CM Storm Recon Mouse, Pad, and Bungee Roundup Review

BluePanda - 2011-10-03 11:58:48 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: BluePanda   
Reviewed on: December 13, 2012
Price: $39.99, $19.99, $19.99

CM Storm Recon Mouse, Pad, and Bungee Introduction:

Cooler Master's Storm lineup has a few new peripheral members. Normally I might review just a single mouse or single keyboard, or perhaps a few at a time, but today I have something a little different for you: a mouse and some mouse accessories. You might ask what accessories a common mouse might have – a mouse pad of course, and a cable holding friend. Today I have for you the CM Storm Recon mouse, the CM Speed-RXL mouse pad, and the CM Storm Skorpion mouse bungee. I'll try to bring the focus on the mouse and show off the other two as accessories to apply to any mouse you may choose.

The CM Storm Recon is a mouse designed for the ambidextrous gamer. To me, that just means duplicate buttons on the right side (I'm a right-hander) and an overall symmetrical body form. It has on-the-fly DPI settings ranging from 800-4000 as well as five customizable profiles with the included software download. The rubberized grip, precise optical sensor and three individual multi-color LED zones make this mouse an interesting find. Let's hope it performs as well as it sounds.

The Speed-RXL is one of the CM Storm common mouse pads. It is the large version of the pad coming in at 450 x 350 x 5 mm of natural rubber with a microscopic synthetic mesh. I've had my hands on one before and now I have two!

The CM Storm Skorpion mouse bungee is a new take on the Razer Mouse bungee, taking on the appearance of an actual scorpion with a tail connecting to your mouse. The concept is pretty simple; for any of you who may have gotten your mouse cord caught on the edge of your keyboard or desk in the middle of an epic boss fight; you understand that the Skorpion holding your mouse cable is not a bad idea. The notion is that you'll have exactly the amount of cable you need, exactly where you need it. I'm looking forward to seeing if it truly works – I know my keyboard edge tends to be the keeper of my mouse now, but perhaps this shall be a better solution.

Overall, I've got three great products to spoil you with today – let's hope they are something to mark your Christmas list with this year.

 

CM Storm Closer Look:

A box showed up from my delivery guy with three neat little packages inside. The mouse, mouse pad, and Skorpion cable holder (this thing really does look like a scorpion even in the box!). These three boxes really follow the CM Storm-theme styled in red and black – it really almost looks like an intentional gift set just in time for Christmas.

Closer Look (The Mouse):

Starting off with the CM Storm Recon mouse we've got quite the packaging. The front of the box shows off a top down of the mouse looking like it is rising out of some molten material. It almost reminds me of Terminator and I fear the glowing red eye to come next. A bright, firery "RECON" labels the box with a sub heading showing off the 800-4000 DPI options. A few bullet points brag up the mouse and leaves you wanting to see more. Lucky for you, the front opens up and gives a near full view of the mouse behind a plastic shell. You can easily place your hand on it for a quick size feel but left with the want to touch it. The inner panel points out some more key features including: multicolor lighting, DPI changes on the fly, super grip, and of course the nine fully programmable buttons.

The back of the box sums it up quickly listing all the features again (check out the specifications and features page to get a full listing). The typical service information links are listed at the bottom along with a site for live help on CM products. It's enough to want to move on and open the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, before we open the box, you have to take a look at more pictures of the box: the sides. There isn't a lot of excitement here I'll be honest, but I do always find it impressive to count the number of languages Cooler Master can list its product name in – this time it is 21.

 

 

Enough on the box – the contents are what you are here for. Opening it up there is the Recon mouse and a quick start guide. There really isn't much that comes with a mouse usually so I'm not surprised. The quick start guide at least points you in the direction of the default button settings. These of course can be changed with the software (which you must download from the CM site) but you can at least plug 'n' play straight out of the box.

First glance at the mouse provides a very promising feel. The upper portion of the body is the rubber coated plastic that I tend to really like. It keeps your hands from being sweaty and gives you a sure grip on the mouse. The mouse wheel clearly has a defined lighting area, which means whatever color I choose will shine brightly. The only thing I don't like right away (and you can't see it in this photo) is the extra set of buttons on the left side of the mouse – for you silly left handers out there. They seem like they may get in the way (more on this later).

 

 

Looking at the left and right profile views it is quite obvious that the mouse is symmetrical about the mouse wheel. The buttons are positioned exactly the same on the left as they are on the right and the same streamlined profile can easily be seen in either direction.

 

 

Taking another angle up from the profiles shows the defined symmetry. The left is exactly as the right from any angle. The on-the-fly DPI arrow keys are centered below the scroll wheel with cut out arrows to light up as well. The CM Storm logo is cut into the center of the palm and appears to light up as well. The most defining feature at this point is really the exact symmetry left to right.

