Prev3 of 4Next

Gaming Performance

I played a lot of Gears of War and Half Life 2 and I found the performance of the Bluetrack sensor to be as good, if not better than the wired Logitech G9 Laser that I’ve been using quite a bit. Combined with the enhanced USB polling and the 2.4GHz wireless technology, I found it difficult to notice any wireless lag, if any and I’d be hardpressed to know the difference in performance if you blindfolded me. It was as good as any wired mouse that I’ve laid my hands on. Movements were accurate and smooth and you instantly notice a difference when changing DPI settings.


One thing I particularly liked about the mouse was the new vertical placement of the side buttons. On some mice, the buttons are so well integrated into the shell that it makes it almost impossible to know which is which. Even worse is when you don’t really get the “click” feedback you need to know that you actually pushed the button right. I loved that the buttons on the X8 stood out so you knew they were there and where. I also appreciated the solid mechanical click with each push.

In order to evaluate the comfort factor in gaming, I transitioned into a few hours of Age of Conan and my favourite RTS, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium wars. Since you spend a lot of time on top of the mouse in these games, any discomfort is noticed since you’re not moving around as much as you would in an FPS shooter. This is where I think the X8 is better suited for shooters as I did find that the hump on the back of the mouse was too tall and didn’t give me a good resting point for my hand in titles where you aren’t doing much quick movement. This is where I’d want my Logitech G9 with its lower and flatter profile.

How is the Microsoft Sidewinder X8 as a Daily Driver?

I actually have the Logitech G9 Laser as my daily driver mouse as well as my gaming mouse. It just seems to do both so well. I replaced the G9 with the Sidewinder X8 and really gave it a go for a couple days of use.

Unfortunately, where I found the discomfort with the mouse in slower going gaming with RTS and MMORPG titles, I found in regular office chores. The hump on the back just didn’t give my hand a good place to hunker down for the long haul. Again, no problems if I’m just writing a document or something, but when your hand is on the mouse surfing the web for a few hours, you really start to feel uncomfortable. I kept wanting to push the X8 down to try to squash it down a bit flatter.

The solution to this problem is actually in their regular office line of mice. Many of their office products have a flatter and more comfortable profile.

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Microsoft has proven that does take the feedback it gets and uses it. The Microsoft Sidewinder X8 Bluetrack Gaming mouse is proof of that. They’ve managed to take all the good and bad of the original Sidewinder and the follow up X5 and combine it into this latest product. All while incorporating some new technologies like their Bluetrack sensor and their wireless technology, which works as well as any wired mouse that I’ve used. But on that note, there is still room for improvement.


In my testing, I did find the mouse superior in FPS shooter games where quick movements keep you light on the mouse. The buttons are well placed for this sort of action and I particularly enjoyed the new vertical button arrangement. The detents in the new scroll wheel were solid and the Bluetrack laser and multiple on the fly DPI settings really came in handy for quick and dirty skirmishes to precision sniper shots. It was a joy to use in this respect. Where it failed though is when you need the mouse to be comfortable for hanging out on like surfing the web or waiting for your character to mine gold.

If you’re buying a rodent strictly for your gaming rig and you’re a huge FPS fan, then this mouse might work out just great for you. It’s hard not to recommend it for that (unless you’re a sniper, or a camper). RTS, MMORPG and Office Dwellers might want to check out other options. Definitely try it out if you find yourself unable to stay away.


  • Very much improved over previous products
  • Wireless convenience without the wireless lag
  • Great tactile response from all buttons
  • A joy to use in FPS shooters and very fast and accurate


  • There is no loitering on this mouse if you want to avoid discomfort (RTS, MMORPG and heavy web surfers can move along).

Overall Rating: 8.0 / 10.0

Discuss This Review in the Futurelooks Community Forums

Prev3 of 4Next

Share This With The World!