This is the Sentinel Zero-G, from CM Storm, Cooler Master's gaming wing. It's similar to its Sentinel Advance gaming mouse, but with 128KB storage instead of 64KB.
It's a long mouse with an inhaled grip, which gives the impression of it being quite thin. Above the scroll wheel is a profile-switching button, below it the DPI switchers in a horizontal configuration. This somewhat addresses the issue of placing them vertically, where the bottom button is much harder to reach than the top — but it's still not comfortable, nor can it be pressed quickly, removing the point of on-the-fly DPI switching in the first place.
There are two thumb buttons on the left, and an OLED display in the middle of the mouse. The Zero-G edition comes with a free copy of Shattered Horizon, and so for the most part the game's logo was displayed on the mouse when no actions were performed. If you're a competitive gamer, you can upload a monochrome bitmap of your logo, which will then become the default display.
The display will also tell you when you're switching profiles or DPI, although we must note this is entirely useless, as it will spend the majority of its time under your palm.
Under this is a grille that a blue light shines through, which along with two lights shooting out the front can be changed to six other colours, or turned off altogether. Aside from being permanently on, the lights can also be set to breathe (fade in and out) and rapid fire (the front-facing lights glow white when the mouse button is clicked).
Flip the mouse over, and there's a compartment storing five 4.5g weights. Calling it a weight "system" might be a bit kind, as the weight cylinders are just jammed into foam and are a pain to get in and out.
Loading the driver for the first time lets you choose between FPS or RTS optimisation; the former chooses low DPI settings, the latter higher. Cooler Master needs to do a lot of work on its control panel, as there are several features that are present with absolutely no explanation, and you'll need to dig through the manual included on the CD to figure them out.
Cooler Master needs to spend a lot of time polishing and bug fixing its control panel.
(Screenshot by Craig Simms/CBSi)
Independent x/y sensitivity is offered, USB polling rate can be modified, button response time can be reduced and four custom profiles can be saved to the mouse on top of the default profile.
Button customisation is of course present, but with two notable additions. A rapid fire option is made available for anything other than left, right and scroll buttons, which allows you to set how many times a specific mouse button is clicked, the interval between clicks and how long the click is held down for. The second is "Storm Tactic", and can only be applied to the seventh button — the button usually used for the "back" button in browsers.
This works as a shift key; when holding it down and pressing any other buttons on the mouse, it can perform a different function like playing a script, hitting a keyboard key, adjusting DPI, engaging rapid fire or more. The tactics screen itself is a bit buggy, making it impossible to close drop downs you've activated without activating another drop down.
Macros only support up to 43 entries before the buffer is full, or around 21 key presses. If you remove delays, this expands to 125 entries.
Nicely, though, individual entries can be edited, their delays adjusted or moved up and down the list. Execution can be one off, looped off a single press, or looped for as long as you hold down the assigned button. Weirdly, you can only create one macro.
Scripts are a more advanced version of macros. Here you can store 86 entries with delays, or 256 without. More importantly, more programmable elements can be introduced, like IF, REPEAT and GOTO statements, potentially creating some fun loops that can be executed as one shot, looped or multi-stage events. Sadly, the amount of actions is still very low for such flexibility.
Performance was reasonable, although it didn't seem to impart the feeling of incredible control you get from using a Razer or SteelSeries mouse. Still, it fared well in Serious Sam: HD, always staying true to aim.
CM Storm's Sentinel Zero-G is a work in progress, particularly from the software standpoint, but the hardware could do with some redesigning too. We're looking forward to seeing what Cooler Master comes up with next, once it's sat down and done some good, hard revision work on its existing mouse.