|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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Gaming Mouse Final Thoughts
As it turns out, trying to improve performance by modifying the utility of a mouse is not as straight forward as adding a second monitor. While it is widely suggested that using generic macros and scripts can improve productivity, which scripts to add and what applications should be used to create them are not always obvious and will required a concerted effort, study, trial and error and perhaps some inspiration or luck to accomplish. Years ago I discovered the power of Windows Scripting Host and Office macros, but they take time to learn and won't provide a solution for every need. Macros and scripts stored in a mouse can be used across multiple applications and are easy to create. They are also as portable as a mouse, at least for the Inferno.
The Inferno has offered a slightly larger range of potential benefits than other similar mice, but the difference is not drastic. At this point only the crafty and dedicated will be able to tap deep utility from the scripting module, and at best they will be limited by the options provided by CM Storm. The full potential of scripting has yet to be unlocked, and probably won't occur until the mouse gets megabytes of memory and a fully fledged scripting language. For that reason the CM Storm should really be considered a slightly improved version of the Sentinel.
CM Storm Inferno ConclusionThe Inferno performs like the high-grade mouse it was designed to be. The precision and accuracy are excellent. Under most circumstances the Inferno performs to spec. On shiny surfaces the lift-off distance could be lengthened beyond spec of 2mm up to 5mm. With the 115 inches per second movement rate the Inferno is accurate enough for even the lowest sensitivity users. The points per pixel and DPI scaling were very accurate and repeatable. The wide, flat design of the scroll wheel takes it from a secondary or tertiary button to one that can be reliably used for primary functions. The pressure required to activate the click is strong, but did not cause me any issues.
There is much going on visually with the Inferno. Three distinct tones on the mouse make multiple lines to break up potential monotony on the black and gray color scheme. There is a good blend of curves and hard lines giving a soft look from the top and an aggressive look from the front. There are some styling LEDs which are used for distinguishing the active software profile. The Inferno has just enough styling to transmit the necessary information in a stylish way without going overboard.
The Inferno is a light mouse; very light. For some it will be too light, a pain exacerbated by the lack of a weighting system. For others it makes for a light, quick-response mouse. Both left and right sides of the mouse are made from a sturdy rubber that yields a solid grip with a hearty resistance to sweat. The shiny black styling is made from a plastic that will scratch if abused and will last if protected. The buttons are arranged in an excellent fashion such that most are immediately accessible. The left and right mouse buttons are narrower than is typical to accommodate two additional buttons. Due to the extra buttons, larger hands will be cramped when trying to hover three fingers atop the mouse. Since I use two fingers this was not a problem and I had no difficulties adjusting to the narrow width. The mouse is very sturdy and well built, the feet and button springs will likely be the first parts to wear out.
By stripping out the unnecessary features from the Sentinel, CM Storm was able to add slightly more functionality to the Inferno. Macros can be recorded for keystrokes and mouse buttons, and scripts use a low level language to allow more enhanced features. By allowing mouse movements and conditional statements the Inferno exponentially expands the number of functions that can be performed. Despite these improvements, the scripting scope could still be greatly expanded. The on-board memory allows the Inferno to be customized with the settings stored internally so it can be used on any computer without drivers. Additionally, the configuration software was designed to be portable. There are 11 programmable buttons available across four different profiles. In addition, the Storm Tactics button acts as a shift key to allow secondary functions to be assigned.
When the Inferno (SGM-4000-KLLN1-GP) is released in mid-August 2010, it will list at an MSRP of $59.99. At that price it is competitive based solely on the design and performance. It is fairly comparable to several different mice, but it has the best combination of features and construction. Despite a few minor flaws it really will be a great mouse for a wide variety of people.
In my opinion this will be the mouse to own for some time to come. The price is great for what you get. Aside from the slightly sticky glide, it performs like a Razer but betters the functionality of the Ghost or Sentinel. It's given me a small leg up in gaming, and has proven useful in saving time at work.
+ Tons of well-placed buttons
- Not left handed
Final Score: 9.55 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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