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The Microsoft Sidewinder X6 is a perfect keyboard for everyone. Whether you are a businessman or a hardcore gamer, this keyboard is the best for you. The main features include a programming column of keys, a volume dials, gaming controls, a detachable keyboard and the most attractive feature, an adjustable level of red background light.
I shall start with the advantages. This keyboard has up to twelve programmable keys which is flexible and can do anything from starting a shortcut to shutting your computer down. The numpad can be detached and replaced on either side of the keyboard, which is great for people with special keyboard placement requirements. The keyboard itself is ergonomic. The dials at the top adjust the red background glow of the keyboard and the system volume. On the left of the dials are useful media keys and a few pre-defined macros for gaming.
Unfortunately, the disadvantages impact heavily. As a rubberised keyboard, the "bounce-back" of the keyboard is not as efficient to the laptop keyboard I am typing this review on. Unfortunately, due to this, you may end up pressing double-keys or not pressing the keys at all, depending on how much attention you are paying to your typing. As a touch-typist, this has affected me a lot. Also, the macro keys are somewhat slow and take a long time to start the program. I guess this is a software flaw. The media keys to the immediate left of the dials have a HUGE software flaw. If you are not on Windows Media Player or a compatible program, pressing the media (Play/Stop/Forward/Backward) keys may crash your "explorer.exe" or even worse, Microsoft Word or some other important office program without even saving your work. Finally, the "Esc"/Escape key is positioned very poorly, making it directly above the macro keys instead of two keys above the TAB key.
As a final verdict, the problems outweigh the advantages. However, the keyboard has a nice design and is great if you're a professional gamer, since you wouldn't be pressing the "Esc" key a lot. I wouldn't quite recommend it to businessmen but if you require the extra "punch" for desktop functionality, then this keyboard should be yours.
As a closing note, this keyboard is no longer manufactured by Microsoft and it is at its end of manufacturing status. However, many companies are still selling out their stock for a discounted price so grab it while you can!
I hope you have enjoyed my review.
I am a keyboard junkie and have tried many, many types of keyboards over the years. I previously had cordless keyboards but was finding that I was going through so many batteries that I would have been just as well buying shares in Duracell. So gave up on the idea of cordless freedom and decided to go back to the good old fashioned corded keyboard. My only problem was that I needed one that was USB fitting which this one is. I also play World of Warcraft regularly so wanted something that would help me with my game. This looked just the job and since I already had the Sidewinder mouse and had no problems with that I decided to buy the keyboard to match.
This keyboard has some fantastic features, sadly enough the one I find great is the fact that you can make the keyboard light up, great feature if you play in dull light - it can be turned up and down by use of a button. One of the main features of this keyboard is the removable number pad, it can be removed all together or placed on the right or left side of the keyboard depending on which you prefer (I know many data input people who would love this). There are also media buttons on the top of the keyboard and volume control for easy music listening.
My only down point about this keyboard is that it has a wonderful set of macro keys on it, supposedly to make game playing easier, which are not explained very well. I have found them very hard to program and the software that comes with the keyboard doesn't make it any easier. Also don't know if it just me and my wee fat fingers but due to it having been specifically designed for game playing, the keys are very close together and I am constantly hitting the CAPS lock instead of the A key. It also has the facility to have custom key settings but as this is to do with using the macro facility then I have not used it properly yet.
The only thing I would do to improve this keyboard is to have better instructions on how to use the macro facilities - the instruction manual does very little to explain them properly. Other than that a very good keyboard that I find very comfortable to use. And yes I love the fact that it lights up.
Also shop around for this keyboard. It certainly isn't worth the £70 RRP that some stores quote for it.