View Full Version : Review: Microsoft Sidewinder Mouse

01-18-2008, 08:33 PM
Hey everyone! I recently picked up one of these monsters and thought I would spend a moment to give you a heads up since i was sketchy at first to purchase it.

http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/images/gm_otherviews_swm_06.jpg http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/images/gm_otherviews_swm_12.jpg

When I first got the box, it reminded me of all of Microsofts packaging for their intellipoint mouses. Same redness to it but then i noticed it has some background to it of Halo's Master chief in a lighter hue of red. Kind of odd I thought since its a PC item. Past that you get a nice view of the mouse and accessories you receive, 35g total in weights 2 other sets of mouse skates inside of a nice little box.

So i turn over the package to check out its specs. It has some details about the mouse and what it comes with. Here you are for your pleasure:
LCD on mouse displaying DPI and macro settings.
Quick launch button which launches the mouse properties.
Vertical Metal side buttons
Wide metal scroll wheel
On the fly dpi switching ( from 200-2000DPI )
adjustable mouse weights
Replaceable mouse feet
Quick turn Ability ( button assignment )
Macro Record
5 programmable buttons

Design: 8/10
This is definatly a palming mouse. If you like the fingertip action, do not purchase this mouse, it is long. It's pretty comfortable even with its sraight lines. The side metal buttons are fairly easy to use, The bottom verticle button at times feels too low but this is also nice because you dont accidentally hit it. The main mouse buttons (left and right click) their fulcrums are very long making it easy to click with your whole finger. The Metal scroll mouse wheel moves nice and has good grip. The DPI switches below the scroll wheel are easy to use and with the LCD you are able to tell which DPI you are on. The removable skates are easy to come off and you get 3 different types. It's hard to tell the difference but the ones on the mouse are a hard plastic. The black skates are a softer plastic and seem to slide much more. Then the white skates are Teflon, much more dexterity and hardly any resistance in movement. It seems to be built sturdy with no loose parts or flimsy areas. There are 2 Red LED's that illuminate an area on the back of the mouse for visual purposes which looks nice and gives it a aura to it when sitting in the dark. The rubber grip is comfortable and the textured body on the left and right mouse buttons are nice addition as well.

Only 2 things I didn't like on design. The Macro buttom position and the positioning of my ring finger on the mouse.
The macro button is on the Front left area in front of the verticle metal buttons. It's very hard to click. You have to rotate your whole hand to click it. which is an odd movement on the mouse.
The position of my ring finger is on slope designed for it. Problem is that your finger drags and doesn't feel supported. After playing Crysis for about 4 hours, that finger felt strained. But now I got used to it and doest bother. This might be a concern for larger hands than mine. But the mouse seems to fit well in medium to small hands.

Software: 7/10
I purchased an OEM version so I did not receive any drivers or software. The mouse does work without drivers or the software but you do lose your macro, quick turn, and custom dpi settings if not installed. The software is their normal Intellipoint software with some changes to specifically control the mouse. The custom DPI is easy to use and works quick. The quick turn ability, you must assign it to a button either your keyboard or mouse for it to work. The macro program is awesome and supports up to 64 different inputs and up to 255 (i think) macros
I easily found the drivers on Microsoft's website.

The fact it didn't have any Driver or software cd with the item is odd. Also, That it just uses an altered version of their intellipoint software and drivers. Which run good but do not give you much control of the mouse
You also only are able to assign keys to the left, right, scroll wheel, vertical buttons only. The macro button cannot be changed as well as the "quick launch" button on the back. which is useless since it only goes to your mouse options. I like having full control of all buttons for maximum personalization.

Performance: 10/10

This is the only thing I would mark as 10/10 because it works great! The sensitivity is so nice and very easily adjustable. The buttons are placed in easy reach and out of the way enough to not accidentally hit. very reactive left and right click making fast multiple clicks easy and it doesnt hang.
My old mouse (wolf king trooper) had a studder when moved too fast. This mouse doesn't do that at all. you move the mouse as fst as you want with no problems.
After my gaming run on Crysis for 4 hours, I actually saw a huge improvement in my gaming during this time. With no issues with the mouse performance, I had more time to focus on the game and not working around the mouses imperfections.
I also tried this mouse out using Photoshop, Illustrator, as well as 3d studio max. Again, no problems whatsoever!

OVERALL: 8.5/10

This is a great improvement of all of the mouses I have used in the past. Like I said in the beginning, this is a mouse for people who like to use their whole hand. Nice design, functionality and performance makes this mouse a good purchase. The con's are mainly small things which would matter to most people but just observations I have made.

I hope you enjoyed my review!

01-18-2008, 09:20 PM
Nice review. +rep

I was thinking about getting this mouse for a very short period. I went to Best Buy and tried out all of the latest mice and I didn't care for the feel of this mouse too much. My palm was very uncomfortable. In the end I decided that I wasn't ever going to stray away from Logitech again because both new mice (A microsoft and a Razer) were not that good at all.

I still love your review though and don't think I'm flaming the mouse, I just don't like the feel.


01-19-2008, 02:22 AM
exactly like i said there is something about the shape that probably wont fit a lot of peoples hands. fortunately I like it. It reminds me of a lot of the ol intellipoints ambidextrous designs which were awkward but was my favorite mouse.

02-01-2008, 10:50 AM
it looks pretty cool.

02-01-2008, 01:52 PM
Nice review. I've been looking at that mouse wondering if it is any good. That's weird with the master chief thing. Could show us a picture of that possibly?