The dark side of the force
Microsoft has sent me a whole box of goodies to review recently and in amongst the pile of goodness is something sinister looking; something very black and very evil...The SideWinder X5 Gaming Mouse.
This is a modified version of the classic SideWinder gaming mouse that sported a lovely burgundy coloured detailing. However, they have done away with the colouring in favour of a look that reminds us of stealth bombers.
Gone are the silver side buttons, replaced with some black ones to complete the look of pure malevolence. It's like Darth Vader in mouse form.
It only gets better once you plug it in to have it light up with red LEDs under the back. Red illuminated DPI switching buttons on top also compliment the look and it's sure to put the fear into any other gamers at a LAN party.
The box is a cardboard frame around a blister pack that contains the mouse, drivers and manuals. The mouse is on full display to show off the new styling; light just falls into this mouse like it's made of pure dark-matter.
Installing the drivers and plugging the mouse in, it's instantly recognised as the X5 mouse. The red LEDs light up and it sits there on your mouse mat daring you to touch it like it's an armed bomb!
After a few fear-gripped seconds I grab the mouse and start to play around with it; it has a nice feel in the hand, fills the whole of the palm nicely and the buttons go far enough back so that if you like to only 'perch' your hand on the mouse, you can still get a good clicking action.
The scroll wheel has a very solid click and resistance to make sure you are not accidentally going to switch weapons in a game. This can make it a bit awkward in surfing web pages, though, with an audible and definite physical click every scroll. Not to mention there's a faint twang on the spring every time you middle click to open a link in a tab.