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Microsoft SideWinder X3 - Laser Gaming Mouse review

Ardjuna Seghers




Our Score:


A mouse is undoubtedly the most important weapon in any PC-gamer's arsenal. Whether you're playing a First Person Shooter (FPS) or Real Time Strategy game (RTS), your mouse is the difference between domination and defeat. If you're on a budget though, finding a current-generation gaming mouse from a trusted brand is not that easy, especially not if you're left-handed into the bargain. Enter Microsoft's SideWinder X3, an ambidextrous gaming rodent available for just £27.

At this kind of price it's obvious a few corners will have been cut. Starting off with the design, this is the plainest SideWinder mouse since Microsoft resurrected its PC gaming peripheral brand. Visually it's a significant step back: there are no cool lighting effects, no fancy LCD screen, no glossy highlights or accents and no impressive metal scroll wheel.

An unremarkable combination of matte silver and black completes the top of the mouse, with a very cheap-looking plain red underside, the rear of which can be seen from a lip at the X3's back. Its sides are matte black plastic rather than the soft-touch coating on Microsoft's X8, the original SideWinder Mouse or pretty much any other gaming mouse around, for that matter.

Ergonomics have also changed significantly to accommodate ambidexterity. Strangely enough, despite being right-handed where mice are concerned, I actually found the X3 more comfortable than the specially sculpted X8. This is mainly because you can position your ring and little fingers where you wish, rather than them being forced into preset positions by a sharp-edged angle as on the X8.

In fact, for either finger or palm grip users, this mouse is quite comfortable. While the former will definitely prefer the somewhat stubby Logitech G9, the X3's length (12cm) and shape lends itself better to a palm grip.


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.com/...} 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.com/...} thanks to its features.

As far as mice in general go, Logitech's MX1100 variant {http://www.trustedreviews.com/...} 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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