Updated on December 2nd, 2011
For serious PC gaming enthusiasts, a good mouse is a necessity. It spells the difference between winning and losing since it’s the only way the game is controlled, so precision and effectiveness are big when it comes to selecting the right gaming mouse. I previously reviewed the Razer Orochi Black Chrome gaming mouse, which impressed me a lot with its design and performance. Now it is Cooler Master’s CM Storm Spawn mouse that’s taking center stage. However, while the Razer Orochi was meant for gamers or users with palm grip, the CM Storm Spawn mouse is specifically designed for users with claw grip.
Palm grip is the common method of holding a computer mouse. In a palm grip, the entire hand is placed on the mouse, with the palm resting on the surface and the index and middle fingers placed fully on the left and right mouse buttons. Claw grip, on the other, involves the user forming his hand in a claw position, with only fingertips and the pit of the palm touching the mouse. Clicking involves only the tip of the index or middle finger.
CM Storm Spawn: Specifications
|Available Color||Black + Red|
|Material||Rubber Grip / ABS Plastic|
|Dimensions||(L) 107 X (W) 75 X (H) 35 mm / (L) 4.2 X (W) 4 X (H) 1.3 inch|
|Net Weight||142 g / 0.313 lb|
|Sensor||3500 DPI Storm Tactical Optical Sensor|
|Maximum Tracking Speed||60 IPS|
|Speed Measurement||6400 fps|
|Form Factor||Right Hand Ergonomic|
- Anti-Drift Control Sensor
- Onboard Sentinel-X 32 KB
- Omron Micro Switches (5 Million clicks)
- Japanese-Made Ultra-Step Wheel Encoder
- DPI On the Fly
- Superior Anti-Slip Rubberized Grip Design
CM Storm Spawn: Packaging and Design
The packaging of the CM Storm Spawn is quite flashy. It is enclosed in a predominantly black cardboard box with a flip top cover. Flipping the cover open reveals the mouse held firmly by a transparent plastic enclosure, and the top and bottom flaps have to be opened in order to pull the mouse out of the box. Overall I find the packaging quite nice. It’s not too fancy but it still manages to be flashy, making sure that anyone who looks at it will know that it is packaged with gamers in mind.
The CM Storm Spawn mouse is a combination of metallic red and black. The metallic red color goes to the palm rest area. The finish is not too shiny, which is exactly how I like it. The top-center area where the scroll wheel, click buttons and DPI controls are, is black in color with rubber-like finish and a piano-black outline. The thumb rest on the left where the forward and backward buttons are found is made of actual rubber material with dots for maximum grip. This is the same material found on the right side of the mouse where the pinky is positioned. In actual use, the rubber material offers a very good grip.
The shape of the CM Storm Spawn mouse is quite uncommon. It is too short compared to the common mouse and also appears too wide. It is also flatter on the top where the palm is usually located. But these design elements have a purpose. Like I said this mouse is meant for those who have a “claw grip” and I can say that it is effective as such. There is no need for a high hump since the palm does not rest on the top part in a claw grip. It is shorter, as should be, since it only needs to protect the base of the palm. Compared to the Razer Orochi though which is meant for gaming on the go, the CM Storm Spawn is still bigger in appearance.
On the underside of the CM Storm Spawn, you can see the control sensor and the Teflon feet.
The CM Storm Spawn’s wire is enclosed in rubber instead of the usual cloth wrapping used in high-end gaming mice. The rubber finish is quite thick and hard so it sometimes gets in the way when you’re moving the mouse. At 2 meters in length, the wire is also rather too long for my taste and this impression is enhanced when you are using the mouse on a laptop. For desktop use, though the length should be just enough. CM Storm used a gold-plated USB plug but it appears a little paler than the usual gold plating.
CM Storm Spawn: Features and Performance
The CM Storm Spawn, when held in a claw grip, is simply effective. The fingers under this grip are perfectly positioned and they fit snugly thanks to the shape and contours of the mouse. On a conventional “palm grip”, the CM Storm Spawn is still surprisingly comfortable to hold, but the position of the buttons on the left side are suddenly too far for comfort. It goes without saying that if you’re not a claw grip type of gamer, you’ll feel the stress after spending a long time with this gaming mouse. But for claw grip gamers, this mouse is perfect. It has great ergonomics and it simply works in terms of delivering precision and effectiveness.
The DPI control buttons below the scroll wheel is a nice feature of the CM Storm Spawn. It is very convenient since you can change the sensor’s level of sensitivity on the fly. It’s not perfect though. There are only three fixed resolution levels – 800 DPI, 1800 DPI, and 3500 DPI – and you can’t assign your own. Also, there is no LED indicator to tell you which level you’re in so when you’re immersed in a game, you’d tend to forget the DPI level you’re using.
The CM Storm Spawn can be configured using a software that can be downloaded from CM Storm’s website. You can customize the six buttons and the scroll wheel, create macros and adjust the pointer and clicking speeds. It also lets you disable the Angle Snapping feature. What the CM Storm Spawn does not allow you to do is save profiles for different games.
The Angle Snapping feature of the CM Storm Spawn is supposed to help the user during gameplay by using an algorithm that predicts the hand movement and hence draw a perfect line or circle with the mouse. In theory this is good for first person shooter games but in actual gameplay, this does not help. It gets in the way of controlling movement. So if you are going to configure the Spawn, disable the Angle Snapping feature.
CM Storm CS-S Battle Pad
The review package included the CS-S Battle Pad, a mouse pad especially designed for gamers. It’s manufactured with mobile gamers in mind who simply need small surface for their gaming mouse. CM Storm claims that the CS-S Battle Pad is made of H2Glide cloth that’s “weaved especially to provide a balance between tracking control and speed”. It has a non-slip rubber base that’s supposed to hold the mouse pad in place on desktop surfaces.
The CS-S Battle Pad works as advertised. The surface adds precision to mouse movements and when used with the CM Storm Spawn, the effect is quite pleasing. It complements the Teflon feet of the Spawn mouse. The rubber base is also very effective and holds the CS-S Battle Pad firmly in place.
The CM Storm Spawn mouse is designed for gamers who employ the claw grip. The shape of the mouse is therefore different from what you’ll usually see. It’s shorter, yet wider, but there’s a method to the madness. For the type of grip it’s designed for, the mouse is very effective. The grip is perfect and the hold is simply effective. Precision is not an issue with this mouse. It has three resolution levels, the highest being 3500 DPI, which you can easily change using buttons jus below the scroll wheel. You can’t set your own resolution level but in actual use, the three preset levels proved to be sufficient. What I don’t like with the CM Storm Spawn is the wire, which I found too long in length and also too hard to manage. The Angle Snapping feature is also not useful and in fact gets in the way during gameplay but thankfully, this can be disabled.
If you’re a palm grip player, you will find the CM Storm Spawn still usable but after a while, you’ll feel the stress in your fingers. So you may be better off with another gaming mouse specifically designed for your grip.
The CM Storm Spawn and CM Storm CS-S Battle Pad package is priced at only P1,600 (about $37).