 

 

Looking at the back of the mouse, again I can only emphasize the symmetry. The cable being off center is about the only difference left to right. The grip for a lefty vs. a righty can thus be said to be the same in theory (though those lefties I hear have an extra finger or something – *wink*). The scroll wheel is a rather fat one if I should notice something. The white regions, which light up when plugged in, seem to make it look wider than it really is. It's not a heavy wheel – but it does have quite the click to indicate movement.

 

 

A couple more angles show off the mouse a bit more. Like many reviews of such subjective items, these images say more than I can in words.

 

 

Looking at the bottom of the mouse, which now I'm guessing a few of you are comparing the bottom of your mouse, you can see the optical Storm Tactical Sensor on the bottom with the indicated maximum 4000 DPI. The serial number and model number are provided so that you can send it in for repairs if something does break – or tell your friend exactly what to order when he wants to steal your new mouse. The USB plug is your standard USB plug. The plastic molding around it has a CM Storm logo on it to easily distinguish it on the back of your chassis.

 

 

Overall the CM Storm Recon is a pretty nice looking mouse. Plugged in you can cycle through the default set colors: all green, all blue, and all red with three pre-defined DPI settings. After installing the software you'll be able to change the wheel color, DPI arrow colors, and palm logo color independently (as well as all the DPI settings and button options). I'm looking forward to using it a bit and seeing how it really feels in game and how well it performs day to day tasks as well. Nonetheless, based on looks alone (despite the ambidextrous design) I wouldn't doubt a few of you will be listing this on your current wish list.

 

Closer Look (The Pad):

The CM Storm Speed-RXL, like I've mentioned before, is a pad I've reviewed in the past with the CM Sentinel II mouse. It's a rather large mouse pad with a nice thickness to it. It isn't thick like most pads and stands at 5mm thick just above your standard cloth pad. The box shows it off with a CM Sentinel mouse sitting on it just to provide a size reference (though I think that is actually the Medium pad shown – see ahead for size comparison with the CM Recon).

Rolling the box from side to side you can read all the specifications and features along with the 21 languages calling out "Gaming Mouse Pad – Speed-RXL". My favorite part of the box is the little swatch on the Features side that actually allows you to feel the texture of the pads surface. It's only the cloth portion of the pad so you can't get a real feel for the thickness of it but you do have a good idea on exactly how smooth the top layer is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulling it out of the box it smells, as all mouse pads seem to, like rubber mixed with Chinese fireworks. Not that the smell matters – it's just something odd I always find about opening a new mouse pad – it just has a "smell". The pad in the box is rolled with the top surface out, so when you place it on your desk it naturally wants to roll to the desk rather than up and around your hand – good planning from Cooler Master's packing crew. A small CM Storm logo takes up the lower right corner of the pad in a thick-ish ink. However, the pad is so large; I don't see it being a problem while using it.

 

 

The CM Storm Recon mouse lying on the pad ready for action provides a little bit of a size reference for this 450 x 350 mm mouse pad. It isn't small by any means and will provide you with plenty of play surface.

Closer Look (The Skorpion):

The Skorpion reminds me of two things; first, the mouse bungee from Razor, and second, an actual scorpion. The box shows off the bungee with a large open window with a plastic base holding it at just the right angle to make it look like it is walking after you. The name on the front of the box "Skorpion" reinforces the look with a scorpion drawing in place of the letter "i". If nothing else you may just be afraid to pick up the CM Skorpion. The sides of the box go on to show off some features and provide a large image of the cable bungee with labeled features. There's really a lot to look at with all the features – but I'd much rather just open the box on this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the box is the CM Skorpion and a little guide to help you along (though it doesn't really have any "real" information in it). The first thing I notice is the iron core. The triangle shapped base has an iron core giving it some serious weight – I don’t think there will be any issues moving this around your desk. The "tail" on the Skorpion is also quite flexible; it bends in whichever direction I may choose it to and bounces right back to where it was. This could be a lot of fun despite my usual thought of mouse bungees.

 

The Skorpion does let you have a little fun as it fully disassembles for on the go gaming. You can pop off each leg almost like the daddy long leg spider in the shed and leave it hopeless on the table. For some reason this is quite entertaining and despite tearing it apart it goes right back together with little effort. While torn apart I did snap a picture of the beast's underbelly; it has a CM Storm logo with "Skorpion" printed from the box on the sticker. A serial number is provided for any needs later down the road (perhaps in case you are too rough with its "tail").

 

 

Back in one piece it really stands guard with a serious scorpion look (though it only has three legs). It really looks mean but somehow provides the gentle pet feeling to that of a pet dog or cat. It is almost as if it were to be "cute".

