Compared to other companies such as Razer or Logitech, the software for the mouse is rather lacking. For DPI setup, you only get to change it in increments of 200 from 200 to 2000. That should fit most people's needs though but I would've liked to have seen more granularity in selecting the DPI for my mouse. You do get to set setups for different programs but you can't setup profiles for a group of programs. Say you want certain setups for certain types of games. You can't save the settings in a profile so you have to go to a slower route in saving for each program. With the software, you can also adjust the macros you record as well as name them. The software, while adequate, doesn't offer the customization options that others do.
Performance wise, the mouse did really well and was smooth from low to high settings. I tested the mouse with Team Fortress 2, Uneal Tournament 3, and Hellgate: London. I had no problems with all three games and the mouse performed really well across the board. The mouse tracked well in all games and I found myself preferring the all Teflon feet. Adjusting the DPI was a little bit harder in the heat of battle since the button placement makes me reach a little more than say the G9. Still, the mouse felt pretty good and was comfortable for long sessions of gaming as well as being accurate at different speed levels.
You can setup a quick turn button that makes you turn 180 degrees. You do this via in game and you can calibrate it bu finding a stationary target, activating the calibration, turn your character 360 degrees, then release the calibration button. I've tried this feature in games and other mice and never found it to be one that I would use. I like complete control over my turning and thus have never really used the feature. I tried it for a little bit but never got comfortable with it. There could be some people out there that finds this useful but I don't know of anyone in my gaming circle that utilizes this feature.
I will say the Game Menu button seems useless though as you can easily pull up the games menu on Vista in a short amount of time. If there was a way to change the function of the button I would've found it to be more useful but as it is there's really no need for it. If you're using the mouse with Windows XP, the button will bring up the IntelliPoint software. In truth, I never really used the button and it's too bad you can't program it to do anything else. Thankfully, the button's recessed in the palm area and I never accidentally pressed it once with all the times I played.
The Microsoft SideWinder mouse isn't a bad mouse but it is a bit expensive and lacks some features that other mice around this price range has. I do like the design and how it feels and was pleasantly surprised that the vertical aligned thumb buttons were pretty comfortable. Overall, I think Microsoft has a good addition to their lineup and I really hope to see more from Microsoft.
It's not a bad mouse but for the price there are others that offer more. The physical design is pretty nice though.
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