Gaming mice are a dime a dozen, so choosing one that fits your needs as a gamer can be daunting. It could lead to many hours of going back and forth with your friends or tedious research across various tech sites for recommendations. The latest from Cooler Master – the CM Storm Sentinel Advance II, could ease some of your pain as it is a serious contender in the gaming mouse arena, offering gamers a new sensor and a DPI setting of 8200.
For a rundown of the specifications, take a look below
- 200 – 8200 DPI tracking resolution
- 128 KB Sentinel-X TM Memory for profiles and macros
- On the fly DPI adjustments (+/- 200 DPI)
- As little as 1.5 mm lift-off distance
- Up to 150 IPS – 3.8 m/s
- 125 Hz – 1000 Hz USB rate fine-tuning
- 5 profiles with 4 DPI setting each
- 8 programmable buttons
- 9 virtual buttons via button combinations
- Right-hand Ergonomic Design
- Customizable OLED logo
- Customizable multi color LED light system
- 5 x 4.5g weight fine-tuning system
But enough of the technical stuff; let’s move on to the actual review.
Design and Button Setup
The Sentinel Advance II is designed for right handed gamers, so if you are a lefty, move along. The mouse has been designed so one can feel comfortable no matter what your grip style. The left side is contoured to the shape of the thumb and allows you to have a firm grip for those lengthy frag sessions. It also tapers towards the bottom, allowing your palm to rest without causing discomfort or having your wrist hurt.
Right above the thumb rest are your two side buttons that can be binded to whatever you choose. Cooler Master has designated one of the side buttons with a TX logo, allowing you access to nine additional ‘virtual’ buttons that can be used over and above the physical ones. The buttons to switch your DPI settings are located below the scroll wheel, while the button to switch between the five user profiles is located above the wheel. The OLED display, something I personally appreciated, shows the profile/DPI you have set up. You may not constantly look at it while laying waste to your enemies, but it is a welcome addition nevertheless.
While the setup is perfect, the placement of the buttons is a bit of a sore point. For one, if you have large hands or stubby fingers, the side button placed at the front will require some effort as you actually have to shift your grip to use it. It’s the same story with the profile switcher that’s located above the scroll wheel and will require you to move your hand. Not so good when you are being shot at by a sniper and want to return fire. I would have preferred if it was placed close to the DPI switchers. Another sore point for me was that the mouse wheel felt quite bumpy and a tad unresponsive.
One thing I really like is that the company offers a choice of five different colours, and there is also an option to pick a few other colours from the included software. You can set it up according to your profile or just have it match your PC bling. Also included in the packaging is a set of extra mouse feet and five weights, each 4.5 grams, that allow you to have the mouse as heavy or as light as you choose.
The CM Sentinel software is an absolute treat for those who want to set up their mouse to be the ultimate virtual killing machine. Once you load it up, it has individual tabs for your button setups, colour choices, macros and scripts. While this may make a seasoned user happy, first time users would be a bit overwhelmed at the choices presented to them. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like.
Now, this is the area where the Sentinel Advance II truly shines. The 8200 DPI took some getting used to, but once I did, kills came thick and fast. The mouse actually made me feel like I had lightning fast reflexes. It allowed me to track, fire and drop enemies quite easily. With the proper DPI settings, twitch shooting as well as proper shot placement with a sniper rifle is as easy as pie. The macros allowed me to bind weapon purchases in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and now I no longer have to remember the keyboard shortcuts for them. For Battlefield 3, juggling through your primary/secondary weapons, rocket launcher, oxy-torch and knife is made easier with those macros and side buttons.
But as mentioned earlier, the button placements do create minor annoyances while playing. For instance, thanks to the odd placement of the DPI switcher, moving between DPIs in the heat of battle got me killed way too many times. Same with the side buttons; weapon switching had me move my grip/hand, which led me to move the mouse forward and miss out on quite a few knife stabs, kill shots, and Dog Tags.
The Sentinel Advance II is the perfect mouse for those who want really high DPI settings along with a good amount of customisation and excellent build quality. The button placement and right-hand-only design are minor issues, and if you are willing to look past them, this is an excellent mouse and definitely something to look at if you are in the market for a new gaming mouse.