Microsoft Sidewinder X6 Gaming Keyboard E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices
Written by Mat Thompson - Edited by Olin Coles   
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
Microsoft Sidewinder X6 Gaming Keyboard
Closer Look: Microsoft Sidewinder X6
Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Microsoft Sidewinder X6 Gaming Keyboard Final Thoughts

Gaming accessories are difficult to design. Not so much that there exists any specific difficulty in the design or manufacturing of products, but because there exists no consensus whatsoever of what gamers actually want. Thus, we find many manufacturers going all out in the design of their products, including every conceivable doo-dad and widget. Other manufacturers stick to a relatively Spartan design and attempt to perfect a single feature or two. Then there are many products in between.

The Microsoft Sidewinder X6 (AGB-00001) tips toward the more expensive end of the spectrum with a retail price of $67.99 at www.Newegg.com, but not by much. However, it's a very full featured keyboard and you get a lot of functionality for the price. The sheer functionality of the keyboard is worth the price if the functionality is needed. 90 programmable macro keys is exactly what the WoW addict needs, but may not serve much purpose for the FPS junkie. The backlight is great for those who play games late at night, but may seem like a gimmick for those who go to bed at 10pm sharp, every night.

SWX6_STop_Right_FY09.jpg

Even if the macro key functionality, or cruise control or backlighting or media keys or a movable number pad were not needed, the keyboard still functions better than a lot of keyboards due to the shorter stroke and shorter keys, making the key presses feel easier or faster. This lends itself particularly well to any game that requires frantic key pressing.

Microsoft Sidewinder X6 Gaming Keyboard Conclusion

The Microsoft Sidewinder X6 is packaged and presented like most Microsoft products in a box that gives a lot of information on the product and shows the product in a large picture. You're given everything you need to get up and running and you're not left wondering what the product is about.

The Microsoft Sidewinder X6 looks like a gaming keyboard with a lot of sharp corners and a fair collection of auxiliary keys. The design itself is very tasteful and doesn't come off as gaudy or over done.

They construction is fairly robust with hard plastic and no flex. The attached number pad and attachment mechanism come off as very sturdy and strong without much potential to bend or break.

The Sidewinder X6 does everything it's supposed to do and does it well. The keys feel fast and the macro functionality works very well and accurately. There were few problems with the usability of any of the features.

The Sidewinder X6 is on the pricier side of keyboards out there, as NewEgg currently lists the X6 for $67.99. The keyboard feels great for all games, but the value of the keyboard depends mostly on the type of gamer. The first person shooter player will probably find very little use for the macro keys, but the MMORPG player will probably use all 90 macros at the same time.

On the whole, I found the Microsoft Sidewinder X6 keyboard to be very nice to use. The keyboard definitely aims to completely fill all facets of the gaming keyboard genre without going overboard. As such, the keyboard is not excessively priced, even if it's a higher price than most keyboards out there. Of course, the brand lends itself to a greater sense of value and quality as Microsoft products tend to be good quality. If one were in the market for a gaming keyboard of any type, the Microsoft Sidewinder X6 would definitely be worth considering.


Pros:

+ 90 Macro Keys
+ Switchable number pad
+ Solid, hard plastic
+ Good skid resistance
+ Backlit keys
+ Media keys

Cons:

- No extra USB ports
- A few awkward keys

Ratings:

  • Presentation: 9.00
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 8.50
  • Functionality: 8.75
  • Value: 7.50

Final Score: 8.55 out of 10

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