Sidewinder X6 announced!

SWX6_ATop_LeftB_FY09

Batman meets Mavis Beacon 

I usually don’t write about my work at Microsoft on this blog. I think people already write enough about our company and products without me adding to the fray.

But I must tell you the upcoming Microsoft Sidewinder X6 keyboard is something that my fingers really love. It was just announced at Leipzig at the Games Convention show and I’ve been using it for a few days. I’ve had a hands-on of the final product and I can tell you it rawks.

See here for all the great specs and features. Basically the press release includes the following key features:

Switchable keypad can be attached to either side of the keyboard, allowing gamers to switch between a standard key pad and a macro pad in gaming mode.

Mode switching lets gamers manually toggle the keyboard from standard mode to either of two gaming modes. LEDs show the selected mode.

Automatic profile switching detects the application that is running and applies the custom profile to the application.

Assign up to 90 macros per game with the programmable macro keys.

NEW! Cruise Control feature continues an action without having to hold down the key or keys assigned to the action. Gamers can use Cruise Control with up to four keys at a time.1

In-game macro record button lets gamers record any sequence of keystrokes — even standard chat messages. Macros are stored on the PC hard drive and can be easily shared.

WASD gaming keys have front-face lighting for enhanced visibility.

Quick-Launch key gives one-touch access to Windows Vista Games Explorer,2 allowing gamers to quickly see the games in their PC’s game library.

Two-color adjustable backlighting is controlled by a dial right on the keyboard. Amber indicates programmable macro keys in game mode, and red indicates nonprogrammable keys.

Media keys and volume control dial provide easy access to popular media activities such as play/pause, previous track, next track and mute.

 

My own experience so far:

– Really love the typing experience. I usually type fastest on a Microsoft Natural split keyboard, but this one takes it one notch up because the keys have very good tactile response. They are also spaced for optimal efficiency.

– The backlighting is done very well and not overly-bright or dim. The volume dial also allows very fine control of your audio.

– I don’t really play so many PC games these days, but the macro recording works for all sorts of work stuff like Excel or MS Word too. I’m trying out macros for Photoshop soon. You can always key in the macros into the software if you don’t want to do it directly.

– Overall, it looks really cool lor. Like Batman’s little own PC keyboard ;D

The product will be available in SG later in the year.

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