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Written by Hank Tolman   
Tuesday, 08 May 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
CM Storm Sentinel Advance II Gaming Mouse
Closer Look: CM Storm Sentinel Advance II
Sentinel Advance II Detailed Features
CM Storm Sentinel Software
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Closer Look: CM Storm Sentinel Advance II

The CM Storm Sentinel Advance II looks very similar, unsurprisingly, to the CM Storm Sentinel Advance. The Sentinel Advance II is a dark grey matte color. It contrasts well with the buttons, which are black. The area above the two main buttons in the center of the Sentinel Advance II has a display showing the DPI settings on each axis and small logo. Surrounding this is a perforated area with LEDs under it to light up the mouse with one of six colors. The color is matched by two LEDs just under the two main buttons.

CM_Storm_Sentinel_Advance_II_Box.jpg

In appearance, the differences between the Sentinel Advance II and the Sentinel Advance are few. The Sentinel Advance II comes with the words CM Storm emblazoned on the right side. I think this feature was also found on later versions of the original Sentinel Advance, but it isn't on the one I got for review. There is also a TX on the rear thumb button that isn't found on the original. Other than that, the two are virtually identical in appearance.

CM_Storm_Sentinel_Advance_II_Box_Back.jpg

The CM Storm Sentinel Advance II has a total of eight programmable buttons. That isn't a lot when it comes to gaming mice these days. Some mice have more than that just under your thumb. What I have come to realize, however, is that it's less about how many buttons there are and more about where they are located. If the buttons are in areas where they get pushed accidentally, I'll end up programming them to be nothing anyway. If the buttons are too difficult to get to while I trying to pwn some newb, they aren't going to get used either. If I'm playing an MMO, I'm probably holding down the right mouse button 90% of the time anyway. That means any buttons I have to push with my middle or extremely inflexible ring finger are probably out too.

CM_Storm_Sentinel_Advance_II_Angle.jpg

Like I said before, I was a huge fan of the Microsoft 5-button mouse. I think the eight buttons on the Sentinel Advance II are pretty well placed and don't get in the way. The two thumb buttons take some getting used to if you haven't used a mouse with them before.

CM_Storm_Sentinel_Advance_II_Cord.jpg

On the bottom of the Sentinel Advance II you can see the non-slip rubber bumpers that give enough for the mouse to glide smoothly, but also don't let it slip around. You can also see the Avago ADNS-9800 laser sensor that allows the mouse to be tuned up to 8200 DPI. Down near the bottom is the chamber for the weights. You can adjust the weight on the Sentinel Advance II in 4.5 gram increments up to 23.5 grams. It actually makes a significant difference. Personally, I like to have all of the weights in.

CM_Storm_Sentinel_Advance_II_Bottom1.jpg

The CM Storm Sentinel Advance II Laser Gaming Mouse, like the Sentinel Advance, came with a Battle Pad, called the RX Pad. The pad is was produced by CM Storm with gaming in mind. The pad measures 15.9 x 11.2 x 0.20 inches. It's huge. You certainly won't have to worry about picking up your mouse because you've run out of mouse pad space. Although 8200 DPI should help with that too!

CM_Storm_Sentinel_Advance_II_RX_Pad.jpg

While the base is coated in an anti-slip grip, for better grip and stability from vibration, the top is made of solid black synthetic mesh of nano fibers that was allegedly engineered for pin-point precision and highly responsive tracking. The RX Pad is supposed to work equally as well with optical and laser sensor based mice. It's 5mm thick to help cushion your hand and reduce fatigue. I've been using a CM Storm Battle Pad for over two years now, and I don't think I could go back.



 

Comments 

 
# Why bother...JustComputers 2012-05-09 03:09
Never understood why you would want a gaming mouse, when you have decent bluetrack devices that work better, than this old Laser tech. To me its a waste of space! I have a 4 button wireless mouse, with blue track, to be honest, its the best I have had, works faster than my old laser and on nearly any surface...

Laser is old, and you don't need that when gaming!
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# RE: Why bother...claydough 2012-05-09 04:07
bluetrack can be a gaming mouse as well?
Microsoft's sidewinder gaming line has the Sidewinder x8 mouse that uses blue track.

