If in the field of cooling systems and computer cases Cooler Master is one of the leading manufacturers, then in terms of peripherals, the company did not do so well. After the gaming sub-brand CM Storm, gone for the third time, the manufacturer began to update its range of mice and keyboards in an attempt, if not to overtake the leaders in this area, then at least to pull themselves closer to them. And the mouse that we will consider today, namely the CM310, should be evaluated in this vein. It is not innovative, but it tries to copy some of the successful developments of other brands. How she succeeded, read in this review.
|Model||Cooler Master SM310|
|Type||Gaming (FPS/MMO/RTS games)|
|Sensor model||Pixart PMW3325|
|Number of buttons||8 buttons (left, middle, right, two resolution keys, one backlight change button, two side buttons)|
|Maximum acceleration, g||20|
|Lift-off height (LOD), mm||3|
|Maximum speed, m/s||1,53|
|USB port polling rate, Hz||1000|
|Frame rate, fps||–|
|Internal memory, KB||–|
|Cord length, m||1,8|
|Ability to change weight||–|
|Possibility to adjust the body shape||–|
|Cable material||No tangles|
|Housing surface material||Plastic / Rubber|
|Illumination zones||Scroll wheel, stern logo, hull stripe|
|Leg material||Teflon (PTFE)|
|Dimensions, (L x W x H) mm||127 x 72 x 40|
|OS Compatibility||Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10|
|Average cost, $||30|
Delivery and equipment
The packaging of the mouse looks attractive and not particularly flashy. The main part of the information is presented on a black background, the sidewalls are painted in the corporate purple color. There are photos of the product and a listing of its advantages in many languages, but they forgot to add the technical specifications here.
Inside, the mouse is protected from damage by an oversized polyurethane damper that can withstand many of the hardships of logistics.
The kit comes with a very concise instruction manual. And from it you can already draw at least some technical data about the characteristics of the mouse.
Appearance and design
If the reader has at least a little experience in the field of gaming peripherals, then he will easily guess the specific contours of the Razer Lancehead in the contours of the Cooler Master CM310. Moreover, these manipulators are close not only externally, but also in terms of dimensions, including weight. The top panel is made of smooth black plastic with a slight sheen that tends to pick up fingerprints rather quickly. The main keys are pressed easily and with a muffled sound, they have a slight backlash to the sides, but they have almost no free play. The manufacturer promises for them 30 million click cycles in the MTBF. In the center, behind the scroll wheel, there are two oblong glossy buttons that switch the current resolution level and one round button that changes the backlight effects.
The left sidewall is rubberized at the point of contact with the thumb, and the rubber coating is made in the form of horizontal micro-channels. I don’t know how much it improves traction, but dirt gets in there quite easily. It’s good that cleaning is also easy. The two side buttons are glossy and protrude slightly to the side, which allows you to grope them without problems. Both keys are pressed easily and quietly, they have no backlash and free play. There is a gap between the top panel and the sidewall along the entire length of the mouse body, where an LED strip with many active elements is built in.
The cable enters the mouse body exactly in the middle, with a small margin in height and powerful protection against wire bending. The front panel has a decorative relief. The scroll wheel is rubberized, with holes on the sides and top through which the backlight can be seen. It rotates easily and almost silently, with well-perceptible locking positions. To press it requires a medium effort, the activation sound is slightly louder than the main buttons.
The USB signal cable is 1.8 meters long and does not have a braid. The degree of rigidity of the wire is slightly above average, it tends to straighten itself. Not far from the USB connector, a ferrite ring is put on the cord.
The right side is a mirror copy of the left, only without the side buttons. There is exactly the same rubber insert and a gap for the LED in the middle, between the panels.
The rear of the mouse has the new Cooler Master logo at the top, in the form of a rounded hexagon, and there is an LED strip gap between the glossy bottom and matte top panel.
The manufacturer claims that the ergonomics of this mouse will suit all types of grip, both left-handed and right-handed. We can partially agree with the first part of this, although with the caveat that the squat body provokes putting the palm on it completely. But in general, yes, any type of grip is feasible and quite comfortable. But how to use the mouse for left-handers, taking into account the fact that the appointment of LMB and RMB cannot be swapped, this is a question.
At the base of the mouse there are two huge, but for some reason not very slippery Teflon feet in front and behind. The optical sensor window is located exactly in the middle, and for verification it turns out to be a Pixart PMW3325 with invisible infrared illumination.
In terms of lighting, everything is done rather strangely. The logo and scroll wheel adjust simultaneously and display seven color options to indicate the current resolution level. Available colors in order: yellow, blue, purple, green, blue, red, white. It is impossible to reassign colors here otherwise than by changing the resolution. The LED strip runs around the entire perimeter of the mouse body, except for the front panel, and clearly at least a dozen individual RGB elements are built into it. But it can only reproduce five preset effects and all the same seven colors. If there was software for finer adjustment of the backlight, the mouse could compete with the HyperX Pulsefire Surge.
