard I fell in love with low profile keys and I don't think I can ever go back to using the standard keys. They feel so much more responsive and quieter.

There are a few buttons on the top of the keyboard that I will explain from left to right. The farthest left one is a key (can't remember Microsoft's name for it) that brings up the "My Games" window in Windows Vista and the Intellitype program (program for setting up macros) in XP. The next key is cruise control, if you hold this down then press any key, the keyboard will act like you are holding down that key. For instance [cruise control] + [A] = AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA if you know what I mean. I'm not sure what this would be used for but it's there if you need it. The next button is the macro record button, you can use this to program macro's on the fly. The provided software explains how to do this so I won't. The next button is the keypad macro bank switch button I talked about earlier. It switches between regular number pad use and the 2 banks of macros. Next up are the 4 media keys which include play/pause, previous track, next track and mute. I'm sure you noticed the massive 2 knobs on the right side of the keyboard. The left hand one controls the brightness of the back lighting all the way from off to full power. The lights are actually quite bright and the red looks very nice in my opinion and all macro keys are amber colour instead of red (the number pad changes from red to amber depending on what mode you are in). The right knob is your standard volume control knob, nothing special but both knobs do feel very smooth and responsive.

Overall I really love this keyboard and I feel you get a lot of features for the price.

PROS:
Nice responsive keys
Red back lighting
Removable number pad that can be programmed with macros
Numpad has magnets that hold it

CONS:
Feels a bit cramped
No adjustable feet on the base to set angle (sits at a comfortable position for me though)

Now it's time for the mouse.

THE MOUSE:



I bought this mouse to replace my Razer Lachesis mouse back in December beacuse the Lachesis' laser went crazy and wouldn't track properly.

Anyways, this is a very big mouse and feels very sturdy in my hand. I have big hands (I'm 6'3") so this mouse fits comfortably in my hands, might not be this way for someone with smaller hands though. A few of my shorter friends have complained about my mouse being to big for them. Anyways, in the box you get the Intellipoint software that allows you to create a few macros, you get a cable anchor box that also houses 4 different weights (3x10g, 1x5g) and 3 different sets of feet for use on different surfaces. I personally don't notice a difference between them so I opted to use the black ones since they look the best.

There is a small LCD screen on the left side of the mouse that display's the current DPI setting. This is not something that is needed, but it is cool none the less. There are 3 buttons just behind the scroll wheel that are designed to change the DPI. You can set the DPI for each button in the Intellitype software. The scroll wheel itself has quite a bit of movement before it "clicks" into the next position and scrolls the page. Some might find this annoying but I like the fact that the clicks are very distinguished and if you listen carefully, you can hear them. The wheel also has some grip in the middle to ensure your finger doesn't slip when it's covered in sweat or grease from potato chips or whatever else you eat at your computer. On the side of the mouse you can see 3 buttons; 1 is the black on near the front that is used to set on-the-fly macros (explained in the instructions so I won't bother doing it here), and 2 other fully customizable silver buttons. These can be set to whatever you want and there is a setting for program-specific macros which allows you to change the fuction of these keys depending on the program you are in. Right under your palm, there is a button that will open "My Games" in Windows Vista or the Intellitype software in Windows XP.

All in all, this is a great mouse, maybe it doesn't have 4000dpi like some of the newer ones, but 2000dpi is enough for most people out there.

PROS:
Weights/cable anchor comes in handy
Comfortable to use
Very distinguishing clickwheel

CONS:
Somewhat expensive
Only 2000dpi


Hope I helped someone out there decide on a new mouse and keyboard. These truly are underrated and there is no reason for that. They are great products and I'm surprised more people don't use them. Feel free to ask any questions or whatever.
Edited by airplaneman - 12/25/09 at 11:39am
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post #2 of 12
Why am I the only post? This was a great review.
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post #3 of 12
I researched the X8 wireless Sidewinder mouse (I am assuming that is what you are talking about as you do not state what sidewinder mouse you are reviewing which is very odd) and came to the conclusion that it is too big and camps most people's hands after a reasonable gaming session, the bluetrack technology is really bad and does not track on many common surfaces and it lacks dpi compared to other mice in its price range.

I went with the G500 as I had the G5 last and LOVED the design. I have never looked back.
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xdanisx View Post
Why am I the only post? This was a great review.
Thanks! Glad someone appreciates it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exostenza View Post
I researched the X8 wireless Sidewinder mouse (I am assuming that is what you are talking about as you do not state what sidewinder mouse you are reviewing which is very odd) and came to the conclusion that it is too big and camps most people's hands after a reasonable gaming session, the bluetrack technology is really bad and does not track on many common surfaces and it lacks dpi compared to other mice in its price range.

