8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Awful design choices and terrible typing feel!,
This review is from: Microsoft SideWinder X4 Keyboard (Personal Computers)I had really hoped this would be the best keyboard for me, after having a bad experience with key blocking (ghosting) on the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard (shift+w+space doesn't register). While the X4 resolves any kind of key ghosting/blocking, it comes at a price. The keyboard feels awful to type on, and has some poor design choices:
1) The worst problem with the keyboard is the terrible typing feel. It's clackety mush, for lack of a better description. There is too much resistance but not enough travel depth to the keys. Additionally, unlike some better keyboards, all key rows are at the exact same height (meaning they are all flat, and not angled at all), which results in more error prone typing if you are a touch typist. They say they were striving for a combination between desktop and laptop keyboards, but they seem to have inherited the worst features of both.
2) Unlike better designed keyboards, there is NOT a small gap in between A and Caps Lock. I find myself constantly hitting Caps Lock by accident.
3) The red backlight is indeed bright enough, but is unfortunately more towards pink than a nice deep red. It looks red enough when viewed head on, but from a normal seating or typing position it becomes pure pink! The color cannot be changed.
4) Probably because of the advanced anti-ghosting feature (which seems to be the best feature of this keyboard), it will not work AT ALL through a KVM switch with Windows 7. It's not a matter of special keys not working, or the software not recognizing the board, as with some keyboards, but rather a complete failure to install any kind of keyboard driver. I'm a seasoned IT pro and I was completely unable to get Windows 7 to recognize this KB through a KVM switch. Oddly, XP had no issue with the KB when attached to the KVM.
Now, it's not all bad news: The anti-ghosting is perfect, the macro feature is perfect, the media keys are perfect, and the calculator key is a brilliant touch.
If you can stand shift+w+space keyblocking issue, I'd strongly suggest the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard over this. I'm afraid this needs to go back to the drawing board. That is unfortunate, because I typically love Microsoft products like the 360, Zune, and Windows.