The CM Storm Inferno is the second gaming mouse from Cooler Master. Can it perform as well as their first mouse, the Sentinel Advance? Read our review to find out.
The CM Storm Inferno is the second mouse of the CM Storm brand–the first is the CM Storm Sentinel Advanced, a mouse we really liked.
At first glance, the CM Storm Inferno looks like a cut down version of the Sentinel Advance. For example, it has a resolution of “only 4000 dpi” compared to the 5600 dpi found on the Sentinel Advance. It also lacks the weight distribution system. However, if we look closer at the specifications, we notice that it instead has more built in memory and also allows us to set up more levels of resolution than the Sentinel Advance. But how does it compare to the Sentinel Advance? Read on to find out.
|Feature/Specification||CM Storm Inferno|
Black and Grey
Rubber Grip / ABS Plastic / Mesh Bezel / Metal Plate
(W) 80X (H) 135 X (D) 40 mm
161.5 g / 0.356 lb
4000 DPI Storm Tactical™ Laser Sensor
|X&Y Axis Configuration||Independent and programmable|
|Maximum Tracking Speed||115 IPS|
|Dynamic Surface Adaptation||Tracks on all surfaces, lift-off distance 2mm|
|Form Factor||Right Hand Ergonomic|
|Illumination||IC controlled Illumination with red lighting effect|
The CM Storm Inferno is a black mouse intended for right-hand users. The sides are covered with a teflon-type material which makes it quite confortable to hold. Just as with the Sentinel Advance, this mouse has several buttons as well as LED lights. In total, there are 11 buttons on the mouse (including the two regular mouse buttons and the scroll-wheel). All the buttons except the front left thumb button are easy to reach.
In contrast to the Sentinel Advance, this mouse has no weight distribution system, so users cannot change the weight of the mouse. All we find on the bottom of the mouse are three large glide-areas which do a great job of keeping mouse movement smooth on all types of surfaces. Luckily, Cooler Master has gotten the weight just right for us and it is neither to light nor too heavy.
The mouse has a few built-in LED-lights that help light up the mosue during gaming. Users cannot change the red color.
The CM Storm Inferno works well without any software. In fact, users only need to configure their settings using the included software once, as settings are stored on the mouse itself. This means users can bring the mouse to their friend’s house for gaming without losing the settings. Users can even store the program on a flash drive together with configuration files and use the program that way to quickly load a new configuration to the mouse.
When starting the program, users can choose to optimize the sensor for surfing or for gaming. We must admit we never figured out the difference, as it looked like it set the same settings regardless of which one we choose.
This software is just as competent as the one for the Sentinel Advance, which isn’t surprising as it basically is the same program.
We can change the function of 9 of the buttons on the mouse. We can also set up 5 different dpi levels, and in each case, the resolution for the X- and the Y-axes can be set independently. The USB report rate can be set between 100 Hz and 1000 Hz.
The mouse can store 4 configurations, but only three can be changed by the user. The fourth configuration is a failsafe configuration users can use in the event they do something really weird to the others. The LED color of the button behind the scroll wheel tells users which configuration is loaded.
As expected, we can set up both scripts and macros so we can perform longer button combos quickly during the game; for example, to string together a bunch of spells in World of Warcraft.
In addition to macros and scripts, we also have access to something called Storm Tactics. By pressing the special “Storm Tactics” button (which is configurable) and one or two more buttons, users get access to another 8 positions for macros or scripts.
While the Sentinel Advance only supports macros with a maximum lengh of 124 bytes, the Inferno can handle macros up to 256 bytes. On the script side, both mice support 6 scripts up to 256 bytes. The difference between a macro and a script is that the script can contain functions like IF, GOTO and PAUSE, which makes it possible to program more complicated macros. Users can also store a few macros and scripts on the mouse, or export them so they can share them with others.
We tested the mouse with both a stationary computer and a laptop. The software used was a mix of applications like Windows, Chrome and IE web browsers, Dreamweaver and Photoshop, as well as games like Civilization V, Just Cause 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
The mouse is really comfortable in use. Even when we played for long periods of time, we didn’t experience the ubiquitous handache associated with gaming. One quality we liked about this mouse is the ability to set up 5 different levels for the resolution.
We tested the mouse on several different surfaces including a wooden table, different types of mouse mats, and a newspaper, and we had no issues at all. The scroll wheel also works well and has a very good tactile feel to it. We are not overly fond of mouse wheels that give no feedback when scrolling, but this wheel gets it perfect. The only thing it lacks is the capability to scroll sideways.
The performance in games and applications is very good. We haven’t run into any situations where we felt that the mouse gave us anything but perfect control.
The sensor used in the mouse is the Philips Twin Eye Laser. There have been reports of this sensor (in other mice) having a small bug which makes the mouse pointer jump a bit when the mouse is lifted. We tested this, and the mouse pointer does indeed jump a little when we lift the mouse a few millimeters from the surface (something users certainly might do a lot during a gaming session), but it was far less noticeable than what can be seen in some of the videos demonstrating this bug with a Razer mouse. We actually didn’t notice it during proper usage, so unless users know that they will be lifting the mouse a lot during, use we do not think this bug will be an issue.
The CM Storm Inferno is far from a cut down version of the CM Storm Sentinel Advance. It might have lost the weight distribution system but it gained a few features of its own, like more memory for macros, and the ability to define one extra level of resolution for the mouse. More importantly though, it is a comfortable mouse that works well on any surface, and works great in both games and applications. The only issue we can see is the Philips Twin Eye Laser sensor bug, but we think it is such a minor issue that most people won’t notice it.
The price for the CM Storm Inferno sits around $60, which is actually a bit more than the Sentinel Advance, but is still comparable to similar mice from Microsoft, Razer and Logitech.
|CM Storm Inferno Gaming Mouse|
Summary: The CM Storm Inferno is a great gaming mouse that offers a lot of nice features for a decent price. It earns the Bjorn3D Silver Bear Award.