i guess i lost my enthusiasm to do a full review of the ms sidewinder x6 after i found it to be less than perfect.Positive points:
- good key illumination across the board. key characters/text and key edges are illuminated. a dial allows brightness to be adjusted - or turned off.
- numeric keypad section can be, quickly, switched between left or right side placement. (two keypads, one either side, will not work - both will be disabled).
- numeric keypad on left side allows for more room for mouse travel (for right handed mousers). see negative comments below though...
- lots of programmable keys - plus LEDs indicate which "bank" of keys is selected (3 banks available, plus 6 of the keys use a toggle button to double them up).
- keyboard action feels quite "nice". i can't really offer more than that, it just seems better than my previous keyboard.
- volume control dial.
- 4 media keys, i.e. play/pause, back, forward, mute.
- some kind of "game" specific keys; no idea what they do.
- several keys have bumps on them. i haven't needed them but i can imagine it being useful if i made the effort to remember them.
okay, so nothing that unusual there.Negative points:
- programmable key software manager is pretty terrible. it's a click, click, click, click kind of method to set anything up (well, lots more clicks). very annoying. i've decided to ignore it for most things and just use autohotkey instead.
- no back risers. keyboard lies completely flat unless you put something under the top edge (a bit of wood in my case).
- numeric keypad on left side still doesn't seem to make a great deal of right hand mouse room. i'm still hitting the keyboard's right edge with my mouse. i've thought about getting a keyboard that has more of a laptop keyboard size and layout. i haven't bought one because i think it's still handy to have the home and cursor keys on the right - where i expect them to be through habit. (i could also blame my MX Revolution mouse for being too wide.)
- escape key is further to the left than "normal". annoying as i touch type.
- F, function keys, are a non "standard" size. so they are wider and closer together. annoying as i touch type.
- macro buttons are close to main keys - easy to hit the wrong key when going for Ctrl key.
- key remapping not very clever using the software manager. autohotkey has to be used instead. e.g. can't make key s6 map to Ctrl key (to avoid problem mentioned above).
- back light is red. that's it. it would have been nice to have a choice of blue and green too. the red does look quite nice though.
- volume dial is slow to respond.
- they keys ¦ and | are the wrong way around.
- the macro keys can be slow to respond. i set some up for cut/copy/paste. a quick hit of those keys might only perform a single key hit, so the output is like this instead: x/c/p instead of ctrl+x, ctrl+c, ctrl+v
- no obvious place where the keyboard manager saves the configuration files.
they keyboard is okay. i can live with the faults, just a matter of getting used to things or working around them (with autohotkey). i've been a bit too busy to set it all up how i like - after that i'll, probably, realise how much better this keyboard is than my last one.
it isn't the ultimate keyboard i was hoping it to be. a better key manager program would make a big difference. i'm not sure what i really feel about the home and cursor key placement. i do like a bit of tradition but removing them would give more mouse room - maybe this mouse room issue is nothing really.
will i buy another keyboard?
maybe. if so, then it will be something completely different - one more like the laptop size i mentioned. i've just not seen any good ones with good key illumination. you may say why do i need lights when i touch type, i obviously don't need to look at the keys. well, i don't know all the keys - so i do have to look sometimes - and it's quite dark in here in the evenings.
forgot to mention a very obvious negative point:
- numeric keypad on left means you have to relearn the key layout with your left hand. i seem to have resorted to using the top row number keys instead. not really sure if i'll ever force myself to learn how to dial all the numbers with my left hand on the pad.