Cooler Master USA has long been known for their PC performance cases and accessories. However, they recently launched a gamer-specific line of products known as ‘CM Storm’. This brand has been picking up some serious steam around the tournament circuits with their first two PC gaming chassis, the Sniper and Scout, and now they have released their first ever foray into the gaming mouse market with the Sentinel Advance.
The Sentinel Advance is actually fairly large for a gaming mouse, sporting a size similar to older models you would expect from companies like Logitech. However, for its overall size the Sentinel Advance is very sleek and the size is just perfect as it was meant for long periods of gameplay and you can easily rest your hand on it without problems. To further accentuate gamer comfort, the Sentinel Advance sports both thumb and pinky rest areas which really help avoid nasty cramps from heated tournament-play. Additionally, the mouse is all black, rubberized plastic save for the underside, OLED, and grates.
You did read that correctly, one of the more eye-catching features of the Sentinel Advance is its OLED screen which displays helpful information like X and Y sensitivity levels as well as a monochrome, 32×32 image which can be pretty much anything you like (in that size) however CM Storm recommends putting your clan logo in it. This can be accomplished via the software, but we will get to that later.
Aside from the two main mouse buttons, the mouse features a treaded middle-mouse button, a profile changing-button, two sensitivity adjustment buttons, and two thumb-buttons for extra functionality. For your twitch-based, high-reflex gaming this amount of buttons would be fine however for the MMO or RTS gamer, you may want to opt for a mouse with additional, programmable thumb and pinky buttons.
I am not usually a huge fan of flashy lighting systems on mice but I will make an exception in this case. The lighting effects of the Sentinel Advance are very impressive, with multiple modes of display (including my personal favorite – a ‘breathing’ pulse) and seven vibrant colors. There are two LED ports on the bottom-front of the mouse which shine light out like two laser beams when active and you can independently set the color of those and even have it only show when you click one of the mouse buttons.
A huge factor of awesomeness for CM Storm in choosing to include five 4.5g weights in the bottom of the mouse. They are, of course, removable to allow you to hit the weight you like but I found the mouse most comfortable at the full 22.5g addition. It is not light as far as gaming mice go but the added weight gives you a solid mousing platform to play off of. The biggest issue I see with the mouse is that they do not include any carrier for the discarded weights, which in my case could lead me to losing them.
The Sentinel Advance also is built with a braided cable as opposed to traditional plastic ones. The benefits of the braided chord is increased strength, flexibility, and a decrease in cable ‘stickage’ and bunching.
Installation and use of the mouse is simple: You can choose to go plug-and-play with the unit, in which case you can select between four different DPI settings. Or, you can install the CM Storm Sentinel Advance control software and get the ability to have multiple control layout profiles and, as previously-mentioned, upload your own clan logo into the mouse’s OLED screen.
As you can see, CM Storm has done a fine job of creating not only a useful control suite but a stylish one as well. The various controls are laid out as one would expect and are not hard to navigate to in the least.
Gaming with the Sentinel Advance is incredible. The Sentinel Advance’s twin-laser sensor has a max setting of 5,600 DPI and, while ungodly sensitive, remains smooth in its motions thanks to the size and weight of the unit. This may not make sense to you, weight and size do not regularly equal ‘smooth’ but along the bottom of the Sentinel Advance you will see four mouse feet, two of which along the sides with a very high-surface area in comparison to feet usually seen on gaming mice. These ultra-smooth feet allow the mouse’s weight and size to work for the gamer, instead of against.
You would never know that the Sentinel Advance was CM Storm’s first gaming mouse. The quality and precision of this mouse is incredible and CM Storm has a real contender here capable of going toe-to-toe with any other gaming mouse on the market. Expect to see this mouse readily-adopted by even the most hardcore gamer. The CM Storm Sentinel Advance is available now.