|CM Storm Inferno Laser Gaming Mouse|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Dan Ferguson - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 03 August 2010|
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Closer Look: CM Storm Inferno
The outer two buttons don't cause the trouble I anticipated. They are fairly resistant to getting accidentally clicked, and my fingers don't drift onto them as much as I expected. These two smaller buttons are located close enough to my fingertips that they can be used as primary buttons. By default the left button is used as rapid fire and the right button is used for a macro. Also note that there are no buttons on the right side for the little or ring finger.
After getting over the initial reaction I wondered where CM Storm fit all 11 buttons. We already covered 8 of those on the top. Three are above the scroll wheel and the other five are located at the fingertips. The remaining three buttons are all located on the left side of the mouse above the thumb. The recent convention for most mice has been to put only two buttons on the left side and leave the right side blank.
In the past I've always had a difficult time reaching mouse buttons around the scroll wheel due to my extra long fingers. On the Inferno the top button is located only slightly below the top-middle of the mouse. It sits right beneath the knuckle on my middle finger and is easy enough to toggle, but still not good enough to be used as a primary button. The other two buttons require curling a finger back to toggle and don't lend themselves well to frequent or at least speedy use. The flat, wide scroll wheel is very nice. I have never liked the round or ridge shaped wheels. I have found them too difficult to click, especially when under duress. The wider wheel provides ample surface area for clicking, and the flat surface means even a poorly guided finger can get contact. The scroll wheel button requires the most force to engage, but this was not an issue for me. The scroll clicks are soft but the tactile feedback is adequate and the separation between clicks is distinct. This is the first mouse where I have ever successfully used the wheel as a primary function.
The back shot shows some of the curvature used on both sides of the mouse. It feels comfortable to grip with either the little or ring finger. In both grip styles the thumb and right finger naturally come to rest lightly touching the mouse pad. In this position the thumb rests just below the buttons on the left side.
On the left side, two of the buttons are clustered together and by default act as forward and back buttons in browsers and explorers. The buttons operate independently unlike my Diamondback which uses a rocker switch. I prefer the independent button arrangement because under heated situations I tend to mash hard on my buttons. With the rockers I found that pushing too hard frequently activates both buttons with undesired results. On the Inferno the front button is smooth and the back button has a bump to help in tactilely distinguishing the buttons. When I naturally grip the mouse my thumb rests below all three buttons with my thumb tip resting right by the middle button. This forces me to reach for the forward button. My reaction time is slightly slower in this arrangement and causes an occasional mis-click. It would be best to hold the mouse with the little finger, but I naturally use my ring finger to grip the right side.
The third mouse button is located just above the knuckle of my thumb. This is the "Storm Tactics" button. It essentially acts like a shift or control key which allows secondary functions to be assigned to the other buttons. When I move my thumb over the "back" mouse button it is a simple motion to activate the Storm Tactics button with my knuckle. Due to the location it is unlikely that the front button will ever get assigned a secondary function since it is too difficult to use the thumb to press both keys at once.
Overall the Inferno looks like an awesome mouse. It has a good blend of curves and angles. It also stayed fairly conventional in design without getting too tall, wide or long. Due to the styling, it looks like lefties are out of luck with this mouse. The top shiny part of the mouse is made of a harder plastic and will probably mar or scratch over time, but can stay nice if well cared-for. The gripping surfaces are made from a sturdy rubber which will likely outlast other components. From experience the first thing to break down will probably be the Mouse-1 and Mouse-2 buttons, but these will last as long as any other good mouse.
For style and feel the Inferno has made an extremely strong impression. But this only the beginning of the evaluation, Benchmark Reviews has yet to consider the detailed features and performance.