CoolerMaster Storm Sentinel Advance Gaming Mouse Review

Compxpert - 2009-08-28 19:32:07 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: Compxpert   
Reviewed on: September 27, 2009
Price: $69

Introduction:

Is your current mouse just not cutting it? Not performing to the level you need in your games? A good mouse can make you or break you no matter what games you play. Whether it's an FPS or MMORPG, a mouse can easily affect your performance making the difference between you being the champ at the next FPS tournament or the person who gets owned by the champ. Today CoolerMaster presents us with their first ever gaming peripheral - The Storm Sentinel Advance Gaming Mouse. CoolerMaster as you know has made cooling and chassis products for a number of years, so what will a gaming product from them be like? Read on and find out.

 

Closer Look:

I'm not sure if I should apologize for the condition of the box or not, but it's not my fault it came that way. I suppose sometimes it depends on the delivery driver but this one got quite beaten. Looking beyond the condition of the box there is plenty to find here on the box. The front reveals that this mouse is no pushover. It shows off some of its many great features such as the OLED screen on the front, super fast and precise 5600 DPI setting, and the 64kb of built-in memory. The front also reveals that this mouse doesn't use just any ordinary sensor but a set of lasers. Looking at the bottom we are told the mouse is "Designed to Search and Destroy" and it also reveals compatibilty with not only Vista/x64 and XP/x64 but also mentions Windows 7 support right out of the box. The one side of the box goes into more specific detail on the features of the mouse while the other features a paragraph about the mouse. Finally moving on to the back of the box we find there are pictures which highlight specific features along with text descriptions.

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as it would appear thus far the mouse made it to me unscathed but what about the rest of the box contents? Let's move on with the rest of this review.

Closer Look:

Well this mouse does deliver. Not only does it feature a whopping 5600 DPI, but it also features what I must say is something that at least I haven't seen in any other mouse. What I'm talking about is the on-board memory, but the OLED screen would be yet another feature I can't say I've seen before. More on the on-board memory in the next section. So what are we looking at here exactly? Well let's take a look at the pictures. The first thing you might be wondering is where the manual is at. Don't worry - you do have one - it's on the included CD. Other than the obvious fact that there is a mouse inside the box it also comes with CoolerMaster's rendition of a security lock. They way they do it is by having you run the wire through the included PCI bracket and then of course installing it in the case. Obviously once that's in you can unplug the mouse, but it would be impossible to take it without opening the case. Of course this does depend on you having a free PCI slot but who doesn't have at least one free slot these days? The CD-ROM itself includes the software install as well as the manual and the ability to run the software off the CD without installing it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Of course I can't get away without talking about the mouse. Plenty to say about the different buttons too, so I'll go over what they do. Of course to see what I'm talking about you might want to click those image buttons or you might not see the buttons I'm speaking of. Now without further ado, the button above the scroll wheel switches between profiles on the mouse. What are profiles you ask? I'll go over this in detail in the next section. As for the scroll wheel itself it also is a button like on most, if not all mice. Below the wheel are two other buttons which cycle between levels of DPI on the fly. Below those buttons is the OLED screen which you can see all lit up further down the page. There is also the LED area surrounding the OLED screen which is capable of changing between 7 different colors, well CoolerMaster says 8, but the one is really just off not a color. Moving on to the bottom is the dual optical tracking laser that is the main feature of thise mouse. There is also the compartment for the weights which I'll go over in detail below.

 

 

 

The weights don't come out in a cartridge like my Logitech G5 but just pop out with the use of your fingers. Each weight is equal to 4.5 grams which add for a grand total of 22.5 grams. Of course you can add or subtract as you like to achieve your desired weight.

 

 

 

I couldn't get away witout this little tidbit about the gold USB connector. Yes the mouse has a 24k gold USB connector. Now as you might know, in any electrical connection gold makes the best possible connection, but I can't think that the outer portion of this connector serves for anything more than look. So now you can buy a mouse and brag to your friends that it's got a gold USB connector.

 

 

 

Before we move on with the rest of the review why not show you what the mouse looks like when it's "fired up"? As you can see I chose the blue LED for my color. There are however, many other colors available such as red, green, yellow, purple, aqua (I think), and white. Also in the front are a set of LEDS which illuminate the area in front of your mouse. Of course there is also the OLED screen which displays your current DPI setting. It also has the ability to display a logo of your choice on the OLED screen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what is left to talk about? Plenty more in the next section.

Installation:

Installing the mouse is quite easy to do. Like any other software it's as simple as inserting the CD and waiting for the auto-run to pop up. Of course you could also get there by going to 'My Computer' and clicking the drive. Once up and running the main program on the CD gives you only 3 options. You can choose to install the driver and software on the first option or even use the software directly off the CD with the second option. The third option gets you out of there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Installation as I said, is easy. If you did wish to install the software it pops up with a very familiar install shield dialog. It really asks you very little about install options just pick a folder and next, next, finish. Once done you'll find it creates a start menu entry which gives you the software for configuration, access to the manual which is in PDF and if you need it, an uninstall option.

 

 

 

Whether you installed the software or decided to run it off the CD you won't be disappointed with the software. When you start it up, the loading screen comes up and passes in a matter of seconds. My first reaction to the software was literally "Whoa". There is so much you can customize just on the first tab alone. On the first tab you can adjust many specific things. You can change assignments for each individual button. What is really cool is you can adjust the DPI level that is selected on each button press. You can also adjust motion sensitivity, double click speed, and button response time. Lastly you can adjust the USB report rate which adjusts between 100-1000Hz. Default is 1000Hz which is recommended by the manual if you plan to use 5600DPI. On the next screen you can adjust what color you want for the top LED and front LED's. Additionally you can choose a mode for the LEDs to perform. You can have them just be on solidly, breathe so they dim on and off, trigger (on mouse click) which makes the front LED's flash to a white color when you click, or you can disable the feature. Here also you can choose a logo for the OLED screen. The format is pretty specific, however the image must be 32 x 32 pixels, and black and white. It is also specified that there is no tolerance for grayscale and if you want to display the image vertically you will have to rotate it 90 degrees counter clockwise. On the next screen you can set up macros. On the next screen you can make complex scripts which can allow you to perform custom commands. On the next screen you can select between your different scripts in your library of them. On the last page you are told about support offered and updates. Yes - CoolerMaster will release firmware updates to improve performance. 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow! So far, this mouse is quite awesome. It has a great software interface and is very customizable, but how does it perform? Let's find out.

Specifications:

Testing:

For testing I will be using the same comparison mice as in the last mouse review I did, as the Zowie mouse did not truly present with anything different from an ordinary $20 mouse. I will be testing the mouse based on 4 aspects which include speed, precision, comfort and customizability. Each test is based on a one to ten scale rating with the lowest meaning the mouse was horrible or highest meaning it was the best.

Testing Setup:

Comparison Mice:

Mouse Tests:

Speed:

With the speed test I gauged how fast I could make movements on screen in games or even on my desktop. For this test one would be slowest and ten would be extremely fast.

Comfort:

After hours of gaming and I do mean hours, I noticed my hand did not hurt at all and in fact felt the way it did before using the mouse. I could say almost the same for the G5 but it didn't feel quite as easy to grip onto.

Precision:

For this not only was the test based on how much easier it was to get headshots, but how much easier it was to use the lasso tool in photoshop. Generall at 2600DPI or even lower on the G5, I have trouble moving to the precise point in a quick time without going beyond where I wanted to move. With the CM Storm Sentinel not only could I get there fast at 5600DPI, but the movement was also very fluid.

Customizability:

Here I must say hat's-off to the CM Storm Sentinel - it offered many more features to customize like LED color but it also offered the ability to adjust the DPI value that each button press is worth. It offers ultimate total control over the mouse and I can't really think of anything more that you would want to control that this doesn't already offer.

I could have given a 10 on Precision but the fact is it could always be better, so could any mouse ever get a 10 really? Probably not, but I did demonstrate that the precision of the CM Storm Sentinel was superior to the Logitech G5. In fact the CM Storm Sentinel out-performed it on every test. I really wish I could have compared it to something a bit better and I must say I didn't know what I was missing.

Conclusion:

I didn't really have any major expectations going into this review. Upon first reading the specifications on the box I knew there and then that this mouse was truly superior to the Logitech G5. One of the really great features of this mouse had to be the on-board memory which allows you to store settings and eliminates the need to install the software on the computer to use it. I was very much surprised and impressed by the LED features of the mouse. I like the ability to change between 7 different colors on the LEDs. On that note, this mouse had to be the most customizable I've ever had. I really came to appreciate the bleeding edge 5600DPI and the precision of the dual tracking lasers is quite astounding. The comfort of this mouse was quite awesome, as it was easy to grip and it did fit my hand well.  I would have to give props for the OLED screen which not only displays your current DPI settings, but also features a changeable logo so you could easily make this mouse your own. Last but not least, the price is only $69 and for only $69, this mouse packs a load of features that you might not find in competing brands.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: