Microsoft SideWinder X3 - Laser Gaming Mouse - Microsoft SideWinder X3

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


While the scroll wheel isn't metal, at least its broad, flat and rubberised surface makes it comfortable to use. Feedback is good too, offering decent notched scrolling and an assured click. However, in a cut that's just a bit too much even for a peripheral this affordable, Microsoft has removed sideways scrolling, which the more affordable of its desktop mice (such as the Wireless BlueTrack Mouse 5000) have retained. This loses you side-scrolling in games which support it and two extra buttons in those that don't - not a good thing since buttons are not exactly abundant on the X3.

Microsoft's ambidextrous mouse only has five macro-programmable buttons, which doesn't compare that well with the usual gaming-mouse minimum of eight. To make matters worse, the silver 'thumb' buttons on either side don't fall easily into reach, though this will concern palm grip users more than finger grip ones. Once you do manage to press them they offer a positive click - as do the main left and right mouse buttons - and they're all easy to configure using Microsoft's excellent IntelliPoint software.

At least there are three dedicated buttons for changing the DPI on the fly, which each have a small red LED to indicate which setting you're using. The X3 uses a 2,000 DPI laser sensor; as expected BlueTrack is yet another casualty of the budget price. However, considering it's still what every other manufacturer uses for their gaming mice, that's hardly something to get upset about - especially since in our testing the X3 was perfectly responsive in even the most intense fire-fights.

A trio of DPI-switching buttons are set into a central row below the scroll wheel, which makes the top two very accessible yet the third one a bit of a stretch. Logitech's implementation on the G9, a very accessible rocker switch, is arguably easier to use, but this arrangement serves its purpose well enough. By default the buttons are set to switch between 400, 800 and the full 2,000 DPI, with these figures adjustable in 200 DPI increments using IntelliPoint. It would be useful were it possible to use one of the buttons for a different function should you prefer it, but there's no option for this.

Yet another concession to the low price is the absence of an adjustable weights cartridge. While some gamers argue the usefulness of such systems, if you find your mouse is either too light or too heavy, a weights system is genuinely useful - even if in most cases it will only be adjusted once. As for the X3, at 93 grams, it's quite light in the hand.


August 5, 2009, 10:30 am

"Strangely enough, despite being right-handed where mice are concerned, I actually found the X3 more comfortable than the specially sculpted X8."

All these "specially sculpted" gaming (or not) mice are really much pain in the wrists and very uncomfortable by any means. The most valuable assets of a mouse are good handling (shape) and resolution (dpi). ALL good mice are not "right-handed".

What's the use of a mouse with plenty of features you can't...use and throw it in the garbage can immediately?


August 5, 2009, 3:51 pm

Sorry, but, I'm really struggling to see exactly are you trying to say? Ardjuna's wrong? This mouse is rubbish? All ergonomic mice are rubbish?

Ardjuna wasn't saying all good mice are right-handed and sculpted, nor indeed was he inferring anything in particular. He was just saying he normally prefers sculpted right-handed mice but that the X3 was still nice to use and indeed outclassed many of the sculpted ones.


August 6, 2009, 5:33 am

Let's put it another way. Ergonomic, right handed mice are the best, but companies designers seem not able to offer users a proper mouse. Lack of imagination and real life?

I simply said that sculpted mice are usually only for selling fashion.

I agreed that X3 is better than X8 (handling).

My mouse is the Razer Death Adder. Better than most of other mice, but not really good.



August 6, 2009, 4:18 pm


I see what you're saying, though I do find Logitech's G5 {http://www.trustedreviews.c...} to be very comfortable - probably still the most fomfortable gaming mouse I've come across, though my gaming mouse of choice is the G9 {http://www.trustedreviews.c...} thanks to its features.

As far as mice in general go, Logitech's MX1100 variant {http://www.trustedreviews.c...} is probably the most comfortable general purpose mouse I've used. It just so happens to be aggressively sculpted for right-handers, so I can't really agree with your point overall - though it's certainly true that not all good mice are right-handed.

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