The unfortunate thing about everyone having high-speed internet access is that we can no longer blame our shortcomings on lag. Getting toasted in competitive online games then comes down to only two factors: skill and hardware. While most of us can never rise to the level of Fatal1ty, Boxer or Daigo Umehara, due to our inferior hand-eye coordination, one aspect we can change is the equipment we use. Hundreds of dollars are spent on finding the right processor, video card, keyboard and headset, so why should it be any different when picking the right mouse?
Understandably, most people feel uncomfortable spending that much cash on something small and could possibly break within a few months, due to constant use. Luckily for us, Cooler Master doesn’t think you should spend a lot of money on a good gaming mouse either, as evidenced from their CM Storm product offerings. The CM Storm Spawn with the latest fw61 firmware, for example, is one of the best gaming mice I have ever used and it costs less than other popular brands. Most other manufacturers just over-spent on a bad laser sensor anyway, just so they can slap an unnecessarily high DPI setting on the cover box and marketing does the rest of the job. Cooler Master apparently knows better and has released the latest addition to their CM Storm gaming line at an attractive price point of just $39.99.
The CM Storm Recon Mouse uses an Avago 3090 optical sensor, similar to the CM Storm Spawn mouse. The CM Storm Recon, however, is designed to be ambidextrous with its symmetrical design, including left and right back/forward side buttons. The surface of the CM Storm Recon is rubber coated for extra grip while the buttons utilize high-grade Japanese Omron micro-switches for longevity and responsiveness. Additional features, such as lift-off distance adjustment, LED customization, macro recording, polling rate change, button re-assignments, and profile management, can be unlocked upon installing the Recon software. The CM Storm Skorpion, on the other hand, is a mouse bungee for holding mouse cords in place and prevents cable dragging while playing. The CM Storm Skorpion has an iron core for weighted stability and three legs with rubber soles positioned in a wide stance for desktop grip. Both the CM Storm Recon mouse and CM Storm Skorpion carry a 2-year warranty.
Unboxing and Overview:
CM Storm Recon Specifications:
CM Storm Skorpion Specifications:
Test System (Desktop)
Comfort and Ergonomics:
Most mice are designed for right handed users, hence the side buttons are located on the left side. Since the CM Storm Recon is ambidextrous, there are back and forward buttons on each side. While more buttons mean more options for gamers, this could also mean accidental key presses from the ring finger if it is not used as a clicking finger. Thankfully, the opposite side buttons can be easily disabled or remapped through the Recon software.
The CM Storm Recon uses a typical palm-grip body style with a rubberized outer coating for additional grip. The mouse-wheel is wider, compared to other gaming mice, but it is surprisingly light relative to its appearance. Behind the wheel are buttons assigned to on-the-fly DPI adjustments by default. Unlike the CM Storm Spawn and CM Storm Xornet, the CM Storm Recon’s DPI adjustment buttons are recessed, so accidentally pressing them is a lot less likely.
The CM Storm Skorpion is not necessary for optimal usage of the CM Storm Recon, as Cooler Master has used a lighter cord on the Recon compared to the Spawn and Xornet. The Recon’s cord is much more manageable and doesn’t have as much “pull” compared to heavier mice cables.
The Recon is primarily designed for gaming but having macro recording ability and button remapping is also very useful for other applications. Outside of gaming, rapid mouse movements are not necessarily required, although the CM Storm Skorpion can still be useful when drafting on a large surface. The height is not adjustable on the Skorpion, so extra cord slack should be provided. Tracking is excellent across the preset settings, so the CM Storm Recon is more than qualified for day-to-day productivity applications.
Using the latest 1.10 firmware and 1.19 software, the CM Storm Recon has no problems with accuracy or jitters across all default DPI presets. There is no option for prediction toggling in the software but prediction is disabled by default anyway. The lift off distance is also very low; it stops tracking at 3 CD height with maximum LOD setting and barely tracks after 1 CD height at the lowest.
The buttons are easily reprogrammable through the software and macros can also be recorded and assigned. Since I am used to right handed mice, I disabled the back button on the right side so I don’t accidentally press it by mistake and assigned the right side forward button for preset switching. Although it is not mentioned in the CM Storm website, the CM Storm Recon saves the settings on an onboard memory as it retains information, even after uninstalling the software. This is useful for when you take the Recon elsewhere and use it on a public system that has restricted outsider software installations. I have gotten used to the Spawn/Xornet’s claw grip, so it took a while to get used to palm gripping once again. Claw gripping is not impossible on the longer Recon body but using the ring finger as a right mouse button clicker is advisable to eliminate accidental key presses of the right side buttons.
Provided by: Cooler Master
No Compensation was received for review of this product.
Price: $39.99 USD (Recon mouse), $19.99 (Skorpion bungee)
Class: Mainstream Gaming
At a price point of $39.99, the Cooler Master Storm Recon lands in the Budget category of gaming mice.
Ever since Cooler Master launched their CM Storm Spawn mouse, users have been asking if a palm-grip version is on the way. Although the Spawn and the Xornet’s ergonomic design was extremely comfortable and easily adaptable, many users with larger paws could not physically use the smaller Spawn/Xornet claw-grip chassis. Utilizing the same Avago 3090 LED sensor as the Spawn, the CM Storm Recon is a welcome addition to the CM Storm peripheral family and answers many requested features from gaming fans.
Cooler Master used a lighter, more manageable USB cord on the Recon, which actually almost nullifies the need for the Skorpion bungee. While I would recommend the CM Storm Skorpion for CM Storm Spawn and other heavier corded or braided cable mouse, the CM Storm Recon’s cord does not drag or hinder movement. Cooler Master has also added anti-fraying protection at the base of CM Storm Recon for added durability when transported. The Avago 3090 sensor itself works very well, especially with the latest firmware, having very low lift-off distance and precise tracking even at the lowest and highest sensitivity settings. The rubberized coating on the CM Storm Recon also covers the entire functional top surface and not just the clickable areas.
The most enticing feature of the CM Storm Recon however is the price. With an MSRP of just $39.99, the CM Storm Recon packs plenty of enthusiast-class features and excellent tracking performance that rivals many input devices that cost twice as much. It is not often that you find fully customizable RGB LED on a $39.99 gaming mouse but the CM Storm Recon manages to have this extra feature. It may not be a feature that will help gamers win more matches but it is certainly a welcome addition to the already attractive rubberized matte black/gray CM Storm Recon.
The CM Storm Recon’s software opens up access to its features and also automatically detects firmware updates. The layout is similar to previous CM Storm mice software but with different options available. There is no option to disable angle snapping through the Recon software, unlike in the Spawn, but prediction is disabled by default anyway. The lift-off distance tracking has 5 adjustable levels, all of which are really low. All the settings are also saved on the onboard memory, so settings and profiles are retained even when the software is uninstalled.
The CM Storm Skorpion bungee, on the other hand, is a lot simpler and only provides the option of limb removal for easier stowing and transport. The Skorpion tail does accommodate various cable thicknesses, however, although it would have been preferable if there was some sort of customization available or a simple height adjustment option. The feet have rubber soles for grip, although their surface is quite small, so tugging hard on the cable can sometimes lift the back feet (despite the heavy iron core). For a product that performs one task, the price is not particularly friendly on the wallet at $20, which is the same price as the CM Storm mouse pads.
CM Storm Recon:
CM Storm Skorpion Bungee: