Cooler Master CM Storm Sentinel Advance II & CM Storm Speed-RXL Review

Author: Roger Cantwell
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Roundups/cm_storm_advance/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

Today Neoseeker will be taking a look at the CM Storm Sentinel Advance II gaming mouse and the CM Storm Speed-RXL gaming mouse pad from Cooler Master. The manufacturer is always looking to take its game one step further, and the Sentinel Advance II aims to do just that with a long list of features including 200-8200 DPI tracking resolution, 128 KB Sentinel-X memory for profiles and macros and customizable multi-color LED light system, to name just a few. Now I have used my fair share of gaming mice, but with so many customizable options the CM Storm Sentinel Advance II is shaping up very nicely indeed.

So let us get started first by taking a look at the packaging of the Advance II. The overall color scheme of the package is red and white on black. The front of the box contains a single photo of the Advance II with flames dancing around it. In the upper left hand corner you can see the Cooler Master logo, and overlaid on the right side is a hint at some of the new technologies built into the Advance II.

 

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CM Storm Sentinel Advance II

Specifications:

Model
SGM-6010-KLLW1
Available Color
Gray
Dimension
3.3(L)x5.3(W)x1.6(H)inch
83.6(L)x135(W)x40(H) mm
Weight
139 g / 0.31 lbs
Sensor
Avago ADNS-9800 Laser Sensor
Acceleration
30 g
Polling Time
1000 Hz /1 ms
Velocity
Up to 150 ips
Onboard Memory
128 KB
Form Factor
Right Hand Ergonomic
Programmable Buttons
8
UPC Code
884102015366
Warranty 2 Years

Features:

Flipping the cover of the box open reveals a wealth of information on the inside regarding the features of the Cm Storm Sentinel Advance II such as on-the-fly dpi fine tuning, customizable profiles, light effects and clan or community logo, and a Storm Tactics multiplayer key, just to name a few.

On the right side is a clear plastic cover providing a top down view of the CM Storm Advance II mouse itself. The top of the box proudly displays the Cooler Master logo. On the back you will find a full specifications list for the CM Storm Sentinel Advance II.

The left side of the box contains information regarding the Advance II in multiple languages, along with a brief description of the system requirements.

 

The CM Storm Sentinel Advance II's features are listed at the back of the box, including the Avago ADNS-9800 laser sensor, 200-8200 DPI tracking resolution, on-the-fly DPI fine-tuning, and as low as 1.5mm lift-off distance. This is just a brief listing of the features included on the back.

The accessories pack contains additional replacement pads for the bottom of the CM Storm Sentinel Advance II.

 

If we turn the Sentinel Advance II mouse around and look on the left side you can see two of the eight programmable buttons. The button marked "TX" is used in combination with the tactics system which allows for the creation of advanced key combinations.

 

Looking at the Sentinel Advance II head on, we can see the standard two button setup along with the scroll wheel in the center. Just in front of the scroll wheel is the profile button that allows you to select profiles on the fly. Just behind the wheel are two more buttons that allow for on-the-fly DPI adjustments; the button on the right will increase the DPI up to 8200, while the button on the left will decrease it all the way down to 200 DPI. If you look right behind the DPI buttons, you can see the OLED readout where the OLED logo and DPI settings can be observed in real time.

 

Another one of the cool features I really like about the Sentinel Advance II is being able to adjust the weight of the mouse by removing or adding any one of the five 4.5g weights; the mouse weighs next to nothing with none of the weights installed.

You have complete control over the Sentinel Advance II's lighting features in the Color Control Tab of the included software. The choice of lighting colors are red, green, blue, teal, yellow, purple and white, or you can mix and match any color combination you like, for example changing the front lighting to red while having white on the top or vice versa. You also have the option to turn off the lighting effects completely. Here you can also add or customize your OLED logo simply by using a 32x32 grey scale image.

In the photos below you can see the many colors of the Sentinel Advance II in action, along with the OLED display. If you look at the bottom right hand photo you can see that I had set the DPI at 8200, which makes the Sentinel Advance II extremely hyper sensitive to the smallest movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CM Storm Sentinel Advance II's software suite is where you will go to customize everything about the mouse, right down to your very own OLED 32x32 grey scale logo as described earlier. You know you can't wait to customize it with you clan logo. Here in the control panel you will be able to set up your own scripts and keyboard shortcuts (that support up to three keystroke combonations), profiles and so on.

You can set the color options for the front and top LEDs in the color control panel, as well as their effects like glowing, flashing, and always on or off.

 

The CM Storm tactics page allows for programming of the special TX button, as well as any keyboard macros. The process is fairly simple; click the New button, then use the Record button to enter your key and mouse button combinations. When you are done, click the Stop button. Once your macro is completed, click the Save button and name your new macro. The script page is just like the macro page except you will select a script from the drop down list instead. Select how the script will be run; run once, loop and so on.