I love the feel and fit of the microsoft sidewinder x6 I just wish they would fix the r ghost and change to mech ( Azio makes an x6 MECH clone with detachable num pad but they tossed the low profile keys sadly and changed from the hexa sexy stealth design to an immature chunky industrial look.. :-( )
And Blue track would have been a nice companion however tactile fit trumps any consideration as a mouse is your extension into the screen. If any mouse can match the customisation of my R.A.T. 9 I will give it a chance if it is as lag free wireless ( the blue track x8 was lag free as well ). Saitek made an MMO R.A.T. with more buttons but sadly they switched from the cool stealth matt black and added steam punk bronzish accents and did not make a wireless version!

Beside more buttons I wish these new wave of mice would include levels of pressure sensitivity... I prefer drawing with my mouse given that customized fit and the comfort is not lost when using button combinations. Which I lose when trying to manage control with my wacom's pen. If not built into the mouse then maybe pressure sensitivity built into a foot pedal in the same way I use my wah pedal with my guitar?
But then any pressure senitivity would have to support Photoshop, Zbrush, Maya etc...

8000 dpi sounds nice ( particularly for use with nvidia surround and amd eyefinity ).
On the other hand, I find that I have to dial in the right control @ my mouse's max dpi ( 5600 on the R.A.T. the Sidewinder's blue track only went up as high as 4000 dpi? don't know if that was a limitation of bluetrack or if that has improved any ) using the Window's mouse control panels "Speed option". However, I wonder if by doing this I am dialing back that resolution? In theory I imagine that the speed just slows down the mouse at the given resolution still giving me the benefit of the greater resolution's precision. No way of knowing for sure though other than what "feels best".

Otherwise if there is no other way to control the speed at higher resolutions...
I can not imagine that the CM storms 8000 DPI could be useful unless 9000p monitors are dur out any time soon...
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# RE: CM Storm Sentinel Advance II Laser Gaming Mouseclaydough 2012-05-09 04:33
Nice job on the review!

Beautiful design
custom weight
lot of work went into the gui
AMAZING price!

I can't imagine switching mice( RATs ) any time soon. Or giving up on wireless now that the tech is virtually lag free.
But at this pricepoint CoolerMaster provides enough competition and has the cred to bring prices down for the rest of us. ( certainly have my eye on their mech boards as well )

And if other manufacturers do not follow suit it is nice to have that alternative! ( even with the ripple warning johnny guru still gave a rare recommend to Coolermasters gold rated silentProGold 1200. Where PSU prices are insane I am happy with their quality over the past 2 years given the cheaper price )
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# Automatic profile switching?Drewstre 2012-05-09 13:25
Hello-
Nice review. One question: I'm currently using a Logitech G9x gaming mouse. One of the cool things about the Logitech software is that it can automatically detect which application is in focus, and apply a profile I've set up for that application. In your example, running a game, Photoshop, and a web browser all at the same time, the Logitech software would detect which app is in front, and change the mouse buttons, DPI, etc. for that application automatically, no buttons to push. Does the software for this mouse do that? Apologies if this was covered in the review and I missed it.

Thanks
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# You're too kindMergatroid 2012-05-09 16:42
Although I do like this mouse, and would be willing to try it, IMO you guys in general are far too kind in your reviews of mice.

As you mentioned, there are not all that many buttons on this mouse. Consider that personally I would not be reprogramming any of the three buttons around the mouse wheel (DPI and Color), so now you're at 5 buttons. That's pretty average. There is no tilt on the wheel. Many of us have gotten used to tilt (or some other means of horizontal scrolling). Also, now that it's appearing on so many other mice, I would also like a sniper button of some kind. Those are some of the things I noticed.

Another thing I would ask about is how it is for a palm grip and a claw grip. I use a claw grip most of the time. 9.6 is an awfully high score. I think there needs to be some type of score chart for features, movement, feel, shape, and anything else you can come up with that would more standardize the scores.

I'm also using a RAT, and it's my favorite mouse right now, but I would only give it maybe a 7 or 8 out of 10 score even when it was new.

Too bad we can't just give a company our own design for a custom mouse and have it built for us.
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