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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

Gaming Mouse Final Thoughts

I am on the computer a lot and I know I'm not alone in that. I need a mouse that is comfortable and versatile. I finally moved away from my Microsoft 5-button IR mouse when I reviewed the original CM Storm Sentinel Advance mouse over two years ago. The CM Storm Sentinel Advance II will now take over for me. It has everything I need. The eight buttons are perfect for me. Any more and I don't think I'd know what to do with them. Lots of buttons are great for some people, but I don't need that money. The downloadable software offers great control and customization.

CM_Storm_Sentinel_Advance_II_Box_Open.jpg

Another thing I like about the Sentinel Advance II is the color schemes. They don't really do anything, but they look cool. Also, the additional weights on the bottom let you choose how you like it. I also really enjoy the battle pad. It comes highly recommended in my book.

One of the best improvements in my book from the original to the Sentinel Advance II is the force required to push down the mouse wheel button. That was one of the things I had complained about in my review of the Sentinel Advance and I am very glad to see the change.

As far as complaints or suggestions, I do have a few, but not many. First, instead of two thumb buttons, which took some getting used to for me, I would have preferred a button on the right side of the mouse. That's a minor issue, however, as I have gotten used to using the two thumb buttons over the last couple of years. There is something else I've noticed over the last couple of years too, however. The metallic perforated area that sits under your palm and puts out the colored light has an issue. As I said, I've used the Sentinel Advance for over two years now and I live in Southern Arizona where it's hot most of the year. That area is now nearly white from oxidization crystals forming on the metal from the sweat off my hand. Embarrassing, I know, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Sentinel Advance II Conclusion

The CM Storm Sentinel Advance II looks awesome in my opinion. The LEDs on top and under the buttons and the ergonomic styling looks really nice. The fact that you can change the color scheme to something that fits your style, or even your mood, is an added bonus. The box isn't too flashy, but it stands out and touts the features of the mouse. Overall, I'd rate the appearance pretty highly.

CM Storm improved some things with the Sentinel Advance II, including increasing the DPI settings, but they left a lot the same. That includes the tough durability and high-end construction of the Sentinel Advance. As a driverless mouse, you can take the Sentinel Advance II with you wherever you go. The Sentinel Advance II is also protected by nylon on top of plastic, meaning that it is less likely to wrinkle, kink, bend, or tear, and a drop or a fall won't hurt it much.

Functionally, the CM Storm Sentinel Advance II Laser Gaming Mouse is at the top of its class as well. With eight programmable buttons and nine virtual buttons via button combinations, it balances function with realistic usability. Two years ago, I touted the GUI as the best of its kind. Two years later a lot of mice come with interfaces that are similar, but I think CM Storm's is still extremely well-suited to the task. The CM Storm Sentinel Advance II, with customizable profiles, individually settable X and Y axis DPI settings, macros, and media functions, the CM Storm Sentinel Advance II is still one of the top mice available in terms of functionality.

The CM Storm Sentinel Advance Laser Mouse is set to launch at an MSRP of $59.99. That's ten dollars less than the original Sentinel Advance started for and I think it's a great price point for this mouse. This is about the middle of the road for gaming mice and with all the construction and functionality the Sentinel Advance II offers, it's a great deal. The RX Pad is set for an MSRP of $19.99 and I would highly recommend that as well.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award

Pros:

+ 8 Programmable Buttons and 9 virtual buttons
+ Multi-Color LED Customizations
+ OLED Display for DPI and Personal Logo
+ Customizable Weight from 139 to 161.5 grams
+ Up to 5 Different Profiles
+ Macro Editor for Complete Control of Functions
+ Keyboard and Multi-Media Built-In Functions
+ 128kb Memory Bank for Driverless Use

Cons:

- 4th and 5th buttons are too close together

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 9.50
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 10.00
  • Value: 9.50

Final Score: 9.6 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.


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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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