1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Hardware Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Keyboard Review

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 18 Apr 2010.

  1. knuck

    knuck Hate your face

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2002
    Posts:
    7,671
    Likes Received:
    310
    is it worth the 70£ ? Mmmm. I think it is up to you to take this decision according to what your priorities are

    I won't type a fancy review because I most likely wouldn't be able to but here's what I think of this keyboard.

    Personally, I chose this keyboard because I wanted to be different from my friends. Call me stupid but its important for me to be unique and I was sick of having the same keyboard (Microsoft Reclusa, which I loved) than my friend. Therefore I was willing to pay a little extra to be "unique". This extra, you might now want yourself to spend it though

    The design of the G110, as you can see it on the photos, is quite nice. It's nicer on the photos than in real life however but it doesn't mean it's ugly or anything, it's just that in real life, the keyboard is much more discrete than I thought it would be, which is actually a good thing for most of us

    The keys:
    The Reclusa was one of the best typing keyboards I had used (about 15 in the past 10 years). It was smooth and comfortable but it was still nothing compared to the G110. The feel of the keys isn't the same. They're slightly harder to push but are much more silent and after just a few sentences you will already feel comfortable, really comfortable.

    I had one major issue with the keyboard however and it was the same when I tried a friend's G15 a few years ago ; the macro keys. I don't even know if they work properly or not and I don't care (I play FPS games, not MMOs). The problem is there are two columns of them and they take too much space for my liking. The first time I used the keyboard, I would constantly hit them by accident because my left end was at the very end of the keyboard, which is how I sort of position myself to know where to put my hands to type (did that sentence even make sense ?). This is hard to explain... It took me a while before I would naturally ignore the first two rows of keys on the board. It also makes it hard to hit the ESC key without hitting one of the damn macro keys

    Built quality
    Perfect. Period

    Software
    A little confusing but it gets the job done. If ever you buy one and use winamp, don't freak out if the multimedia keys don't work , just open the winamp preferences , go to global hotkeys and check "enable default multimedia key support". It'll then work like a charm

    The looks
    I think it looks great. The keys are lit from the inside, which means there is no lighting between the keys. It makes it much, muuuch more subtle in a room at night. My Reclusa would lit the whole room at night (I didn't mind at all). This one doesn't and you can barely see the lighting if you're not a good 15° above the keyboard. It won't bother you if you're in bed

    There are two colors, blue and red, and you can mix them to create a light purple/pink. I personally prefer red as it's more bright and it's different from the blue of my Reclusa that I have had for 3 years

    Functionality

    It's possible to change the colors on the fly. Theoretically it should be used to represent a macro profile, but since I don't use macros I use the three profile keys for color profile only. When you set the color manually, it's very cool to see the keyboard change color live as you move the mouse :D

    There is a switch that disables the windows key. If you need it it can be quite handy and, obviously, it works fine.

    The lighting can be disabled on the board itself if you're tired of the bling factor or if you don't want newbie friends to ask questions.

    The multimedia keys work just fine. A mute key is appreciated as, for some unknown reason, there was none on my Reclusa... The volume scrolling button however is kind of slow to my liking, but it doesn't stop it from working

    Now the two interesting features

    USB 2.0 port
    It works ! It just works. There is nothing fancy in this port but it works and it's fast. I was backing up data (hundreds of GBs) on a USB disk the other day as I was gaming and the transfer rate stayed well over 30MB/s without any key input lag or anything. Great

    Integrated USB sound
    This also works perfectly. It's just like a USB headset but it's detected by windows only when you plug something in the jack ports, otherwise windows does not detect it. I think it's perfect that way because I personally don't need it on a daily basis. My sound does get weird sometimes with my Audigy 2 however and then I am glad I have this as a backup. The microphone sound is perfect (on TeamSpeak 3 with Speex Ultra-Wideband (32 kHz) codecs). The playback sound is good but obviously not as good as my Audigy 2, despite its age.
    What's really cool too is how the microphone and the speakers can be muted independently directly on the keyboard





    So there you have it. It's a great keyboard but it's very expensive for something which doesn't necessarily stand out on the first sight


    I guess I ended up doing a "full" review after all :hehe:
     
  2. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    1,574
    Likes Received:
    8
    Thank you Ghys...
    Looks like I am going to have to track one down and actually look at it before I decide.
     
  3. knuck

    knuck Hate your face

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2002
    Posts:
    7,671
    Likes Received:
    310
    no problemo
     
  4. Steve-O-

    Steve-O- New Member

    Joined:
    19 Apr 2010
    Posts:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Was going to wait for this keyboard to come out but couldn't find a definite release date before. Ended up getting the SteelSeries 7G and couldn't be happier.
     
  5. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    1,574
    Likes Received:
    8
    I have emailed Microsoft's 'New Product Support Team' with comments regarding the lack of a blue LED or variable LED option. If I get anything useful back from them I'll be sure to post it up. I really do not understand why they would limit their customer base with such a simple issue.
     
  6. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    1,574
    Likes Received:
    8
    Any chance at all that the Bit-Tech team can have a little look and maybe see how easy it may be to 'Mod' the keyboard with alternative LEDs?
     
  7. leviathan18

    leviathan18 New Member

    Joined:
    17 Mar 2005
    Posts:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0
    razer has the same feature of anti ghosting loooong before MS
     
  8. Unknownsock

    Unknownsock New Member

    Joined:
    13 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    444
    Likes Received:
    1
    Great review here, just happen to be probably buying a new keyboard next week.
    I was going to get the G11, but my concerns were its just too big, i've heard the buttons are noisy, which annoys the hell out of me usually and im loving the low profile look here.
     
  9. rtector

    rtector New Member

    Joined:
    4 May 2010
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    If only this had a removable number pad like my X6! I hate the pointless dials at the top, but at least I regain the desk space to the side.

    I really don't understand why more manufacturers don't offer keyboards either without or at least a removable numpad. I rarely see them used at work, and I certainly never do.
     
  10. TheBlackSwordsMan

    TheBlackSwordsMan Far over the misty mountains cold

    Joined:
    16 Aug 2009
    Posts:
    3,995
    Likes Received:
    389
    That's not true, and I can confirm because I use my media keys with winamp. Just turn on the global media keys in winamp.
     
Tags: Add Tags

Share This Page