 

Setup wasn't too painful at all. It's pretty obvious the cable is to be held by the tail and the rest is self-explanatory. The rubber groove is adaptive to various widths (so if it isn't the Recon you have no worry); it can hold on to about any standard sized mouse cable – braided or not. All that may be considered "difficult" is deciding exactly how much length you want on your end; otherwise the Skorpion holds its ground and you are good to go.

 

Overall the entire setup is quite nice. The Speed-RXL pad is nice and large to give me plenty of play room. The CM Skorpion bungee looks mean on my desk and serves quite a purpose holding my mouse cable away from the edge of my keyboard or desk – I've always got the perfect slack in my mouse. The CM Recon mouse is pretty nice too – it probably isn't my favorite mouse – but you can read more about that in the testing and results section.

Closer Look:

Before we get to how I feel about the CM products, let us first take a look at the software that is downloadable from the CM website for the CM Recon mouse. I generally dislike the software section of most mice as most designs are rather clunky. The CM Storm Recon software is quite nice by comparison.

First we have the Buttons tab. It shows the left, top, and right sides of the mouse. Every button can be seen and a physical connection to the mouse is easily made. When you click on the number associated with the button, for example button 9, an image comes up in the upper left of the screen showing a closer look at that button. A function can then be assigned to the selected button. It can be reset to the default function, a mouse function, a keyboard function, a macro, or can be disabled completely (this may be very useful for those of you who can't adapt to the ambidextrous addition of buttons).

The next tab lets us play with the sensor; we can set the four on the fly DPI settings, OS sensitivity, double click speeds, and button response time. A double click area is provided to test it out. All the settings can be applied immediately with the apply button in the lower right corner; and despite most mice taking forever to acknowledge changes, the Recon is FAST!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The "GLOW" tab comes next and is probably my favorite tab of them all – well almost my favorite. Here is where you can play with the look of your mouse and choose from ten preset color options for the wheel, arrows, and palm logo. If you are even more patient you can set the exact RGB values to get whatever color you desire. Although it isn't exactly color from the screen to your mouse – a little tweaking and you can get it to match whatever keyboard lighting or desire you want. Here you can also set the LED mode for the lights with three more options: continuous, flash on profile switch, or "rapid fire," which seems to flash quickly three times on mouse click. This tab is neat and allows you to have a lot of fun customizing it to be YOUR mouse.

 

The Macros tab ended up being my favorite this time around. I generally don't have this much fun messing with macro setups as on a keyboard it's only so fun – and when you don't tend to use macros very much (I don't ever usually use them) they aren't that exciting. For fun I made one with 44 of the allotted 100 actions. No it honestly doesn't do anything useful, and you can actually see me pressing the keys to grab a print screen to share with you. So yes – you can set a button to do multiple button presses and key presses; whatever you may need. I think this may be fun to set for a friend of mine who always wants to use my computer – I'll set it to write him a message; fun this shall be.

 

 

These last tabs aren't quite as exciting as the last but still have usefulness. The Profile tab allows you to store some profiles for various games, various users, and what have you. You can name them and even provide an associated picture to go with it.

The last tab is the Support tab. Honestly it is just a link to the online website for help and a quick way to access the hardware/sensor/firmware/software versions. Nothing too spectacular and would go unnoticed if it wasn't even there.

 

CM Storm Recon

Specifications:

Buttons:
9 programmable
Profiles:
5 customizable
DPI:
800-4000 dpi
Dimensions:
64.4 (W) x 116.4 (H) x 42 (D) mm
Polling Rate:
1000Hz / 1ms response time
Switches:
Omron micro switches
Cable Length:
1.8 m
Tracking Speed:
1.5 m/s and 20G of acceleration
Optical Sensor:
Avago 3090

Features:

All information provided by: http://www.cmstorm.com/en/products/peripherals/Recon/

 

 

 

CM Storm Speed-RXL

Specifications:

Model Number:
SGS-4030-KLMM1
Available Color:
Black
Thickness:
5mm
Base:
100 % Natural Rubber
Dimensions:
450 x 350 mm

Features:

All information provided by: http://www.cmstorm.com/en/products/surfaces/Speed-RX/

 

 

 

CM Storm Skorpion

Specifications:

Model Number:
SGA-2000-BKNX1
Material:
Synthetic (body)
Rubber (feet, arm)
Iron (core)
Coating:
Rubber
Weight Sys.:
Iron core
Size:
150 x 130 x 85 mm

Features:

All information provided by: http://www.cmstorm.com/en/products/accessories/Skorpion/

Testing:

Cooler Master's CM Storm Recon was defiantly put through over a week of use and testing. During this time it was used it in everyday use, surfing the internet, photoshopping and of course some gaming. As a mouse is personal to each and every individual so how it responds in these various tasks is important in different ways to everyone. This rather subjective review is best to provide you the feedback from use rather than assigning made up numbers trying to compare one mouse to another. It's pretty easy to distinguish the likes and dislikes of a mouse through words rather than leaving it to you to decide what a 7 or 8 really means. No guessing game – here's what I liked, and here's what I hated.

