Provided By: Cooler Master
The Sentinel Advance II arrived in a sleek black box with red accents, continuing the Cooler Master Storm theme we’ve been accustomed to seeing, and the front of the box tells you right away what the difference is between this and the previous Sentinel mice – it has a “New Sensor”. The mouse itself appears to be on fire, literally, and is glowing with ferocity. The back of the box lists a bunch of features, including the usual DPI limits as well as polling rates and even some on-mouse memory to save profile settings.
The box has one of those flip folds that gives you a nice plastic wrap version of the product to look at before you buy it. It lets you see the actual product rather than some super nice pictures of it; that shows Cooler Master’s high confidence in the product alone. You can even put your hand on the mouse to test out size and fit – I really like this opportunity when buying something. More features are listed on the inside panel here – we’ll cover each one as we look closer at the mouse.
Before we tear open the box, let’s take a look at the Speed RX-L (large) pad that showed up with the mouse as well. The box is a simple rectangular box that contains the mouse pad rolled up neatly inside. The box shows red-printed military figurines on a black background with an actual picture of the mouse pad (with the Sentinel mouse on it) just off to the right. The Cooler Master logo is in the upper left corner while you get the CMSTORM logo to confirm authenticity.
Taking a look at each side of the box we get a little more information. The front of the box is as explained above, showing the product name and company name in bold. The next side of the box has a bit of an “introduction”, giving a brief rationale for the Speed-RX’s creation. It is a pad for optical gaming sensors to work just as well with high-end laser sensors, while providing “excellent tracking” and “speedy glide”. It is a pad worthy of any mouse design not just for a CM mouse.
Rolling the box over one more turn reveals nothing much more than the term “Gaming Mouse Pad” in more languages than I want to count. The last side of the box gives a list of features, in English, and a quick set of specifications to give you an idea for size; 460 x 350 x 5 mm. A texture square is glued to the box to give you a quick feel of what you are getting into.
Enough boredom about the packaging, you will have a chance to look at it even closer when you decide whether or not this mouse and/or pad are for you. Now to the mouse itself it really doesn’t look any different or feel any different from the original Sentinel Advance. For those of you who haven’t heard or dealt with one before, it’s a rather large mouse with is great for people like me with big hands. There is a large groove for your thumb to rest in with easy access to the forward and back buttons.
The top of the mouse has your usual left and right click with a scroll wheel. Two buttons below the scroll wheel are used for on-the-fly DPI setting changes and a small button above the wheel allows for quick profile switching. In general, it is a pretty good looking mouse with quite a few options to quickly change settings.
Every mouse has a set of feet or sliders to them that you either wear out or tear off over time. An extra set is enclosed with the mouse; if you can keep them somewhere you’ll remember in a couple years, when they do come off, you have a quick free repair. It’s nice that CM includes them, but usually by the time I’ve killed the feet — the mouse needs a replacement as well.
The bottom of the mouse shows where the four different pads would sit, as well as a little compartment that houses weights. You’ve got five weights at 4.5g each, to narrow down the exact weight you want your mouse to be. Some of you like it light, some of you like it heavy; either way, you can change it by a whole 22.5 grams, so you should be happy — unless of course it isn’t heavy enough, in which case you like some seriously heavy mice. Overall, this mouse really gives you lots of options. The sensor here on the bottom is also the only thing that truly defines its difference from its past companions.
Out of the box, it is your typical mouse pad. In thickness it is about two of your average superstore-branded mousepads stacked on top of each other. It’s a rather dense rubber, so it won’t be squishing a lot under your hand, but still soft enough for a nice wrist rest. It really is a pretty big mouse pad. Coming in at 450 x 350 mm, it is about the size and width of two motherboard boxes next to each other, cutting off a bit in either direction. It is going to take up some space. However, this is the LARGE pad; it does come in two smaller sizes, if you need such.
The CM Sentinel Advance II has a setup of seven pages to thumb through to hopefully tweak the mouse to exactly what you want. Let’s take a closer look at each of the pages below.
The first page shows the mouse with a fiery background and red mouse lighting. The bottom shows your personal four profiles and the default CM STORM Profile. There are three tabs down there to allow you to create/edit profiles and work a little profile management magic (allowing you to save specifics to your mouse for computer-to-computer use).
The left side allows you to assign the eight different buttons to your different options. The right side of the panel allows you to change DPI settings for four different levels. Each profile you set can cycle through four different options without switching profiles; a pretty nifty feature for adding in different DPI settings for different games without messing with anything else. You can even control the OS settings here. The double-click tester and settings are here as well.
The next tab over allows us to control color options for the mouse. You can set the front lights that glow out the bottom of the mouse to a different color than the top of the mouse if you so choose or match them if you like. Unless you are in a dark-ish room, you probably won’t see the front lights too much glowing on your pad – but then again you usually don’t see what is glowing beneath your hand either. The right side of this tab also allows you to control when the LEDs are on. You can keep them on, turn them off completely, let them breathe or allow them to show on mouse click. There are lots of options here for those of you who feel theneed to control everything.
The STORM TX tab allows you to set mouse click combinations to perform different functions. For example, you can set a left click combined with a right click to assign any button to about anything. You can even set a single button to open IE or change DPI levels. The scrolling for these isn’t great, so when you open it up, realize there are more options than the two you see at first. However, you can set up some scripts to run as well – so the options are about endless if you view it that way. Even the scroll wheel can do much more than ever expected.
The fourth tab is the MACROS tab – you can set up all your usual macros here. You can save, load, copy, or delete the various ones you do set up. If you set up something super awesome, you can even share it with a buddy who has the same mouse; just send it to them and have them load it up. It’s pretty neat, but not per se my forte, unless just fooling around.
The SCRIPTS tab allows you to do exactly that – make scripts for the key setting. I don’t really have to explain this to those of you who care about creating scripts for key combos, so I won’t. It is pretty simple for those of you who haven’t played with such before – you can record actions to set up what you want it to do, set delays, and so much more. Check out a local geek thread here on OCC to ask for more help if you are looking to learn more about adding scripts.
The library tab keeps track of the scripts you’ve created or have collected from friends, as well as macros and things you have saved to your mouse directly. This allows you to choose what is saved to your mouse and delete the macros and scripts that didn’t work out in your favor. The best thing is it lets you take the settings with you if you will be going somewhere without your computer. Just take your mouse, install the little driver setup and you can download settings directly from your mouse!
The last tab is simplest of all of them, and also much more common to what you may have seen in past software settings for mice and keyboards; it’s the SUPPORT tab! From here you can check what version you are running to see if you need to update, as well as get a direct link to the online support page for more help. A nice list of instructions helps you narrow down what you are looking for and provides a way to deal with not finding what you were looking for.
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, 450×350 mm, to support a greaterdegree 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.
The Cooler Master CM Storm Sentinel Advance II Gaming Mouse and RX Pad receive the Xtreme Tech Junkie’s Xtreme award!