Back in September of 2008 we talked about the Microsoft SideWinder X8 gaming mouse. The gaming rodent was delayed and didn’t show up on store shelves until recently. Today I am going to take a hands on look at the SideWinder X8 gaming mouse, which is the first gaming mouse to use Microsoft’s BlueTrack technology. Read on for all of the details.
Features & Specifications
The Microsoft SideWinder X8 is a wireless gaming mouse that uses 2.4GHz wireless technology for connectivity. The mouse has a rechargeable battery that uses Play and Charge technology allowing the mouse to be used while the battery is charging. The Microsoft SideWinder X8 has 12 buttons total and seven of the buttons are programmable.
Among the 12 buttons are a pair of vertical side buttons located for thumb use and the mouse sports a LCD display to show at a glance what DPI setting the mouse is on and to help with macro recording. Sensitivity can be adjusted on the fly with three buttons up to 4000 dpi. The mouse feet are replaceable and three sets are included.
Setting the mouse up requires that the software be installed and then the mouse can be plugged in. Recording macros is easy to do and you can program them to one of the programmable buttons on the mouse via the driver software. The mouse looks strangely designed, but it feels comfortable in the hand.
It is a taller profile mouse, the Logitech G9 I normally game with is much lower profile than the Microsoft SideWinder X8, not that the fatter profile is a hindrance, it simply feels different in the hand. It is important to note that the Microsoft SideWinder X8 is a right hand mouse; lefties will have to use their off hand to play.
The mouse connects to the PC via USB and has a large round device on the cable that winds the charge cable for the mouse up when not needed for a clean desktop. When the mouse runs out of power or needs to be charged, the thin charging cable plugs into the bottom of the mouse and is held in place with magnetic attraction. With the cable installed the Microsoft SideWinder X8 feels like any other normal wired mouse and you can play any video game without any issues. When playing in wireless mode, the mouse is accurate and has no noticeable lag. One of the most interesting features is the BlueTrack sensor used in the mouse.
I have tried other mice with the BlueTrack sensor from Microsoft and didn’t feel that the BlueTrack offered any benefits over normal laser sensors. The Microsoft SideWinder X8 appears to be tuned differently and the BlueTrack sensor was like a different animal altogether. The X8 was able to track accurately and easily on all surfaces, even the top of a clear glass coffee table. Tracking on glass is something that other BlueTrack mice I have tired could not do.
- Great accuracy
- Very sensitive
- Tracking is excellent
- Right hand only design
The Microsoft SideWinder X8 gaming mouse compares very well to the Logitech G9 gaming mouse I normally use. I noticed little difference between the G9′s 3200 dpi and the X8′s 4000 dpi, but that may just be me. The Microsoft SideWinder X8 is fantastic and works flawlessly, which is something that can’t be said for many wireless mice, much less a wireless gaming mouse. Gamers looking to shed the wires tying their mouse down will want the Microsoft SideWinder X8.TAGS: gaming, Microsoft, mouse, SideWinder X8