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Microsoft SideWinder X8 BlueTrack Gaming Mouse review



  • Editors choice
Microsoft SideWinder X8 BlueTrack Gaming Mouse


Our Score


Review Price £44.99

We didn't take too kindly to the Microsoft SideWinder mouse. While it boasted plenty of features, such as on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment, real-time macro-recording and, let us not forget, vertical(!) 'back' and 'forward' buttons it fell short on the ergonomics front. Sadly its successor, the X5, was little better.

Luckily, with the X6 keyboard, Microsoft managed to save the SideWinder brand some face by being very good. And the X8 mouse proves that to be a trend, rather than an anomaly.

The most obvious reason why the X8 succeeds where its SideWinder predecessors failed is immediately apparent. The X8 sports a much more ergonomic design, eschewing the strange 'hump' of previous models in favour of a smoother design which fits the hand more comfortably. Having used the X8 almost every day for close to a month now, I'm more than pleased with the complete lack of aches and pains in my wrist and hand.

Assisting this improved hand position, the vertically mounted navigation buttons are now flat and angled inwards towards the thumb - a huge improvement over the rounded, protruding examples on the previous SideWinder mice. As a result, it is now possible to use both with only small movements of one's thumb, without repositioning it - something the previous design didn't cater for.

The four-way scroll wheel's metal surface offers plenty of grip and there's a reassuring 'click' while scrolling, although sideways movement feels a tad less secure - certainly enough to cause some annoyance. Three dpi-changing buttons are positioned just behind the scroll wheel. When pressed, these light up temporarily and the sensitivity assigned - via Microsoft's IntelliPoint software - is displayed on the mouse's LCD screen, just above the thumb position.

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Lord Comben III

March 17, 2009, 5:34 am

Well fair play to microsoft


March 17, 2009, 8:00 am

Is there a gaming mouse with good "handling"? Really?!!

Jon Tseng

March 17, 2009, 1:04 pm

"the X8 uses BlueTrack technology, which is - as experience shows - a notable improvement on optical and laser."

Is there an advantage because its BlueTrack or because its a 4,000 DPI mouse. You shouldn't confuse the two - there are perfectly good 4,000 DPI laser mice out there.

The main advantage of Blue Track seems to be the (rather pointless) advantage of working on rougher surfaces like "carpet and rough-grain wood" - because obviously millions of l33t gamers regularly use rough-grain wood and carpet gamer mouse pads...

Also having a plug-in wireless mouse is nothing new - Logitech did it with their MX1100 a while ago (although for some bizarre reason, only with the one that comes bundled with their cordless desktops).


March 17, 2009, 3:10 pm

@Jon, uhm... Logitech had a "proper" wireless gaming mouse, the G7 http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

The biggest problem with that one was that you had to change the battery all the time, but as it came with a pair of batteries, you could easily swap them and charge the second one in the provided charger. The MX1100 is NOT a gaming mouse.

Energizer Bunny

March 17, 2009, 3:29 pm

Hey great review Hugo. I dont even need a new mouse but I've just ordered one of these puppies on the strength of that (though I will confess to digging out a few second opinions elsewhere on the net).


March 17, 2009, 4:44 pm

Looks at 50p ebay "perfect" wireless mouse with dead LED, feeling more pleased it did not cost 㿲!!!

Thats still a nice mouse of course.


March 17, 2009, 5:06 pm

I had a Bluetooth Mouse for my Mac that allowed you to charge via USB and keep using


March 17, 2009, 6:54 pm

How does this compare against the *KING* of mice the logitech MX Revolution?

Im a sucker for a new mouse but dont want a downgrade :)


March 17, 2009, 7:24 pm

I can't stand the Revolution, so to me it compares extremely favourably.


March 17, 2009, 7:33 pm

Ok this is interesting - MicroSoft's own website has a driver download for this mouse for the Mac. Can anyone confirm if it works and all the buttons can be programmed etc?


March 17, 2009, 9:16 pm

Heh fair enough hugo, I just find it fits nicely in my hand and only needs charging once a fortnight :)


March 18, 2009, 5:04 am

I've read on a couple of other review sites that they've had varying problems with this mouse, for instance; pointer skipping (especially on cloth mousemats), odd scrollwheel behaviour when the custom drivers are installed (sometimes), and some interference problems


Would definitely be beneficial to the readers if you could confirm if these are present on the one you're using :-).


March 18, 2009, 7:23 pm

I've not noticed any such issues - although I don't have a cloth mousemat to test with.


March 18, 2009, 8:16 pm

Is there any way to reprogram the 3 buttons just below the mouse wheel or are they only for changing the DPI?


March 19, 2009, 5:29 pm

IIRC they're only for changing sensitivity.


July 1, 2009, 8:25 pm

how much is the ms of this mouse? razer mamba got only 1ms as wireless


December 22, 2009, 7:29 pm

the x8 has 2ms i believe, however, in the hundreds of hours i have spent playing games online and the range of mice I have used (from cheap £20 gaming mice with 5ms response time and the razer lachesis at 1ms) i haven't noticed any difference, the only difference i notice is how sensitive the mouse is and how smootly it glides and i'm not the only one, my clan mates and gaming buddies alike each with a different way of using mice and different preferences have all said that they notice no visible difference between response times, only what they see on paper.

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