Microsoft Sidewinder X8 review

  • £88

Vader's codpiece makes a wireless return

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Our Verdict

A accurate and well designed product with nice features like in-use charging but a little too on the pricey side for us

For

  • Sleeker design
  • Accurate sensor
  • In-use charging

Against

  • Way too expensive

The previous rendition of Microsoft's Sidewinder mouse was an aesthetically divisive beast at best. The sharp, angular lines and sticky-out buttons were not to everyone's taste but after a bit of use it became clear that it was actually very comfortable to use.

In our book, the Logitech G9 is the current pinnacle of gaming mice, but can Microsoft's latest wireless change that? The styling of the X8 is similar to that of the last Sidewinder but some of the sharper edges have been smoothed out and the round forward/backward thumb buttons have been replaced with sleeker, flat buttons.

Like the rather unpleasant and lightweight X5 version, the X8 doesn't have the gaming weights that the first iteration of this new design had, but because of its wireless nature, the necessary batteries make up for this shortfall, making its mass and inertia feel reassuring in the hand.

BlueTrack technology

It also comes with Microsoft's new BlueTrack technology rather than the standard laser. This makes it far happier on more awkward surfaces, and also helps make sure that it doesn't suffer from the lag that has driven the hardcore gamer away from its wireless contemporaries.

It's a neat setup, too: like the wireless 360 gamepad, you can hook up a cable to charge the device and still keep on using it. And like the MacBook power cable it's also magnetised, making running low on juice no problem at all.

Unfortunately, for the money MS is hoping to convince you to part with, you'd expect the cable to sprout legs Thing-style and plug itself in should the need arise. And maybe make you breakfast in the morning too. It is a lovely mouse, but the price premium on the wireless front is just too much to pay right now.