This mouse does not have software, which is rather strange, especially considering the number of RGB LEDs built into it. All settings are made by keyboard shortcuts. Two long keys on the top panel switch the current resolution level, while changing the color of the logo illumination and the scroll wheel accordingly. 500 cpi is indicated in yellow, 1000 in blue, 2000 in purple, 3000 in green, 4000 in cyan, 5000 in red, and 10000 in white. The round button toggles the lighting effects of the side LEDs. They can be turned off completely, set to the “rainbow” mode, constant glow in one color, “breathing” in one color, color change, or a pulse when the light flux runs along the perimeter of the manipulator. If you hold down the RMB and press the front side key, you can change the color of the side diodes. And to change the playback speed of the effects, you can again hold down the RMB and press the rear side button in sequence. In total, three speed options are available — slow, medium and fast. Nothing else is configurable in the CM310.
Ergonomics and testing
To test the Cooler Master CM310 mouse, the company kindly provided us with the branded MP510 gaming surface in L size. It has dimensions of 450x350x3 mm and is resistant to liquid spills.
The mat comes in the following box:
The fabric surface has a microtexture reminiscent of emery to the touch, therefore, by the nature of interaction with the mouse, this pad can be attributed to the Control class. That is, the manipulator slides on it with less inertia, which allows you to position the cursor more accurately. The edges of the surface are stitched, the reverse side is rubberized, and the purple Cooler Master logo flaunts in the lower left corner. The mat straightens easily after being taken out of the box and has no specific smell.
In terms of ergonomics, the Cooler Master CM310 turned out to be quite pleasant. The streamlined shape of the case fits well in the hand, the mouse is firmly fixed between the thumb and little finger due to the tenacious rubber sidewalls. The weight of 100 grams is evenly distributed along the axes of symmetry. Pleasantly pleased that all the keys are pressed quite quietly and clearly, and the scroll wheel works smoothly and without unnecessary noise. The top panel and side rubber inserts are easily soiled, but the process of cleaning them does not cause unnecessary trouble. The cord does not interfere with mouse movements. The legs of the mouse are non-slip on their own, and in combination with a branded carpet, it is almost devoid of inertia. The most comfortable type of grip on this device is palmar, although all the others can be implemented without any questions. The backlight here has a good potential, which, unfortunately, is not fully realized due to the lack of software.
The Pixart PMW3325 sensor installed here is the most basic by the standards of the current level of offers on the market. However, it can really be considered playable. The specifications claim that this mouse supports motion speeds up to 60 ips (approximately 1.5 m/s), although the official sensor specifications limit it to 100 ips (2.54 m/s). In fact, the cursor starts to break after exceeding the threshold of 3 m / s, which is very good, as for this class of devices. However, the surprise is that with the sensor’s claimed polling rate of 1000 Hz / 1 ms (and this sensor is indeed able to support it), our sample only had 500 Hz and 2 ms.
In terms of parasitic effects of the sensor, everything is relatively good — the level of smoothing is quite low, jitter and other troubles are not observed. But this is if you do not set the resolution to 10000 cpi. The fact is that, according to official parameters, the sensor is limited to 5000 cpi and everything above is achieved artificially, with an increase in the linearity of the trajectory, a decrease in positioning accuracy and cursor jumps with the effect of skipping pixels. In general, marketing is certainly good, but in moderation. The sensor lift-off height is fixed, but in fact it ranges from 2 to 3 mm depending on the type of coating used. When lifted off the surface, the cursor offset is small, at least at low resolution levels.
After the review was published, we received a mouse firmware from Cooler Master that fixes the problem with incorrect polling rate, which was confirmed during retesting. The correct firmware will probably be found soon on the official website.
The Cooler Master CM310 is an entry-level gaming mouse. It is simple in every way. The sensor here is basic, but its capabilities are enough for the eyes for modern FPS games. The ergonomics of the case are not the best, but comfortable enough, all the keys work fine, and the scroll wheel does not make any extra sounds. The backlight looks good, but its customization options are severely curtailed due to the lack of software. And since there is no software and built-in memory, then you can also forget about reassigning keys or recording macros.
Of the shortcomings, it is worth noting the discrepancy between some of the declared characteristics of the manipulator. In particular, RGB backlighting for 16.7 million colors can only be seen in color wave mode, while in the rest, the user can only configure seven basic colors.
Nevertheless, the Cooler Master CM310 fulfills its recommended cost of $ 30 completely and completely. If there is no desire or opportunity to spend money on more expensive manipulators, then the CM310 is a fairly comfortable mouse in the budget segment.