The previous Sidewinder had the who’s who of gaming mouse features. It had optional weights, an LCD readout to display DPI changes, interchangeable feet... the list goes on. The X5 uses the same basic design – though it is much comfier now – and strips out a lot of those shiny extras.
Instead, the X5 simply works well on its own merits.
Our hand simply wrapped around the mouse like it was made for it. While we admit our hand may not be the platonic ideal of hands, it’s still a pretty impressive piece of design. The slight curves around the depression that holds your thumb, for instance, allow for excellent grip. The high rear portion takes the weight of your palm, leaving fingers free to manipulate the controls. Even without the fancy weight counters, it’s still a lot easier to mouse with.
As for the gaming features it does have, you can switch between three DPI settings on the fly, and there’s a more or less useless button to access various gaming features in Vista. The two buttons that rest under your thumb browse back and forth between pages when web browsing, and actually feel a lot more responsive than the metal ones on the previous model. It’s a similar story with the mousewheel – it was metal, and free rolling, and is now plastic with the usual clicky feedback we’ve all come to depend on when switching from your Colt sidearm to your G3 rifle in a Call of Duty 4 session. Gamers should JUST SAY NO to free-rolling mouse wheels.
If we had to choose between this mouse and the Cybersnipa reviewed in issue 91, the X5 is the better ergonomic choice, at least for Atomic-sized hands, and even though it lacks the features of many of its brethren, it makes for an accurate and comfortable gaming experience. Of course, it’s also an expensive one, by a large margin. If you’ve money to burn, this might be the mouse for you.
This Review appeared in the December, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine