With great software support and quality build for a reasonable price, what's the catch?
By Tim Colwill on November 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm
CoolerMaster make a wide variety of things now that aren’t… well, coolers, and one of them is the CM Storm Recon. We recently took a look at the Sonuz gaming headphones also in CM Storm’s range, and found a solid set of cans, but one where CM appeared to have cut the corners when adding the microphone. So has the company cut any corners when putting together their top-tier gaming mouse? Let’s take a look.
- Avago 3090 optical sensor with 800-4000 dpi
- On-The-Fly Lift-Off-Distance adjustments
- On-The-Fly DPI adjustments
- On-The Fly USB polling rate adjustments
- Up to 1.5m/s or 60”/s tracking speed and 20G of acceleration
- Highest grade Japanese Omron micro switches
- Extra wide 16-bit USB data path
- 1000 Hz polling rate / 1ms response time
- Super Grip coated ambidextrous mousebody
- Ultra swift mouse feet
- Flexible 1.8 meter or 78.6 inch long cable
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 64.4 x 116.4 x 42 mm/ 2.53 x 4.58 x 1.65 inches
- Multicolor Mousewheel light to identify Profiles
The Recon’s ambidextrous design is built from a smooth, matte rubber material that grips softly to the hand and leaves no trace of fingerprints. Although it may look slightly angular, it fits easily into even my oversized sasquatch hand and is comfortable in both claw and palm grips. Two buttons adorn both the left and the right sides, while a dpi-switching button sits underneath the scroll wheel. It’s a pretty standard setup, but CM have taken the time to fit it out with some quality components and software support, as we’ll see below.
The sensor is an Avago ANDS-3090, capable of up to 4,000 DPI and now recognised as one of the most respected sensors on the market. During testing both on a gaming mat and on a flat desk surface it performed well, with the mouse feet offering a good glide and the weight offering decent resistance. If you like to customise your mouse weight however, you’re out of luck — try an alternative such as the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton.
In terms of aesthetics, the Recon offers you the ability to customise the glow of the scroll wheel, the DPI-buttons and the main logo individually, but we found the colours were a bit poor — more on that later. The Recon also skips the braided cable in favour of an old-school rubber-sleeved cable, which is not my preferred option and has led to some drag issues when it’s become snagged on my monitor riser.
Drivers and configs
When it comes to the driver suite powering the mouse, CM have managed to cobble together an impressive number of features. Every button can be individually reassigned to a macro, a keyboard key, a different mouse function, or even disabled altogether — something I immediately did to the right-hand side buttons, as I can’t seem to ever stop hitting them by accident.
Four different DPI levels can be configured — although unfortunately the sensitivity can only be adjusted in blocks of 800 (800, 1600, 3200, 4000) — and each level offers individual tweaking of the lift-off distance (although counter-intuitively, ‘5’ is the lowest and ‘1’ is the highest, here — be aware) and USB poll rate as well. You can also tweak the OS sensitivity, double-click speed and response time, which should theoretically allow the mouse to continue performing long-term as the sensors wear.
The Recon’s memory can hold up to five onboard profiles and 36 different macros, which should realistically be more than enough for almost anybody. One black mark against the Recon is that there’s no instant profile switching on the fly: if you want to change the profile you’re using, you need to do it through the software.
As mentioned earlier, you can customise the glow of the three LED areas individually on the Recon, and while this sounds good in theory, my testing of colours revealed that the range on the LEDs was pretty weak. While it can pull off full reds, greens and blues strongly, if you try for a mix of colours or you have a real love for a particular shade, you probably won’t be able to get it. What’s on screen rarely matches up with what the LED is displaying: yellows and oranges look basically identical, pink is purple, and so on. It’s hardly a deal breaker, but it’s worth noting.
Pricing and conclusion
The Recon retails for around the $60 mark, which is considerably below other offerings. SteelSeries Sensei Range are kicking about for $75+, Razer’s top-end mice are anywhere north of $80, and the Gigabyte Aivia Krypton we mentioned earlier is pushing $90.
At this price, and with the features on offer, I’d have no hesitation in recommending the Recon as a good, solid gaming mouse just brimming with tweaks and functionality. If you’re looking for top-end flexibility in a reasonably priced package, the Recon offers nearly everything you need.
- Matt rubber body, leaves no fingerprints
- Great sensor
- Excellent price
- Impressive feature set in the driver suite, extensive customisation
- Good for both claw and palm grips
- Lack of braided cable may cause drag
- No instant profile switching without software
- LED lights? More like LIE-ED lights, see what I did there
You can find the CM Storm at various stockists for around $60.