Input Devices Guide
First Looks: CM Storm Sentinel Zero G Mouse
Big and Blazing Fast
Cooler Master is already an established brand when it comes to PC chassis, power supply units and cooling solutions. With its CM Storm brand, the company is now venturing into the gaming accessories and peripherals market. The CM Storm Sentinel Zero G is its second attempt at producing a mouse tailored to the needs of gamers, following up on the Sentinel Advance.
If you are building a gaming mouse, having a high resolution sensor would be a good start, even if it's overkill for most gamers. The CM Storm Sentinel Zero G does just that and boasts a blazingly fast 5600dpi twin laser sensor. These specifications are identical to CM Storm's earlier effort and put it in the same bracket as other similar gaming peripherals such as the Razer Naga. In fact, the Zero G outwardly looks exactly like the Sentinel Advance, except with a grey and black exterior rather than an uniform black.
The Sentinel Zero G is definitely designed for larger hands, measuring 83.5 x 135 x 40mm, but the mouse's ergonomic design means it never feels clumsy. The contoured sides allow the thumb and pinky to rest comfortably while the rubberized plastic body provide a good, flush grip.
Weighing in at approximately 162g the CM Storm Sentinel Zero G is by no means light. The extra weight does provide a solid base though and helps the mouse glide over surfaces. This can be adjusted by adding or removing any number of the five removable 4.5g weights located at the base to provide a weight and resistance profile more suited to your individual preferences. We felt fine with the default weight though and didn't tweak it further.
Setting the Sentinel Zero G apart from the rest of the pack is a 15 x 30mm OLED screen at the top of the mouse. The display can be used to display clan logos or personal tags as well as other useful information such as the x and y-axis coordinates while playing. It can also show you game logos, all of which can be pre-determined by the user and adds another layer of personalization for users.
A total of four programmable and customizable profiles can be configured. Toggling through the profiles is achieved with the help of a button located in front of the scroll wheel. This means that gamers can change their mouse settings on-the-fly within the game for that extra edge. We found that having two easily interchangeable settings while playing StarCraft II, one for general play and one with extra sensitivity for micro battles, was quite a handy feature to have.
The color scheme of the Sentinel changes with every profile switch, providing a quick indicator as to which profile you are currently on. For those who can't remember which profile is associated with that color, you can always sneak a peek at the OLED screen to double check.
Casual gamers and normal users can use two buttons located above the scroll wheel to increase or decrease mouse sensitivity. The changes are almost instantly reflected and allow anyone to fully utilize the 5600dpi at their disposal in a way they like, without the hassle of navigating any menus. The only issue is that accessing the buttons requires some contortion of the fingers, but we doubt users would be changing the sensitivity often enough to get cramps.
For a sophomore product, the Sentinel Zero G is well-thought out and implemented, though perhaps a tad too similar to its predecessor. Other minor touches like the shoe-lace style cables along with a forward and back button for browser navigation accessible by the thumb add to its appeal.
A high degree of customization has been provided to the users in the form of programmable profiles and a removable weight system. Taking into account the high resolution sensor and an unique OLED screen for the wow factor, Cooler Master seems to be on the right track here. The Sentinel Zero G mouse does not actually break new ground in the field but with a street price of around 55 to 65 Euros, it's a decent alternative to the usual gaming mice from Logitech or Razer.