Microsoft gaming keyboard has swappable number pad

— 11:06 AM on August 20, 2008

Numeric keypads make welcome additions to modern keyboards for tasks like filling in Excel spreadsheets, but they tend to get in the way of heated frag-fests in multiplayer shooters. As Engadget reports, Microsoft has attempted to get around the problem with its latest gaming keyboard.

The SideWinder X6 features a detachable numeric keypad, which users can slap on either side of the keyboard depending on their needs. In games, users can turn the numeric keypad into a "programmable macro pad" that can remember as many as 90 macros per title. The SideWinder X6 also has little extras like a "Cruise Control" mode (presumably for long World of Warcraft sessions) as well as color-adjustable backlit keys.

Microsoft is complementing the SideWinder X6 keyboard with a new SideWinder X5 mouse, which features a matching angular design, nine buttons, adjustable sensitivity up to 2,000 DPI, and a "Quick-Launch button that instantly launches the Windows Vista Games Explorer." Both this mouse and the new keyboard will become available in September with respective price tags of $59.95 and $79.95.

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