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In 2009, Cooler Master kick started their division of gaming-grade peripherals, CM Storm, with the first Sentinel Advance mouse. Now, the already established company released the evolution of that particular model, the Sentinel Advance II, which is basically the same mouse, only with a laser sensor that reaches 8,200 dpi of sensitivity (against the 5,600 dpi value of the original one) and double the internal memory. Let’s describe its physical characteristics and then test the product.
The Sentinel Advance II has the same body shape as its predecessor. It’s a big mouse for right-handed users. The dark grey body contrasts with the eight programmable black buttons. On the left side there’s a deep niche for the thumb rest, and there are two distinct buttons above it, one of them marked with a TX (that’s a function we’ll explore later). There are no buttons on the right side.
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The upper side is dominated by the two main buttons and the dented scroll wheel. Below the wheel there are two small buttons to change the sensitivity (one of them has a little ridge, so the user can identify it quickly by touch). Right on the upper tip of the mouse, above the scroll wheel, there’s a button to change the colors of the light scheme. Of course, all those functions can be reprogrammed using the configuration application.
Below all those buttons the user can see a small V-shaped area, full of tiny holes with LEDs under them that light up the Sentinel Advance II. In the middle of the V, there’s an OLED display that shows the number value of the current dpi setting for the X/Y axis and can also exhibit a small 32 x 32 pixels .bmp black and white graphic. The user can upload a clan logo (FPS players like to gather in virtual battalions called “clans”).
The underside houses the Avago ADNS-9800 laser sensor that reaches 8,200 dpi of sensitivity, the weighting system (with five separate 4.5 gm weights) and two long rubber feet. The cable is cloth-wrapped and ends in a gold-plated USB plug.
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The Sentinel Advance II has eight programmable buttons plus nine “virtual” buttons created by pressing the TX button simultaneously with the others. This feature is configured through the application downloadable from CM Storm’s website. Despite its somewhat overcrowded interface, the software delivers. It’s possible to create up to five different profiles, and the user configurations are stored on the 128 KB internal memory, so he or she can switch computers without having to reprogram the mouse all over again. The user can program simple commands and button combinations with the TX feature, plus record macros. The TX feature is an intelligent solution that allows the Sentinel Advance to keep the body of its predecessor while adding virtual buttons to compensate for the lack of more real buttons.
The Sentinel Advance II is one of the most beautiful models on the market, thanks to its color scheme. There are seven choices of colors (red, green, blue, yellow, pink, blue and white) plus black (an unlit mouse, of course). They can be programmed to pulse, be on/off all the time, or blink when in Rapid Fire mode, which turns the mouse into a dance floor while the user rains fire on virtual enemies.
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The Sentinel Advance II is the ideal model for those who like big, heavy mice. The high sensitivity favors the peripheral, since it’s less agile than other models. The 8,200 dpi value is way too much, and we doubt it will ever be useful during a match. On most Battlefield 3 matches we played, we only went as far as 6,000 dpi during some intense tank fights because they are very slow vehicles to aim at, so the higher the sensitivity, the better. The Rapid Fire function is great in intense firefights, where precision is not much of an issue.
The TX feature expands the configuration choices and makes the Sentinel Advance II attractive not only to FPS players, but also for MMORPG players who usually need more buttons to record macros. With eight real buttons and nine virtual ones, the Sentinel Advance II can deliver.
The OLED display (though seemingly a little useless because it rests below the palm of the user’s hand) helps show the current dpi setting without the user having to memorize some color scheme associated with the sensitivity level.
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The main specifications for the CM Sto
rm Sentinel Advance II mouse include:
- Gaming-grade laser mouse with OLED display
- Right-handed design
- Connector: Gold-plated USB
- Assignable buttons: eight (plus nine with a combination of buttons)
- Internal memory: 128 kB
- Tracking Resolution: Up to 8,200 dpi selectable on four levels
- User profiles: five
- Maximum velocity: 150 inches/second (380 cm/s)
- Acceleration: 30 G
- Polling rate: 1,000/125 Hz
- Approximate size: 3.3 x 5.3 x 1.6 inches (83.6 x 135 x 40 mm)
- Weight: 139 g / 0.31 lbs (adjustable to 161.5 g / 0.35 lbs)
- More information: https://www.cmstorm.com
- Average price in the U.S.*: USD 55.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Sentinel Advance II enhanced what was already an excellent mouse to begin with three years ago. Because it’s a huge peripheral, it’s not suited for players with tiny hands or those who prefer lighter and more agile gaming mice. The Sentinel Advance II compensates for its bulkiness with high sensitivity, but in practice, we doubt someone will exceed 5,000 or 6,000 dpi when playing. The body is comfortable and provides a firm grip. Despite the overcrowded interface, the application does its work without much fuss. The virtual buttons added by the TX feature were an intelligent solution to not overpopulate the body of an earlier model with unreachable buttons. The dents on the scroll wheel make it very precise.
- High sensitivity level of 8,200 dpi
- Easy to configure
- OLED display lets the user know the dpi setting on the fly
- Friendly configuration application
- Nice lighting effects
- Very precise scroll wheel
- TX feature virtually doubles the number of assignable buttons
- Rapid fire function
- Cloth-wrapped cable
We really didn’t find a single weak point to report. The size of the mouse might be an issue, but it’s more of a personal preference than a problem with the device’s design, and there are always players who look for a bigger mouse.