 

On the library page you can import, export or delete macros and scripts. With the use of the import function you can import downloaded or saved profiles. Using the export button allows you to save macros and scripts for uploading to either an ftp server or thumb drive so you can share them with your friends or transport them from one desktop or laptop to another. The red arrows in the center of the screen are used for transferring your saved macros or scripts to and from the Sentinel's on board memory. The profiles backup section is for everything that is not saved in the Sentinel's on board memory. On the support page you can find help for common issues with the Sentinel Advance II.

 

CM Storm Speed-RXL Gaming Pad

The CM Storm Speed-RXL is a refreshing addition to the gaming pad market. The CM Storm Speed-RX comes in multiple sizes ranging from Large (450 x 350 mm), Medium (320 x 270 mm) and Small (250 x 210 mm). The Speed-RX is made from a synthetic mesh that uses nano fibers to offer a higher level of performance for today's optical sensors and as well as improved compatibility with the older optical sensors. Other benefits include reduced drag and increased tracking performance.

The bottom of the CM Storm Speed-RXL has a unique coating to reduce slipping on surfaces. The CM Storm-RXL is 5 mm thick which helps reduce palm discomfort so unlike the thinner gaming surfaces on the market, the Speed-RXL is ideal for longer duration of play.

The package confirms the use of microscopic synthetic mesh for optimum precision, smooth nano fibers for reduced drag and better comfort, and an extra thick (5 mm) soft rubber center piece for better ergonomics and endurance. A triple layer heat bonding process makes for improved durability and helps prevent peeling, while grip coating on the bottom side helps keep the mouse pad in place.

 

 

I didn't know what I was missing until I began testing the Speed-RXL gaming pad. At 5 mm thick, it is almost two times thicker than you average mouse pad but as it is manufactured from a microscopic synthetic mesh I immediately saw a vast improvement in overall tracking and movement of the mouse.

Specifications:

Available Color
Black
Base
100% Natural Rubber
Dimension
450 x 350 mm (SGS-4030-KLMM1)
Warranty
2 years
UPC Code
884102015854 (SGS-4030-KLMM1)

Features:

Testing Setup:

Comparison mice:

Tracking:

The table below shows the various tracking tests used. "Pass" indicates the mouse was able to track the movement perfectly well on that surface, whereas a "Fail" means that it had difficulty and was unable to track the movement without issue.

 
CM Storm Sentinel Advance II
Razer Death Adder
Logitech M100
iHome
Desk
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Clothing
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Glass
Fail
Fail
Fail
Fail
Mirror
Fail
Fail
Fail
Fail

Although the CM Storm Advance II was unable to successfully track on both glass and mirror, this is not a deal breaker. The overall performance of the Sentinel Advance II was extreme to say the least. The Advance II was also tested with BF:3 where a great number of enemy players happened to die via sniper shots thanks to the extreme precision of the CM Storm Advance II.

 

Comfort:

Overall the Storm Advance II is very comfortable mouse, as all the buttons are easily within reach regardless of how you grip it. It is however limited in the fact that it is a right handed mouse due to the layout and design. Switching the DPI settings in game was hassle free thanks to the two buttons located right behind the scroll wheel, and the CM Storm tactical button was right under my thumb at all times.

Customization:

The eight programmable buttons (and nine virtual buttons) allow a great deal of possibility. I decided to give it a shot in the tried and true FPS, CS: Source. I was able to do away with in-game macros for buying weapons and items, as in two button clicks I was well equipped with everything I needed to dispatch my enemy with ease. One little issue was the fact that you have to visit Cooler Master's website to download the software for the mouse. It looks like it would have been just as easy to include a software disk but on the other hand they may have wanted to keep costs down.

Overall the CM Storm Sentinel Advance II is a well designed product with all the features you would expect from a $100 gaming mice but priced at around $60 dollars retail. You will not not find another gaming mouse under $100 that can match the value of the CM Storm Sentinel Advance II. It comes with a well rounded software package and eight programmable buttons along with nine virtual buttons that lets you create more than enough macros and scripts to ensure you are prepared for any experience be it MMO, FPS, RTS or RPG.

Lets not forget the OLED and LED lighting for the complete customization package, you can even upload your clan logo to show off to your friends or enemies, whichever comes first. With the refined design, we get an additional 64kb for a total of 128kb of on board storage capacity, plus an increase of 2600 DPI on the optical sensor over the previous version.

If you want the complete CM Storm mouse package, consider the CM Storm Speed-RXL gaming mat to go along with the CM Storm Sentinel Advance II. These two combined make for one mean combo, as the CM Storm Speed-RXL is a top notch gaming mat manufactured using synthetic mesh for a better drag free experience. It is also extremely comfortable on the palm of your hand even after hours of gaming.

During testing of the Advance II, the mouse responded with eye tearing speed when set at 8200 DPI, but even at lower settings the Advance II was still very responsive. It's a good thing the Speed-RXL is available a larger surface area, 450x350 mm, to support a greater degree of movement. The CM Storm Speed-RX series gaming mat prices start around $19.99 and get pricier according to size, but they are well worth it as dollar for dollar you will not find a better value.

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