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Nathan Edwards Jun 24, 2008

Microsoft Sidewinder Gaming Mouse

At A Glance

Andr the Giant

On-the-fly sensitivity shift; good button placement; handy macro software; interchangeable feet.

Andr the Gas Station Champagne

Stiff scroll button; too damn big;

We like fancy gaming mice. We like them for their super-accurate sensors, their adjustable resolutions, and the veritable cornucopia of buttons that grace their frames. But above all, a gaming mouse has to remain comfortable during marathon wrist-crippling gaming sessions, which is where the new Sidewinder really falls apart.

You see, this mouse is just too big. It’s not as though we have tiny, inadequate hands. Really, we don’t. We all have large, extremely manly hands. However, even with our giant meathooks, this mouse is too wide.

What makes it difficult to give this mouse a poor verdict is that we quite like its shape and many of its features. Its sensor is remarkably accurate—and includes the now-standard shift-on-the-fly sensitivity that we’ve come to love. Its button placement is quite good, too, and we really dig the vertically arrayed thumb buttons. Unlike mice that have horizontally mounted thumb buttons, the Sidewinder’s buttons are easy to distinguish from each other and painless to press. And we love the built-in screen, which shows you exactly what mouse sensitivity you’ve set. We even appreciate the macro software, which lets you perform instant 180-degree turns and other custom maneuvers with a single button-press.

The mouse also comes with a weighted box, which keeps the mouse cord from flopping all over your desk. It’s a little gimmicky, but a nice gimmick nonetheless. Without a doubt, the Sidewinder’s interchangeable mouse feet are our favorite feature. The mouse ships with three sets of feet, each with a different level of smoothness. We love this and hope to see it on more mice. There’s nothing worse than wearing out the Teflon pads on an $80 mouse.

While the buttons feel just right, the wheel leaves something to be desired. Its action is too stiff, and it’s difficult to click the mouse wheel without accidentally scrolling the mouse.

Unfortunately, the wonky scroll wheel combined with the monstrously oversized frame means this mouse won’t be living in our house.

THE VERDICT

Microsoft Sidewinder Gaming Mouse

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