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img_3645lr-lrsmFor years before I got into gaming I used my trusty ol mouse and keyboard, both being Microsoft products. The Intellimouse itself held up to multiple beatings without a hiccup. I know a lot of people who have stood by their Microsoft peripherals for everyday computing. It's no shock that with the gaming market growing that Microsoft followed suit with their Sidewinder Series. With their original sidewinder mouse it was always a love or hate reaction. Personally, I was never a fan, but keeping an open mind today I will be taking a closer look at their Sidewinder X5 mouse. Who knows they may win me over!

Product Name: Sidewinder X5 Mouse

Review Sample Provided by: Microsoft

Review by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

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Specifications

Computer/Operating System Requires a PC that meets the requirements for and has installed one of these operating systems: Windows Vista®/Windows XP
Hard Drive 100 MB
Other CD drive Powered USB port
Internet Internet access required for software installation. Local and/or long-distance telephone toll charges may apply.
Warranty 3 Year

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Features

2000 DPI laser tracking engine Enjoy fast and furious gaming action with high performance laser tracking.

On-the-Fly DPI Switching Switch from low DPI for accuracy or high DPI for fast movement. Three buttons instantly switch between 400, 800, and 2000 DPI - or you can customize settings using special software.

5 programmable main buttons Map your favorite gaming actions. Customize your main gaming buttons to your preference.

Macros Customized spells and action movements are easy. Included software lets you create and assign macros for enhanced programmability.

Vertical side buttons Don't make mistakes. The top/bottom design makes locating the side buttons easier and reduces the inadvertent actuation risk.

Engineered for Speed Right-handed shape designed for quick, balanced, precise gaming action.

Resolution 2000 DPI laser

Image Processing 7080 frames per second

Max Acceleration 20 G

Max Speed 45+ inches per second

USB Reporting Full-speed, 500 Hz

BUTTONS (Left/Right): Rated to 10 million clicks

Quick Launch Button One-touch access to Microsoft PC Gaming features.

Quick Turn Check your perimeter with the click of a button.

Wide Rubber Scroll Wheel With detent clicking action.

Built to Last Main button life: Rated to 10,000,000 clicks.

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Packaging

Microsoft packed the Sidewinder X5 into a distinctive red package with outlines of famous gaming characters on it. The mouse itself is covered in plastic but exposed enough for you to get an idea of the mouses comfort. The back shows off half of the bottom of the mouse along with a few of the main features of the mouse. The best part of the packaging is how you don't need a knife to get into everything. The internal plastic packaging comes out fairly easy, and then opens without any trouble. Inside of course you will find the mouse itself along with a silver pouch holding the driver disc, the product guide, and a color feature guide.

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Installation

Installing the X5 mouse was as simple as running the included disc then plugging in the mouse o a USB port. They even covered the plug with a reminder to run the software first so it's almost impossible to miss that step. With this being a Microsoft product I was hoping that I would be able to skip the software installation and have it included with windows, but the software was simple and easy to use. No complaints!

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Software

The major advantage Microsoft has over every other peripheral company is the possibility of close or seamless integration into windows. Part of me is aggravated that they have this advantage, because I would love to see this same integration with mice and keyboards from other company's. But you cant really blame them for using their position in the market to make the software integrated. Once install you can rebind the buttons on the mouse by going into your control panel and clicking mouse. Here they have added a sensitivity tab along with the buttons tab having access to change all five buttons. I was really happy to also see the option to set up button assignments for specific programs and games. Overall the software was about what I expected from a microsoft product, the Windows integration brings everything together.

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Performance

Testing mice has to be one of my favorite products to check out. I mean, come on all i have to do is play games and spend time on the computer, both things I normally do anyhow. With LanOC now having its own TF2 server it was a no brainier that I would jump in and spend most of my time playing TF2. In order to get things setup I also went into the settings and setup TF2 only settings. My upper thumb button was set for voice, and on the lower button i figured i would try out what they call "Precision Booster". Precision Booster basically slows down you DPI by a percentage while you hold the button. This could be a very useful feature to some snipers. I didn't find myself using it, but im sure if I got used to it I would use it more.

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The mouse tracked well on our Razer Destructor mouse pad during my gameplay and with everyday tasks. The thumb buttons seemed to be a little to far away to reach comfortably, but with a slight reach it was doable. The rubber on the scroll wheel gripped well making switching weapons easy, I would have liked the X5 to also have side scrolling also though. Compared to the Deathadder the X5 didn't glide as smoothly as I had hoped. The 5 gliders seemed to transfer the texture of the mouse pad more.  The three DPI buttons are a little hard to get too during game play, but this also means I didn't have any issues with the DPI changing on me like I did with the Silverstone Raven mouse. Lastly, there is one last button hidden up under your palm. This button opens up the games folder in Windows Vista. If you play a lot of Games for Windows games this feature could cut some time out of loading your games up. For me, I would love to see the ability to bind it to open up my steam games.

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Overall

So before I took a look at the Sidewinder X5 I wasn't really a fan of previous Sidewinder mice. I can say now that I've spent more time with it that I can see why it is a popular mouse. The mouse does have two thumb buttons, underlighting, and amazing window integration with its software. The thumb buttons did feel "hollow" to me, and the entire bottom of the mouse looks cheap to me for some reason. The gliders are replaceable and the scroll wheel does have a nice rubber grip. At just under $45 online or $32 for an OEM version this mouse could be considered a budget mouse explaining some of its shortfalls and making it a good value.

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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