From the title, you already know that the SideWinder X4 is a gaming keyboard, so let’s start with the most obvious question: what’s anti-ghosting? “Ghosting” is the term used for the times when your regular (lame) keyboard spazzes out when you try pressing a complex key combo within a game. For example, holding the W and A keys, while regularly tapping on the spacebar, moving through the arrow keys, and holding down the Ctrl and TAB keys at once (yeah, it sounds improbable, but have you tried playing 2K Sports’ NBA 2K10 on a keyboard?) This keyboard’s anti-ghosting tech aims to eliminate the “spazzing-out” part by allowing you to press up to 26 keys at once—which might mean that you’re the one spazzing out. Yeah, you should get that checked out, man.
Anyway, if you’re a gamer, they thought about you when they designed this. Each key is scanned independently by the keyboard hardware, so each key press is correctly detected regardless of how many other keys are being pressed at the same time—a new technology that lets gamers (and 26-fingered aliens) execute the most complex key combos.
Just like any premium gaming keyboard worth its salt (or worth your time, in case you don’t have any salt), the SideWinder X4 fills out the “good gaming keyboard features” checklist:
So there you have it. If you’re interested, it’s priced at $60—relatively affordable for a nice gaming keyboard. It’s about a month off from shipping though (set to ship in March), but it’ll be up for pre-orders on Amazon next week.
Now for intriguing question: would we buy this? $60 for a new SideWinder gaming keyboard? Sure, if we had $60 to spend on a gaming keyboard. But if we had $80 to spend, we’re springing for Logitech’s G110. It’s got the “gamer’s checklist” filled, plus integrated USB audio, a removable palm-rest (“removable” is important when you don’t have the desk space), custom backlight colors (you can mix red and blue to get that perfect shade of purple you always loved), plus the all-important button that disables the Windows/context keys when you’re playing. Really, this single button is what makes a great gaming keyboard awesome.