Microsoft SideWinder X4 gaming keyboard (preview)
Microsoft says the design nuances of the SideWinder X4 are the result of listening to customers
- Interesting collection of features
- We're yet to complete our full range of tests!
Our first impressions are that Microsoft's new SideWinder X4 gaming keyboard is a robust product with several interesting, useful gamer-oriented features. Watch this space for a more detailed review and scores.
We'll post a more detailed review once we've given the hardware a longer examination, but first impressions from half an hour of gaming, typing and general messing about with Microsoft's SideWinder X4 gaming keyboard are favourable.
Continuing the touchy-feely, customer-focused theme of the Windows 7 marketing push, Microsoft says the design nuances of the SideWinder X4 are the result of listening to the customer - specifically the gamers who bought the X4's higher-end predecessor, the Microsoft SideWinder X6.
The biggest concern, Microsoft says, was that multiple keystrokes were periodically failing to register, a particular issue for players of real-time strategy games with their notoriously numerous and complex hotkey shortcuts.
To combat this, the X4 features design enhancements to minimise 'ghosting' by incorporating resistive multitouch technology - the same technology used in the company's Surface computing venture - under the grid of keys. In theory, up to 26 keys can be pressed at once without causing problems.
There are six programmable keys, labelled S1-6, down the lefthand side of the keyboard; above these sits a 'bank' button, which toggles between three banks - standard, gaming 1 and gaming 2, for instance. Each bank has its own set of key programs, giving you in effect 18 programmable keys within easy reach.
The SideWinder X4 also features in-game macro recording, adjustable backlighting and a repetitive macro key.
The all-important typing action seems good once you get used to the relatively heavy feel to the keys - presumably in deference to the considerable demands of long gaming sessions. The keys are nicely spaced - this is a pretty hefty piece of kit, with a nicely robust feel. We did find the placement of the S keys somewhat distracting, frequently hitting these by accident when aiming for Shift, but again this is something you're likely to get used to after a while.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 2 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 3 LED Lenser P7R Professional Torch review
- 4 Aftershokz Wireless Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones review
- 5 Review: Periscope users rejoice with Feiyu’s G4 Plus 3-Axis Gimbal for Smartphone video
Latest News Articles
- Wasteland 3 heads to a crowdfunding campaign, and the snowy wastes of Colorado
- This week in games: Blizzard ditches Battle.net, Gears of War 4 adds PC split-screen
- Forza Horizon 3 (PC) review impressions: Get ready to make your graphics card sweat
- How Xbox Project Scorpio and the PS4 Pro can play 4K games: Visual compromises
- Games yanked from Steam after developer sues users for nasty negative reviews
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- CCSoftware TesterACT
- FTBackup ConsultantWA
- FTEMC Storage ConsultantWA
- FTCustomer Solutions Engineer | Voice | Data | TelcoNSW
- CCiOS DeveloperNSW
- FTCertification and Accreditation Security ConsultantACT
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- CCBusiness Analyst with change management experienceACT
- CCSenior Infrastrcture Project ManagerACT
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Project Manager | TelecommunicationVIC
- CCJava / J2ee ProgrammersACT
- FTNetApp Storage ConsultantWA
- CCeCommerce Project ManagerNSW
- CCContract Web Developer (160915/WD/vmp)Asia
- FTIT Pre-Sales EngineerSA
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTOutbound TelesalesVIC
- CCNetwork and Security EngineerNSW
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- CCSolutions ArchitectACT
- CCProgram Manager - Data InsightVIC
- CCDigital Solutions ManagerNSW