Date: June 24th, 2010
Article by: Stefan Smith (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Microsoft
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PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
The software included with the mouse is Microsoft's own Intellipoint application, a versatile tool that can be used with any pointing device Microsoft has to offer and as such is very easy to use if sometimes a little lacking in options as it is more of an extension of the built in mouse driver that comes installed with windows. However, the user can customize many things with the smart little app from DPI settings all the way to macros for each of the buttons on the mouse.
Having used at least 10 different mice in the last 18 months getting used to the X3 wasn't difficult at all, in fact, it felt somewhat familiar as my last mouse was the Logitech G3; a mouse almost the same in every way as the Sidewinder so it was very easy to compare the two. In an everyday situation like web browsing or watching YouTube the X3 performed perfectly well and was an ideal replacement for my old Logitech mouse. To test the desktop usability of the X3 I chose 800dpi as my main setting and proceeded to give the mouse a brief workout with Solitaire; the movements were precise and the mouse glides over my desk without any issues with tracking or sticking so I thought it was time for a more difficult setting to test this mouse...
For this, I loaded up an old classic, Wolfenstien: Enemy Territory, for some legacy FPS action. For this test I chose 400dpi as I am a low sensitivity gamer who prefers slow mouse movements to maintain accuracy. The mouse was a huge improvement over many of the cheaper mice I have used over the past couple of years and provided me with better in-game accuracy than I've seen in a long time from a mouse costing half the price of what I'd usually spend...no small accomplishment to say the least!
After playing with the mouse for a few days I decided it was time to step up the game and play something a little more challenging. For this I chose a game I once played to a professional level; Call of Duty 4. After playing with this mouse for 20 minutes in a Search & Destroy match I was left pleasantly surprised by the fact this mouse performed the same as my personal favorite, the Logitech G5. Once again the mouse proved its self and gave me a sense of quality even though this mouse is at least $20 cheaper than the G5 and doesn't feature the weight system like most popular gaming mice of today.
Comfort is a huge part of picking the right mouse and should be the first consideration when buying a new product....that being said, Microsoft have tried their best to make this mouse fit almost anyone's hand and as a result the X3 fits almost perfectly in my palm and gives me confidence my hand wont slip off the top of the mouse. But, and it is a big but, the mouse fails to fit my hand correctly and I struggle to press the side buttons on the mouse without straining my fingers to reach...they are just too far away for comfort and the size of the buttons is also a fairly big issue; also, if you aren't left handing then you will have an even bigger issue pressing the button on the right side of the mouse both in games and on the desktop.