We were initially worried by the Sidewinder's angular stealth bomber aesthetic - after all, when was the last time you gripped something pointy and thought to yourself, 'Mmm, this is the very pinnacle, the apogee if you will, of comfort.'

Surprisingly comfy

When you actually wrap your mitt around Microsoft's new laser-powered gaming rodent, though, you discover that while the front end looks like it's been smashed off with a chisel, it's curvy in all the right places and caresses your palm-pit beautifully.

Granted, the Sidewinder is an expensive mouse, but your moolah gets you a collection of well thought-out features aimed squarely at the pro gaming fraternity, including three separate DPI buttons to ensure you're not toggling through options and looking at the LCD screen as you get hammered by rockets, plus a nifty rack of weights and replacement feet for further fine tuning.

Excellent hardware

Even the smart-looking accessories box is given extra heft, so it can be used as a cable weight to prevent you having to drag the whole wire around as you move.

Evidently the famous Sidewinder team has thought long and hard about the difficult task of crowbarring professionals' beloved mice, whatever model, from their traditionally vice-like grip.

The software back end is reasonably standard button remapping stuff, though the ability to assign macros for tricky manoeuvres such as crouch slides or combinations of multiple MMO commands will please some of the lazier gamers.

It's the hardware itself that's the star, though, particularly when you find your sweet spot with the add-in weights and your preferred DPI settings (which can be preset in the driver) for different in-game contexts.

Mate that with sturdy build quality and easy to reach buttons and you have an impressive bit of gaming kit.