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A well-known maker of computer cases and CPU coolers, Cooler Master is venturing forth into the gaming mice niche with the release of the Sentinel Advance model under their CM Storm brand. It made a good impression on us right out of the box: the mouse reaches 5,600 DPI of sensitivity and features an OLED display and eight programmable buttons. Combine that with a good graphical user interface for managing profiles and macros and you have an amazing product for a company that just released its first gaming mouse. We were indeed impressed. Let’s begin by describing the mouse.
The Sentinel has an ergonomic shape and plenty of space for the thumb to rest. The well-known buttons 4 and 5 which are pleasantly responsive stand above the thumb rest. In the upper part of the mouse the user can find the profile changing button (which usually are located on the underside of regular gaming mice), then comes the scroll wheel and two other buttons, very small, that change the sensitivity levels. And finally the big deal of the whole Sentinel: the OLED display that shows the number value of the current DPI setting plus a small 32 x 32 pixels .bmp black and white graphic that the user can upload. Other mice go for a color scheme to indicate the sensitivity levels that the user must commit to memory. The Sentinel just tells you right upfront. Neat.
On the bottom part we have the dual laser sensor, which can go as high as 5,600 dpi, the compartment with five 4.5 grams (0.16 oz) weights, which increase the total weight of the mouse from 139 grams (4.9 oz) to 164 grams (5.8 oz), and two light outputs that transform the mouse into a handheld nightclub. The cloth-wrapped cable has as a gold-plated USB connection.
[nextpage title=”Configuring the Sentinel”]Configuring a gaming mice usually gives us a headache due to poorly executed software. Great products overlook that important detail, but not the Sentinel. The graphical user interface is very good and user friendly. It supports up to 5 different profiles and the user configurations are stored on the mouse’s 64 KB internal memory, so you can switch computers and keep your preferences.
Eight buttons can be reassigned through the main configuration screen. The user can program simple commands, application launching, application controls and macros. Trigger-happy players can even apply the Rapid Fire function to a button. Configuration is a hassle-free deal. You can set the color of the light emanating from the Sentinel through the color scheme control screen and also set the light graphic image onto the OLED display, like, for instance, the symbol of your gaming clan (FPS players like to gather in virtual battalions called “clans”).
The user can set four sensitivity stages up to 5,600 DPI in the X/Y axis. There goes our usual tip: lower values are indicated for high precision moments within a gaming match, and upper values are good for high octane action. Cooler Master also suggests working with a simple formula: take the higher value of your monitor screen, multiply by 2.5 and there you have the medium DPI setting you should aim for. For instance, in a 1024 X 768 monitor, the Sentinel should be set around 2500 DPI (1024 x 2.5). But again there is no mathematical formula for personal taste and gaming preferences.[nextpage title=”Playing with the Sentinel”]We tested the mouse primarily playing AVA (Korean FPS Alliance of Valiant Arms) and World of Warcraft. The body design allowed for several hours of comfortable and precise gaming. The eight programmable buttons were used to the fullest and even lead to unusual situations, like experimenting to assign the Rapid Fire function to the main left click button, leaving regular shooting to button 4 above the thumb rest. We could check the current DPI setting through the OLED display and there was no need to turn the mouse upside down to change profiles since the button for it was near the scroll wheel. Overall we were very excited about such an excellent gaming mouse coming from a first timer as Cooler Master. Let other future models come.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]The CM Storm Sentinel Advance main specifications are:
- Gaming-grade laser mouse
- OLED display for DPI and custom BMP display
- Assignable functions: 8
- 64 KB on- board memory
- Tracking Resolution: up to 5,600 dpi (user selectable in 4 stages)
- Maximum velocity: 6.00m/s 235 IPS
- Acceleration: 50 G
- Approximate size: 3.3" x 5.3" x 1.6" (8.4 x 13.5 x 4 cm) (W x H x D)
- Weight: Adjustable from 139g to 164g (4.9 to 5.8 oz)
- 24k gold-plated plug
- Cloth-wrapped cord
- More information: https://www.cmstorm.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 55.00
* Researched at https://www.shopping.com on the day we published this review.[nextpage title=”Conclusion”]
- Eight programmable buttons are more than enough customization
- High sensitivity level of 5,600 DPI
- Friendly configuration application
- OLED display lets you know the DPI setting on the fly
- Cloth-wrapped cord is a nice touch
- Comfortable grip for hours of playing
- Profile selection button on the upper side
- We really didn’t find a single weak point to report. Maybe the mouse is a tad too big for our taste, but it’s more of a personal preference than a problem with the device design, which we find within normal proportions.