Gaming Keyboard At The Right Price?
As alluded to in our recent Razer DeathAdder review, premium gaming peripheral prices have definitely hit an all time high, and it’s no clearer than when looking at the ever growing array of gaming keyboards. With the advent of mechanical keyboards causing quite the stir, it’s now common for us enthusiast to spend well over £80+ ($120) on a keyboard without batting an eyelid. Don’t get me wrong, I like a spring-loaded Cherry MX switch as much as the next man (wait, what?), but what if you can’t justify those prices or simply prefer membrane based keyboards?
Meet the Microsoft Sidewinder X4 gaming keyboard. At £35 ($55), it may be just what the doctor ordered (And for this week OCUK have it for just £27.98).
The X4 has been around for a while now, but when searching for a good value gaming keyboard that doesn’t look like a gadget from a japanime cartoon, this was the only one that really stood out from the crowd. It looks good, it has red LED backlit keys with three brightness settings, it has well-placed media keys above a narrow bank of F-keys as well as six superfluous macro keys on the left. And most importantly, it has a no frills standard key layout that just works.
The Sidewinder X4 is rather sturdily built and the keys produce a nice ‘clunk’ that’s weighty and smooth. While certainly not silent, they aren’t especially loud, either. The top frame has a glossy black finish that naturally will attract dust and finger prints but it looks nice and is surprisingly easy to wipe down quickly with a cloth thanks to the keys having a little less travel than most traditional keyboards – but in a good way.
One disappointment is the palm rest – you get the impression from all pictures that it’s going to have a nice rubbery feel, but it’s bog standard brittle plastic. In practice, it works absolutely fine but it does detract from it feeling like a high-end keyboard, which is a shame.
It really is a nicely designed piece of kit, and for the price (£35 Amazon / $55 Newegg) it hits all the right buttons (see what I did there?).LED Backlight and In-Use