Microsoft Sidewinder X6
Gaming keyboard with 90 programmable macro keys and a detachable number pad.
- Detachable number pad, 90 programmable macro keys, media controls, short keys make for a fast typing experience, cool cruise control system
- No USB ports, no stands on the base
A pretty impressive gaming keyboard; for macro freaks, the 90 programmable keys should prove very enticing and the host of controls combined with the detachable number pad make for a very flexible unit.
Price$ 149.95 (AUD)
Microsoft’s X6 keyboard is a flashy, games-oriented keyboard. While not featuring some of the more advanced features we’ve seen before, such as an LCD screen, it does provide a slew of macro keys, a red backlight and a fairly interesting detachable number pad.
Attaching via a very cool magnet system, the number pad can be moved to either the left or right side of the main keyboard. Since its keys also double as macro keys, this allows you to have all your controls at hand. It connects to the keyboard via a proprietary port and the magnets make connecting it extremely simple.
There is also a strip of seven macro keys down the side of the main unit, making for a total of 30 buttons. Add in the fact that you can switch between three ‘bays’ of keys and you have a massive 90 macro spots at your disposal. That is a huge amount of flexibility and while we can’t see everyone taking advantage of it (players of first-person shooters, for example), some MMO players will definitely see the appeal.
Everything is very easy to program. You’ve got two options; you can either record macros in-game or create them in the Intellipoint software. There is a macro key on the top of the unit that activates the record function and from there you can assign a key and go to town. Doing it through the software is slightly less speedy but no less intuitive; either way, the macros work smoothly and efficiently.
Another feature of the X6 is a red backlight for all those late night frag fests. It can be turned up or down by a knob on the top right, which is also accompanied by a volume control. Media playback buttons are present, along with a nifty cruise control function that will indefinitely repeat any key until you tell it to stop. For games where you increase your skills via repetition this will be very handy.
One interesting thing about the X6’s design is the lack of legs on the base to raise it up. This will take some getting used to for many users.
We found the unit quite comfortable to type on. The layout is perhaps slightly different to what we’re used to, but we adjusted after a little time. The keys are a bit shorter than on a regular keyboard; this makes them extra speedy, which gamers will love. The overall tactility was good and we found the X6 performed well for all manner of games.
Aesthetically, this is one of the better keyboards on the market. It is a bit busy for our tastes, with all manner of buttons, LEDs and knobs scattered about, but the simple black colour scheme with the red backlight looks pretty smooth and we like the shape. One disappointment was the lack of USB ports; with an increasing number of gaming gadgets, what'sits and thingamajigs all connecting via USB, it would have been a pretty useful inclusion, particularly for users who have a hard time accessing ports on their cases.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Witness a 241% Australian price hike: Dell Latitude 7370 review
- 2 Is this the best value phone on the market? Moto G4 Plus review
- 3 Sony Xperia X Performance review: Sony’s most disappointing product in years
- 4 Huawei P9 review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
- 5 Huawei Mate 8 review: probably the best all-round Android phone you can buy
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Surprise! Nvidia reveals a new Pascal-powered Titan X and it looks like an utter monster
- Seagate's 10TB Barracuda Pro is the world's largest consumer hard drive
- Aussie moth ball link to Quantum Computing revolution
- 3DMark Time Spy tested: We pit Radeon vs. GeForce in this major new DX12 benchmark
- Nvidia's powerful Ansel screenshot tool and amusing VR Funhouse demo go live
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.
- FTSocial Media AssistantQLD
- CCMac (iOS) Support Engineer - $30 p/h - Three Year ContractNSW
- FTInfrastructure Technology Platform ManagerVIC
- CCDigital Project Manager, AgileNSW
- CCTest Lead-Agile, SCRUM, HP QC, JIRA, UX Government backgroundNSW
- CCMessaging EngineerNSW
- CCProject Manager/ Sr PMO Analyst - Consulting BackgroundNSW
- CCServiceNow Technical LeadNSW
- CCChange Analysts - multiple rolesNSW
- CCCRM Technical Consultant / DeveloperNSW
- CCMicrosoft Business Intelligence (BI) ConsultantNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst with Product Management experienceVIC
- CCInfrastructure Solution DesignerACT
- CCIOS DeveloperWA
- CCSQL DeveloperNSW
- CCUI/UX DeveloperVIC
- FTPortfolio Governance ConsultantNSW
- CCCRM DeveloperACT
- CCSAP FICO Consultant/SAP FICO Stream LeadNSW
- CCProject Manager - Change/Transformation/Project DeliveryNSW
- CCOrganisational Change ManagerVIC
- CCApplication Service TechnicianVIC
- FTSenior .Net Applications SupportACT
- CCSenior Test AnalystWA