Microsoft SideWinder X3 Gaming Mouse Review

Posted: May 5 2009, 12:00am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 9:27am CDT , in Peripheral


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Features & Specifications
The Microsoft SideWinder X3 has three on the fly sensitivity adjustment buttons that move the mouse between 400 dpi, 800 dpi, and 2000 dpi and the settings can be customized with included software. Five main buttons on the mouse are programmable with macros and can be reassigned for use in either hand.

Dual recessed side buttons are offered and the highest sensitivity setting for the mouse is 2000dpi. The Microsoft SideWinder X3 can withstan20G of acceleration and process 7080 frames per second. Other features include wide glide feet, rubber scroll wheel, quick turn button, and support for XP and Vista operating systems.

In Use
Considering that the Microsoft SideWinder X3 sells for $39.95, it packs in lots of features for the money. The 2000dpi sensitivity will be plenty for most users that don’t like super high resolutions like the 4000dpi and more other mice are capable of. One of the nicest features of the Microsoft SideWinder X3 is that the mouse uses an ambidextrous design. Left-handed users are hard pressed to find a decent gaming mouse.

The adjustable sensitivity can be programmed though various levels up to 2000dpi in the software. By default the three buttons under the scroll wheel are mapped to 400 dpi, 800 dpi, and 2000 dpi. I much prefer fixed buttons for sensitivity levels rather than one button that scrolls through different settings.

The problem with one button for the sensitivity settings is that if you lower resolution for something like sniping you have to watch the mouse to see what sensitivity setting you are at when you try to go back to a higher setting. With the Microsoft SideWinder X3 you simply fell your way down the button row and press the one you want without taking your eyes off the game.

Using the software included with the mouse you can bind macros to the programmable buttons to perform multiple keystroke tasks with the press of one button. The side buttons of the mouse are arranged with one on each side of the mouse. The buttons are placed up higher and forward of where the thumb naturally rests when the mouse is in use. The only issue I had was that for my medium size hands the buttons were a bit of a reach and required me to reposition my hand on the mouse to use them.

The scroll wheel is wide and coated in rubber for traction. I quickly missed the scroll wheel on my Logitech G9. The G9 has a detent mode that offers freer movement allowing me to stay in click mode, but flick the wheel for faster scrolling. The Microsoft SideWinder X3 scroll wheel is much tighter so you have to use constant thumb motion to scroll. A quick turn button is also included on the mouse allowing you to spin your game character in a circle to check your perimeter with the press of a single button.




  • Cheap
  • Macro capability
  • Ambidextrous


  • Side buttons hard to reach

The Microsoft SideWinder X3 is a raging bargain in the mouse world. It gives up some of the nice features of high-end mice, but keeps most of the performance you expect form a SideWinder gaming mouse. This is the mouse for gaming bargain hunters.


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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at




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