Microsoft SideWinder X8 BlueTrack Gaming Mouse - SideWinder X8

By Hugo Jobling

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Editors choice
Microsoft SideWinder X8 BlueTrack Gaming Mouse

Summary

Our Score:

10

Another of the X8's party tricks is that it is both a wired and a wireless mouse. Primarily, the X8 operates cable-free, but flip it over and three magnetic contact points at the nose, a power switch and a battery compartment are revealed. Those contacts marry directly with the magnetic contacts at the end of the cable connector which, in turn, joins to an ice hockey puck-shaped wireless transceiver/cable tidy that connects to a PC via USB.

I can't overstate how brilliantly simple the concept is. The ability to continually use a wireless mouse when the battery has run down by powering it over USB is a great albeit obvious idea. If I had a penny for every time Riyad has shouted a string of expletives at his wireless mouse for failing to find its own way to its charging dock overnight, I'd be a rich man.

Furthermore, with its charging cable connected, the X8's wireless functionality will continue to operate even if the rechargeable battery has been removed - handy if you prefer using a lighter mouse. The 'puck' also stores two additional feet for the X8 of varying slickness should such customisation be desired.

Microsoft rates the mouse for 30 hours of unwired use and I easily survived a weekend of gaming without having to charge. The LCD screen flashes and displays a charging icon, while a red light pulsates from a slit at the rear of the X8 - it's rather soothing really.

Gaming 'purists' might argue that an advantage of a wired connection is that it ensures there is no delay between mouse movements being made and a game being made aware of those movements. However, I can't say I noticed any difference between the X8 or my previous, wired, Razer Copperhead; but maybe that's just me. My Team Fortress 2 skill certainly didn't seem to suffer for using the X8, at any rate.

Lord Comben III

March 17, 2009, 5:34 am

Well fair play to microsoft

stranded

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).

TheLostSwede

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).

hankb6d

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.

Ironduke

March 17, 2009, 5:06 pm

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

Keldon

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 :)

Hugo

March 17, 2009, 7:24 pm

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

colonelclaw

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?

Keldon

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 :)

dustofnations

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


http://www.crunchgear.com/2009...





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

Hugo

March 18, 2009, 7:23 pm

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

colonelclaw

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?

Hugo

March 19, 2009, 5:29 pm

IIRC they're only for changing sensitivity.

Borg

July 1, 2009, 8:25 pm

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

elitehunter

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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