Testing Setup:

 

 

Everyday Use:

Everyday use of a keyboard is pretty easy to explain – you think of email writing, Internet searches and such, but you often don't think about how you use your mouse for all these things as well. Scrolling through pages and clicking on links comes down to the control you have over a mouse. The Recon has a nice strong click to the scroll giving you a real feel for when the page is going to move. The wheel is rather light weight and doesn't have the substantial feel, but the click feel makes up for this quite a bit. The controls you have in the Recon control panel really allow you to narrow down the DPI and sensitivity to allow you to effectively move about the pages and get your pointer exactly where you want it to be. Overall in everyday use it's just like any average "good" mouse – well so I thought.

My major complaint with this mouse is the ambidextrous feature. By default both the left and right buttons are set for forward and back in Internet Explorer. So when you happen to bump the buttons that are usually non-existent on a standard mouse you will flip between pages without the intention to. It's surprisingly easy to hit the buttons and with actual feedback every time you do – you will soon be focusing on not hitting them than anything else. This downfall really applies to all three categories here: everyday use, gaming, and working. I've turned the buttons off completely – but why even have them if they are just accidents waiting to happen?

 

Gaming:

Gaming with the Recon was pretty nice. Being able to drop DPI down on-the-fly playing as a sniper role is kind of interesting. I can't say I'd normally play that way, but with games having quite different settings for sensitivity compared to that of the OS, it's nice to be able to cycle through a few profiles and find one that works best. It saves me time as I can stay in game and kill off more enemies. Gaming wise I generally don't use macros – but like I mentioned before, the ease of setting them up and using them is quite awesome (as long as I can live with either bumping them all the time or losing a main function button).

 

Working:

Working with this mouse I didn't notice a huge improvement over my usual K60 mouse from Corsair. Photoshopping precision wasn't really improved and in reality switching between laptop touchpads and mice when working have taught me to adjust to what I've got to get the job done makes the working category a bit more difficult to talk about. I would say you will successfully navigate three monitors with confidence in your work and be able to get whatever it is you need done with little efforts on your mouse hand. Overall it's a well working mouse.

 

Summary:

Overall the mouse is pretty awesome; however, I cannot seem to get over the extra buttons that are just in my way. Yes I can turn them off, but I'm right handed. I don't want anyone using my mouse besides me, so having the opportunity to switch is just silly to me. The buttons easily click so my only option is to lose the extra two and run with the standard seven button setup. Programming the mouse was ultimately my favorite – but can't find a real use for it with the limited button count (down from removal of the easily bumped).

Conclusion:

Overall I really enjoyed this CM Storm Recon Mouse roundup with the Speed-RXL and Skorpion additions. The Recon mouse was pretty neat in the sense that there were so many customizable options between coloring and actual functioning specifications. The ambidextrous idea was neat at first until I realized I'm just paying for two extra buttons (and switches) that I'll never make use of. The buttons themselves are too easy to press when not wanted and just get in the way. The symmetrical body shape of the mouse doesn't bother me too much even though I lose the added support for my last two digits, however, I see no need for the loss. I like that Cooler Master is going for a mouse for everyone to use, but in reality I'm the only one I want using my mouse. You can keep your grimy Cheetos hands off my mouse and play with your own mouse. Personally I want a mouse for me – I'm not sharing, so this added "feature" of two handed-ness isn't a pro to me.

The Speed-RXL is a pad I already reviewed prior and liked enough to keep using. It's really nothing too horrifically special other than a great price for a pad this size. The WarPad is a monstrous pad with a monstrous price – this is a bit more affordable and with proof has lasted quite a while already. If you have the desk space for it put it on that holiday list and get one!

The Skorpion bungee was a gimmick product I always snickered at with just a "dumb" idea conning those for money. Having used one now for a couple weeks I like the concept; the Skorpio is a really neat product and it will hold your mouse cable again and again. However, when you look at the price tag, $20 doesn't sound like a lot, but when you realize a rock from your backyard can perform the same task you think twice. It's a neat idea and if you have money to burn, it's worth the burning – but otherwise I'd just stick with a pet rock to hold your cable in place.

In the end, all three of these products had their own pros and cons. Together they serve up to a solid BluePanda Silver. The Recon fell with the annoying buttons, the Skorpion with the associated cost. In the end they all balance out – silvers all around.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: