Pros: fully programmable, 5 presets available, macro and scriptsupport, onboard memory, adjustable weights, on-the-fly DPI adjustment
Cons: Would have been nice to have teflon/kevlar feet for smoother movement, no rocker switch on scroll wheel
Sometimes you buy a new piece of hardware, or a new peripheral, and within minutes you know that it was money well spent. Sometimes these things just. Feel. Right.
Welcome to the Cooler Master Storm Sentinel Advance gaming mouse - the best money I've ever spent on a gaming peripheral.
Storm Sentinel Advance Gaming Mouse, Software CD, anti theft device for the braided cable.
Design / Aesthetics
The first thing you'll notice about the mouse, its its sleek, ergonomic design. Its not overly complex, and just seems to fit my ordinary sized right hand perfectly. Its not too dissimilar to older Logitech rodents, such as the G5, though a little larger.
The mouse also has a number of LED's - 2 'fire breathing' at the front, and at the rear on its small yet functional OLED display. These LED's are fully programmable from within the software for the mouse, and you can adjust the colour, if the light up when you press 'fire' and these are changeable for each profile you store.
The OLED display can display a small graphic which you can create yourself and download to the mouse, as well as briefly displaying which profile you've just selected, and the current DPI setting. Its quite good, but does sit right underneath the palm of your hand requiring you to move to view if (if you need to).
There is also a removable plate at the bottom of the mouse, housing a number of 4.5g weights which can be each be removed to adjust the weight of the mouse to your liking. I like mine heavy, so I leave them all in.
Usage / feel
First thing I noticed was that all the buttons are in very easily reachable positions - so no hand-yoga required to push any button.
The scroll wheel gives a nice light click as you scroll it, and provides a good amount of feedback when pressing the scroll wheel button - meaning you won't be depressing that switch by accident when scrolling. In fact, all the buttons provide a good amount of tactile feedback, so you know exactly when you've fully depressed one.
The mouse has the usual right and left buttons, 2 thumb buttons, a scroll wheel button, a profile switch, and 2 DPI selecction switches.
Which brings me to the first oddity I came across. Ordinarily, I would expect a left selction to reduce DPI, and right to increase - not so on the Storm Sentinel, the left DPI selection switch actually raises the DPI, and the right decreases. Not a game changer, but a slight oddity which requires a little getting used to.
The mouse is coated in a kind of light rubber coating, which means you maintain control no matter how sweaty (or full of spilt beer) your hand gets. It provides excellent grip throughout even the most mammoth of gaming sessions - s no excuses for your hand slipping off this particular rodent!
I've used the mouse for many months now, and must say I never get tired of using it, and find myself regularly switching profiles, adjusting DPI on the fly and reprogramming buttons when I feel I could arrange them better for my own style.
The mouse is very comfortable to use, and my hand has not once felt tired - even after gaming sessions lasting hours.
While the mouse does move quite nicely along my mouse pad, there is a second oddity I discovered / realised - the mouse's feet aren't coated, so its basically just sections of the plastic shell that make contact with the mouse pad. Cooler Master - would it really have been that difficult to give the mouse feet a nice teflon or kevlar coating for smooth movement? As I said, it does move quite well, but I feel this could be improved further with my recommendation above.
All in all, you'll find your gaming experience very pleasant with this mouse.
Software / Installation
One of the excellent features of this mouse - NO INSTALLATION! Yep, all setting are stored directly on the mouse itself, so no need for clunky software running in the background just to use the mouse as you want to, which brigs me nicely to... the software.
Ah yes, lets get into the software itself.
When you first open it up, you are presented with a screen asking you to select 'Casual' or 'Pro' gaming. Quite what each does I don't know, but it apparently has something to do with how sensitive the lasers are. I usually choose 'Pro'. It makes me feel better.
The main screen can seem a little daunting at first, but its quite a simple interface. On the left you'll see a list of the mouse's buttons (where you can change each of the buttons functions), in the middle a large picture of the mouse for the profile you've selceted, showing the colours active for the LED's and indicators for which button is numbered what (i.e 1 - left mouse, 2 - right mouse etc).
On th right, are the 4 levels for DPI selection for that profile - which allows you to adjust x and y precision for each of the 4 presets for that profile - from 100dpi right the way up to 5600.
You can also adjust the mouse motion sensitivity, double click speed and button response time here (in ms)
And finally along the bottom you have Standard Profile, and profiles 1-4. All are fully customisable.
The second screen in the software allows you to control the different colours the LED's display for each profile, and whether they are solid, or 'breath' or even 'fire' when a mouse button is clicked. Its a cool, if not gimmicky feature. However I find it useful for differentiating the profile I've selectred quickly without reading the OLED display.
The 3rd and 4th screens in the software are where you can create your macro's and scripts, and store them to a library position for assigning to a mouse button. I'm not going to delve deep in here, as not only do I use it much, but those that do will know what its all about anyway.
The 5th screen is your 'library' where you can view all the macro's and scrips you've created.
The last screen is merely the support/update screen. Pretty self explanatory.
All in all the software is fantastic, is gives you as much, or as little control as you want, is comprehensive, and best of all, does not need to be installed. WHen you change your settings, the software downloads them directly to the mouse where they are stored. This means you can unplug the mouse, go to a friends house or a lan, plug it into a different computer and all of your settings and profiles are exactly as you had them on your own PC - brilliant!
Apart from the few oddities I set out in the course of the review, this really is a brilliant piece of kit.
Using the mouse is easy, it makes gaming easier, the mouse feels good in your hand, won't slip and the software brings the whole package together and helps turn the Storm Sentinel from a very good gaming mouse, to a bloody excellent gaming mouse.
Testing something like a peripheral is very subjective, and everyone's opinions will differ, but I will say I found this a very enjoyable mouse to use, very easy to move around my mouse pad, all buttonjs within easy reach, its good to look at, great functionality with the software, and it can store everything right on the mouse.
I liked it so much when I first got it, I still have it, and don;t plan on changing it until its literally breaks down!
5/5 for me. You'll find it difficult to get a better all round gaming mouse. You will pay for the priviledge though, as it retails for about 60/70 euro/dollars.
There has recently been an upgrade to the mouse, the Storm Sentinel Zero G. Its a very similar mouse, but has 128kn onboard memory (up from 64), and also includes Kevlar stickers for the mouse feet, and the software is slightly updated - particularly in the macro section.
Dublin_Gunner thumbs up seal of approval.