New SideWinder gaming mouse has BlueTrack, removable cord

When Microsoft announced its first two mice based on BlueTrack optical sensor tech yesterday, we didn't quite expect it to unveil a third one just 24 hours later. But that's just what's happened. Today, another Microsoft press release heralds the launch of the SideWinder X8 gaming mouse.

This isn't the first SideWinder mouse to come out of Redmond, but it is the first with BlueTrack and a removable cord. Yes, the SideWinder X8 has a hybrid design that allows for both battery-powered, wireless tracking and USB-powered, corded use. The neat part here is that the mouse charges when plugged in, so unlike other wireless mice, you don't have to swap out AAs or leave the thing sitting in a docking cradle when the battery dies.

The SideWinder X8 is loaded with features, too: nine programmable buttons, a real-time DPI-switching feature (with options from 250 to 4,000 dots per inch), three kinds of removable mouse feet, a macro recording button, and a little LCD screen to show the current DPI level and macro settings. Additionally, Microsoft claims the new mouse has "the best frame rate, speed and acceleration on the market."

How much does this beast cost? Surprisingly, Microsoft quotes the same $99.95 MSRP as for the simpler Explorer Mouse that launched yesterday. The Explorer comes out in November, though, whereas the SideWinder X8 won't show up in stores until February 2009. Until then, you can drool over the photos in Maximum PC's hands-on report.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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