Our Review of the Microsoft SideWinder X5 Mouse
Well, I guess I should have expected it; you can’t really be the big boys in the computer world if you don’t make a little bit of everything. And you really can’t be the big boys and ignore the gamers amongst us.
So, Microsoft’s come out with a gaming mouse huh? Wonder what it’ll do.
The first thing you notice about Microsoft’s SideWinder X5 laser gaming mouse is the size; this thing’s more the size of an overweight chipmunk than a mouse. If you’ve got big paws like me, that’s great, but I can see where a female gopher might have a little trouble with it. Uhhh, do female gophers play computer games?
The mouse has a really nice button layout. The left side thumb actuated buttons (2 of them) are stacked over and under, really reducing the risk of confusion in the midst of the battle. They’ve made the scroll wheel over-wide, which makes it easier to use. The five buttons are all programmable and there’s an additional three-button control on the top to change the sensitivity on the fly. There’s also a quick launch button to access Microsoft PC gaming features. I guess they had to do that somewhere.
The only problem is that “high” on this laser gaming mouse is only 2,000 DPI, which compared to some of the gaming mice I’ve seen lately is more like “mid” than “high.” The mouse is also rather lightweight, which while great for some gophers, makes for control issues with gophers who like a heavier gaming mouse.
Looks good, almost like a spaceship ready to rock. Actually, it reminds me a bit of a stretched-out version of Hans Solo’s Millennium Falcon in the original Star Wars movie. The three-button sensitivity switch is lighted, so you know which one is selected, which makes for a great quick reference, although you’ve got to move your hand to see it. I think the nicest feature is how they did the over/underside buttons.
Good old plug-n-play strikes again. I plugged her in, and she was ready to go before I could get the box off of my desk.
The large size and sleek sides of this mouse make it really nice to hold, especially for gophers with big paws. I’ve got to wonder how it would be for kids though. I really like the over/under the placement of the side buttons, easy to get to, and hard to confuse.
This is where the big boys really blew it on this mouse. 2,000 DPI is a huge advantage over the 800 DPI of a standard desktop mouse. While this is fine for a beginner, every serious gaming gopher I know is always looking for more and more sensitivity, so they can move through the map faster. I guess if you’re moving fast enough, you aren’t a very good target.
Should you buy it?
If you want a good beginner gaming mouse at a reasonable price, yeah, you’ll be happy with the SideWinder X5 laser gaming mouse. But, if you’re a serious gamer, spend the bucks for the Logitech G500 or one of the Razer gaming mice.
- Durable construction; rated at 10 million clicks
- Nice over/underside buttons
- On-the-fly sensitivity control
- Great price for a gaming mouse
- Only 2,000 DIP sensitivity
- Only 5 programmable buttons