Microsoft Sidewinder X4

Microsoft has a wide range of peripherals with the Sidewinder X4 targeting cash strapped gamers looking for a gaming keyboard

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Microsoft Sidewinder X4 The X4 features anti-ghosting capabilities and programmable macro keys
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  November 1, 2010

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Key Specs

Ergonomic: Y
Interface: USB
Palm rest: Y
Price: $60
Scroll wheel: N

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Microsoft released the Sidewinder X6 keyboard last year and this year the software giant has followed up with the less expensive Sidewinder X4.

Selling for US $60 the X4 is $20 cheaper than the X6. The biggest feature on the X4 is its anti-ghosting capabilities, with Microsoft claiming the keyboard can register 26 keys simultaneously.Testing this we found the keyboard registered 14 keys simultaneously and while this doesn't match Microsoft's claims, its performance here isn't too much of a worry given you only have 10 fingers to work with anyway. The only time where this keyboard is likely to bog down is if you have a friend playing with/against you on the same keyboard.

The X4 also features programmable macro keys and an in-game macro record button. These are easy to setup and can give you a significant advantage depending on the game your playing. The Sidewinder is also built like a bank vault and just feels solid through and through. As a result we're sure this keyboard will be able to take quite a beating before it throws in the towel.

The keyboard isn't without flaws however. Though its keys are backlit there are only a few preset brightness settings and the media keys can, annoyingly, only bring up Windows Media Player if there isn't any other media player running at the time.

Verdict: While the X4 isn’t as feature rich as the X6, its anti-ghosting gives it an edge that make it a worthy gaming buy.

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