The Active Network
ActiveWin: Reviews Active Network | New Reviews | Old Reviews | Interviews |Mailing List | Forums



Product: SideWinder Mouse
Company: Microsoft

Review By: Byron Hinson

It has been a while since Microsoft brought out some SideWinder hardware, well the good news is that late last year they came back with the brand name and the first release was this SideWinder mouse.  The mouse comes with many features that have not been seen on other mice such as the first ever LCD display. The question is, does the mouse do enough to warrant the price as well as the SideWinder name.

  • Shape Designed for Handling
    The unique shape and button positions are engineered for fast, comfortable, precise gaming action.

  • On-the-Fly DPI Switching
    Three buttons instantly switch between DPI 400, 800, and 2000 - or you can customize settings using special software.

  • First-Ever LCD Display on a Mouse
    DPI settings and macro recording icons are displayed on the mouse to reduce on-screen interference.

  • Cable Anchor + Accessories Storage Box
    Enjoy wired performance with the feel of wireless, easily adjust your cable configuration, and conveniently stow away your accessories.

  • Quick Launch Button
    One-touch takes you to Games Explorer in Windows Vista. Easily access your games on your PC.

  • 5 Programmable Main Buttons
    Customize your main gaming buttons to your preference.

  • Advanced Gaming Software
    Buttons and switches can be assigned on the fly, you can program macros and profiles, and game settings can be customized for fast action.

  • Engineered for Speed
    RESOLUTION: 2000 dpi
    IMAGE PROCESSING: 7080 frames per second
    MAX SPEED: 45 inches per second
    GLIDE: 3 sets of different mouse feet (for glide preference)
    BUTTONS (Left/Right): 9 million clicks

  • Replaceable Mouse Feet
    Choice of three different materials for glide preference.

  • Wide Metal Scroll Wheel
    Better feel and response with detent clicking action.

  • Vertical Metal Side Buttons
    The top/bottom design makes locating the side buttons easier and reduces the inadvertent actuation risk.

  • Adjustable Mouse Weights
    Select your preference of mouse weight with the included 4 weights, giving you the choice to adjust your mouse weight anywhere between 5 and 30 grams in 5 gram increments.

  • 3 Year Warranty


The SideWinder Mouse has the ability to move at 2000 dpi and crawl at 200 dpi. The mouse comes with easy to use on the fly buttons to switch from a fast cursor for gaming to more precision for desktop work and editing. You can tweak the dpi settings in the Sensitivity tab in the SideWinder's Mouse Properties. There are six separate dpi settings (200, 400, 800, 1000, 1600, 2000), though we'd prefer more dpi options. There were very little signs of any jumpiness when using the mouse, which is a good sign.

While many other Microsoft mice have been designed to work with both left and right hands, the SideWinder is clearly made for those who are right handed. It fits your hand well but it certainly isnít a perfect fit, but those who have smaller hands or prefer small mice will want to choose a different mouse altogether as it is very bulky.

The Sidewinder has five programmable buttons although there are other buttons on the mouse apart from these five that canít be changed. The limitation can be annoying for users who record macros for their games. The vertical thumb buttons take a bit of getting used to.

As mentioned earlier, on the mouse you have an LCD -  DPI settings and macro recording icons are displayed on the mouse to reduce on-screen interference when playing games, though you still have to look down anyway so it's only of slight use.  Another feature is that you can select your preference of mouse weight with the included 4 weights, giving you the choice to adjust your mouse weight anywhere between 5 and 30 grams in 5 gram increments, for those who want the most perfect movement suited to their style it works very well. Also, you can change your mouse feet to a variety of materials to change performance.

There are improvements with this mouse though; the Sidewinder scroll wheel is a lot wider and it has a good tactile feedback when middle clicking. Gamers also woní have to worry about accidentally pressing the wheel either as it is very sturdy. Also another good feature is that Microsoft has added Macro functions to the SideWinder. Iíve been able to record and run macros and they all worked perfectly. Once again the IntelliPoint software is what runs the SideWinder mouse, it works perfectly well and has a small footprint when it is up and running, it also has the Macro Editor built into it.

Final Comments

How It Grades

Installation: 90%
Features: 95%
Design: 95%
Ease of Use: 86%
Price/Value: 90%
Documentation: 85%
Overall: 88%

Overall the Microsoft SideWinder mouse is pretty good, its up there with the other top gaming mice such as the Logitech G9, the main problem I have is that it doesnít work too well in small hands, its just a bit too much. Having to over-reach for the thumb buttons or the side scroll wheels doesnít make it a comfortable mouse.  Put the mouse into larger hands though and there are no problems what so ever with the ergonomics.

The SideWinder also has loads of great features for a gaming mouse such as the 2000 dpi laser, the Macro editor, side buttons, weight control and the LCD, but I would like to have seen more programmable buttons on here as well as more dpi modes available.


Specs & Package
Overall Score 88%
Version Reviewed SideWinder Mouse
Release Date Out Now
The Good Points Customizable
High Speed
The Bad Points Not Ambidextrous
Not Enough Programmable Buttons
In The Box
Mouse Feet
Weight/Feet Box
Similar Product Logitech G9
System Requirements

Windows XP or Windows Vista
100 MB of HD Space
USB Port, CD Drive



  *   *