Review: Creative Labs Sound BlasterX Siege M04 gaming mouse

Creative Labs has ventures forth from sound technology into the realm of gaming keyboards and gaming mice with the Sound BlasterX Siege M04 gaming mouse, a mid-tier, ‘all-rounder’ gaming mouse with a good range of features and a comfortable design — and a notable flaw.

Siege M04 feature Highlights and specifications

The Siege M04 features matte plastic construction along the top and back of the mouse, with textured rubber side panels. It’s clearly aimed at the ‘all-rounder’ category, with a right-handed ergonomic shape and 7 fully-programmable buttons, i.e. 3 standard buttons (left, scroll/middle, and right-click), 3 thumb buttons,  and a single top button behind the scroll wheel.

siegemouse4
Sound BlasterX Siege M04 gaming mouse (Credit: Creative Labs)

The base of the mouse features customizable LED lighting that can be set to a variety of effects (pulse, wave, etc.). The scroll wheel and ‘X’ logo also glow (white and red, respectively), but cannot be customized individually.

Creative Labs Sound BlasterX Siege M04 specifications

  • Buttons: 7 total (including scroll wheel)
  • RGB lighting around the base
  • Lighted logo and scroll wheel
  • Plastic construction
  • Textured rubber side grips
  • Shape: Right-handed ergonomic
  • Lifespan: 50 million clicks
  • Sensor: Optical PixArt PMW 3360 sensor
  • 12,000 DPI Maximum
  • 12,000 FPS (Frames per second)
  • 50G Acceleration
  • 250 IPS Tracking Speed
  • 2mm LOD (Lift Off Distance)

Physical specifications

  • Length: 135.6mm
  • Width: 67.65mm
  • Height: 43mm
  • Weight: 110g without cable /143g with cable

Siege M04 performance valuation

I used the Siege mouse for gaming and general PC use for about 2 weeks, mostly sticking to games such as Hi-Rez Studios SMITE, Blizzard’s Overwatch, and a few other titles, including KrillByte’s Among the Sleep and tinyBuild’s (highly entertaining) Mr. Shifty.

siegemouse1
Creative Labs Sound BlasterX Siege M04 gaming mouse (right side). (Credit – Creative Labs)

In terms of its overall shape, design, and features, the Siege M04 sticks to a fairly standard formula and scores predictably well. It’s comfortable. I like the strong, ‘clicky’ tactile response of its switches.

Speaking as someone who prefers textured rubber side grips I found it to be very comfortable and eminently ‘grippable’ for claw-style and fingertip grips. It tracks cleanly and smoothly as you’d expect for a high-end optical sensor.

Despite its successes, however, the the Siege M04 suffers from some ‘Freshman’ product issues.

First, the Sniper thumb button is too far forward to be easily reached — unless you have giant banana hands anyway. In the case of the Siege M04, I found the ‘Sniper’ button (which incidentally can be re-purposed to other tasks or macros) to be located too far forward on the mouse to reach comfortably with my thumb. This isn’t really an uncommon problem for a lot of gaming mice with similar features. The Siege M04 sniper button is just probably better suited to rarely-used commands or macros that don’t need to be accessed quickly.

Secondly, the driver software is still in its infancy; it’s adequate but still not on par with competing driver software such as Razer’s Synapse and Roccat’s Swarm.

That said, driver software can (and will be) improved over time, and many (if not most) gaming mice suffer from one or more poorly placed buttons. And different grip styles or mouse usage may contradict those that I deem poorly placed.

siegemouse2

But I found a much more notable flaw with the Siege M04 in that the thumb button response is noticeably sluggish.

Using a simple single-key macro (‘V’, i.e. melee attack in Overwatch) with no built-in delay was so slow that it impacted my timing. In this particular instance, I had configured the button to trigger the ‘V’ key (melee attack in Overwatch).

Using the same macro with my Clutch G1 the action is instantaneous. But with the Siege M04 there’s a noticeable delay between the button press and the execution of the command.

I can only guess that maybe it has something to do with increased resistance and actuation distance (i.e. the distance the button travels before registering a click), but I’m not sure. Maybe I just need to press the button faster and harder, but that scarcely seems like a solution.

Overall: 7/10 – Good

The Creative Labs Sound BlasterX Siege M04 gaming mouse is a good gaming mouse despite a notable shortcoming in the responsiveness of its thumb buttons. The software will likely improve with time, but Creative Labs definitely needs to address the thumb buttons in the next generation of the product.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s