Microsoft Sidewinder X8 Wireless Gaming mouse Review (PC)

by February 22nd, 2010
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A wireless mouse that can actually deliver the gaming goods?

Before I started looking at gaming mice, I had a small, cheap and perfectly fine wireless mouse. It was fine for work, but had a few problems when playing fast games, as it had a tendency to jump a little.

This being the case I was not all that shocked to learn that hardcore gaming mice tend to come with a great big braided lead.

Aimed at right handed users only (as seems too often be the way) the X8 has a pleasing, if large, feel to it. You get your normal left, right and middle buttons. As well as two side buttons, three resolution selectors on the top and a tilting scroll wheel, you also get a macro record button, but more on that in a bit.

A good mouse for the casual gamer, geeky office worker or habitually cluttered reviewer!

There are a couple of very unique features here, and I must confess I love them. Firstly there are side buttons. Rather than having the side buttons go horizontal, they are veritical (i.e. on top of each other). Your thumb rests between then and they are much easier to make use of this way. It is a simple, but very nice design feature, which I hope others may take notice of. Secondly and most importantly is the charging solution. Rather than opting for a docking station, Microsoft has done something that really is a stroke of genius in its simplicity. The wireless receiver (which looks rather like an ice hockey puck) has a little lead coming out of it. This has a little magnetic bit at the end, which sticks to the bottom of the mouse and charges it. So effectively it becomes a wired mouse. No longer will the battery running out mean an interruption in game play, you just stick the charging cable on and off you go!

Microsoft Sidewinder X8 Wireless Gaming mouseIn use, the X8 is really very good. The Blue track technology ensures that you get a high resolution with no tracking issues. The wireless signal is always strong as the puck is intended to stay near the mouse during gaming sessions, so no jumping. The shape of the mouse does take a little getting used to, but is not as off putting as some! Take off the top of the puck and you will see 2 sets of spare feet for your X8. These all have different levels of smoothness, so that you can tailor the glide of your mouse very easily.

The bundled software is easy to use; however macros are a bit of a pain to create, involving real-time creation with a record button on the mouse. Interesting, but not well documented!

Overall I think this is a very nice mouse. It is not as feature rich as some, or as ergonomic as others, but it is a good all rounder and has the added bonus of being wireless and having the good plug and play charging.

A good mouse for the casual gamer, geeky office worker or habitually cluttered reviewer!

Tech Specs

  • 2.4 GHz Wireless
    Be free with wireless technology.
  • BlueTrack Technology
    World’s most advanced tracking technology for gaming with image processing of 13,000 frames per second.
  • Play and Charge
    Up to 30 hours of active gaming on a single charge, or use the play-and-charge cable for non-stop action.
  • Twelve Buttons – Seven are programmable
    Customize the five programmable main buttons, plus left/right tilt wheel—seven programmable buttons— to customize your gaming experience.
  • Scroll Wheel with Tilt
    Better feel and response with detents for precise control.
  • Full-Speed USB Reporting
    Full-speed, 500 Hz USB reporting is built for lag-free play.
  • Device Stage
    Quickly and easily access common tasks, including product information, registration, settings and more for popular devices such as cell phones, cameras, printers, and mouse, keyboard and webcam products.
  • Engineered for Speed
    Shape designed for quick, balanced, precision gaming action.
  • Vertical side buttons
    Don’t make mistakes. The top/bottom design makes locating the side buttons easier and reduces the inadvertent actuation risk.
  • LCD Display
    Quickly view DPI settings and macro-recording.
  • Quick Launch Button
    One-touch access to Microsoft PC Gaming features.
  • DPI Switching
    Instantly switch sensitivity between high, medium, and low with one click.
  • Replaceable Mouse Feet
    Choice of three different materials for glide preference.
  • Macro Record
    Easily record macros while in game with the dedicated button.

The Scores

Build
Build - 7 out of 10 7
Silver Y Award
Silver Y Award
Value
Value - 8 out of 10 8
Features
Features - 7 out of 10 7
Overall
Overall - 8 out of 10 8
The Good: Good performance. Great charging system.
The Bad: Strange shape.

The back end The vertical side button layout I love! The chargeing puck thing.. DPI Switches More side action. 

Silver Y AwardSilver Y Award
4 4 / 5
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Andrzej Marczewski

Owner of YARS
Well, lets start by saying that I run YARS. Gaming has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember! I felt there were just too few games review sites out there, so created YARS to fill that sorry looking gap....

About Andrzej Marczewski

Well, lets start by saying that I run YARS. Gaming has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember! I felt there were just too few games review sites out there, so created YARS to fill that sorry looking gap....