I went with the G500 as I had the G5 last and LOVED the design. I have never looked back.
The mouse I reviewed is literally called the Microsoft Sidewinder Mouse..there are others called the X8 which is basically the same but wireless I think, the X5 and X3 which are not as nice as the X8 or the regular sidewinder. I thought it was weird but this mouse doesn't have any numbers associated it..it's just called the Sidewinder.
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post #5 of 12
Not a fan of the sidwinder. Much to large of mouse. Side buttons are too far forward, and it's a laser. Like I said in other threads, feels like I'm using a brick.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkev View Post
Not a fan of the sidwinder. Much to large of mouse. Side buttons are too far forward, and it's a laser. Like I said in other threads, feels like I'm using a brick.
Fair enough, I can see how one would come to that conclusion..my friends have said similar things. I like the button position, good for people with big hands . You know what they say about people with big hands...














Big gloves. Sorry - had to .
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post #7 of 12
I was bothered by your comment "maybe it doesn't have 4000dpi like some of the newer ones, but 2000dpi is enough for most people out there." nobody needs more than 2000 CPI not even if you had a panel that could display over 4 or 5 million pixels which is greater than the largest IPS panels newegg carries in stock.

you have nothing to compare the brightness of the back lighting to, you didn't test the rollover, force or if the keycaps were laser etched, sub-dye or pad printed.

you didn't test the lift off distance, negative acceleration, prediction, center of gravity or mention if the buttons were tactile or clicky on the Sidewinder which is important for example on the Razer Diamondback series the side buttons are one piece and too tactile, they require a high amount of force to depress which results in the mouse moving because it only weighs 100 grams.

you made a couple statements about aesthetics which makes you sound biased so how can anyone take you seriously? who are you? people don't want to know about your experience and how aesthetically pleasing it is to you they want to know specifications. all these tests take a whole 5 minutes.
Edited by lmnop - 12/22/09 at 9:26pm
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post #8 of 12
I just got the X6 and have had the Sidewinder mouse for some times and i love it. The keyboard compare to my G11 feel much better and i love the backlight but like you said its a bit cramped.
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmnop View Post
I was bothered by your comment "maybe it doesn't have 4000dpi like some of the newer ones, but 2000dpi is enough for most people out there." nobody needs more than 2000 CPI not even if you had a panel that could display over 4 or 5 million pixels which is greater than the largest IPS panels newegg carries in stock.

you have nothing to compare the brightness of the back lighting to, you didn't test the rollover, force or if the keycaps were laser etched, sub-dye or pad printed.

you didn't test the lift off distance, negative acceleration, prediction, center of gravity or mention if the buttons were tactile or clicky on the Sidewinder which is important for example on the Razer Diamondback series the side buttons are one piece and too tactile, they require a high amount of force to depress which results in the mouse moving because it only weighs 100 grams.

you made a couple statements about aesthetics which makes you sound biased so how can anyone take you seriously? who are you? people don't want to know about your experience and how aesthetically pleasing it is to you they want to know specifications. all these tests take a whole 5 minutes.
Whoa dude, calm down. You want that kind of information, get it from a pro review site. He's just posting his own view of the hardware.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmnop View Post
I was bothered by your comment "maybe it doesn't have 4000dpi like some of the newer ones, but 2000dpi is enough for most people out there." nobody needs more than 2000 CPI not even if you had a panel that could display over 4 or 5 million pixels which is greater than the largest IPS panels newegg carries in stock.

you have nothing to compare the brightness of the back lighting to, you didn't test the rollover, force or if the keycaps were laser etched, sub-dye or pad printed.

you didn't test the lift off distance, negative acceleration, prediction, center of gravity or mention if the buttons were tactile or clicky on the Sidewinder which is important for example on the Razer Diamondback series the side buttons are one piece and too tactile, they require a high amount of force to depress which results in the mouse moving because it only weighs 100 grams.

you made a couple statements about aesthetics which makes you sound biased so how can anyone take you seriously? who are you? people don't want to know about your experience and how aesthetically pleasing it is to you they want to know specifications. all these tests take a whole 5 minutes.
Sorry to rez this thread, but this post was really rude.

Thanks for the review dude, I'm set on this keyboard!!
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