PROS / The removable number pad can be attached to either side of this gaming keyboard.
CONS / The wrist rest is not removable.
VERDICT / This is a good gaming keyboard that should perform admirably for any game genre.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from viewing as part of this site because the manufacturer stopped producing it. You can still read our original review below, but TopTenREVIEWS is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Microsoft Sidewinder X6 didn't rank as well in our line-up as a few others but it wasn't due to it being a lousy gaming keyboard. It was a very close call honestly, but the features that this keyboard offers weren't quite enough to push it to the top. It does, however, have a few unique ones that we could only find on Microsoft keyboards.
Everyone knows Microsoft. Although they are mostly known for their OS software and productivity software, they also make a number of other things. One of their more recent endeavors was their step into gaming keyboards. They've got a few different ones on the market, and the Microsoft Sidewinder X6 is one of the most impressive of the lot.
The first unique feature, which we only found on Microsoft's gaming keyboards, is called Cruise Control. Cruise Control is a simple feature that is designed to repeat an action. This ability is useful for any action where you hold a key down for an extended period, like running. It also works for repeated tapping actions, like an attack. There are obviously perks to this ability but it also depends on the game. Many games already have a built in option for auto-run.
A modern RPG (role-playing game) like World of Warcraft requires combinations of attacks rather than one solo attack, so repeating an ability may not be very effective. You wouldn't want to use it for a shooting in a FPS (first-person shooter) like Call of Duty either, since that would result in expending ammo on nothing most of the time. Those are two examples of games that wouldn't effectively benefit from this feature, however, with others it could. Also, the Microsoft Sidewinder X6 allows you to repeat four different actions, not just one and that broadens its uses extensively.
This gaming keyboard has backlighting, which greatly helps you to see the keys in poor lighting conditions. It's a fairly durable, average-sized keyboard that connects to your computer via a USB port. One unique attribute that sets the Microsoft Sidewinder X6 apart from other keyboards is the removable number pad that can be connected on either side of the keyboard. This can be quite convenient for anyone who likes to integrate the number pad in their gaming while still maintaining mouse control.
The Microsoft Sidewinder X6 gaming keyboard has six dedicated keys you can program actions to. The option of multiple profiles and key banks allows for more macro options than you'll probably ever use. It is also nice for saving macro sets for multiple games. Most gamers play more than one game, and it's nice to be able to quickly switch between saved profiles and be ready to go without reprogramming anything. Should you need to make a new macro on-the-fly while playing a game, this gaming keyboard offers that recording ability.
A gaming keyboard like the Microsoft Sidewinder X6 really is a fine choice. In fact, for the price you pay its great route to go. It didn't rank as well as we initially thought would because in the end, the extra unique features that it offers are circumstantial. They are quite useful but only for some people and only on certain games. Without a really consistent use for a larger proportion of the gaming community, features like the Cruise Control don't add that much and are just nice extras to have at your disposal. Every little bit helps though and with some practice, it and all the other features of this keyboard could improve your gaming ability.