CM Storm Sentinel III Review
Sometimes the conclusion for a product writes itself, and sometimes it's difficult to sufficiently accentuate the positives without the negatives reading like a diatribe. After all saying why a sensor is good takes a line or two. You're clever people and all understand that if we say it's good, it is. But negatives usually require an explanation of why we've taken against something and how it can be improved. Anyone can critique, but criticism is pointless without offering improvement. The conclusion for the Sentinel III is one of the more difficult ones, largely depending upon your awareness of the preceding Sentinel models.
Let's pretend/assume that you're new to the gaming world and the requirement for a suitable piece of hardware to hone your skills.
If you fall into that category then there is plenty to recommend the Sentinel III. Firstly it's a well-proven design that is extremely comfortable for long gaming sessions. There is enough of a right-handed design that it's comfortable, without it turning into a banana (we're looking at you, Logitech MX). Everything is pretty much where you'd want it to be, although if you are the kind who changes profiles a lot then the DPI button is a tiny bit out of the way for really fast changes. Equally the DPI buttons are unobtrusive, but they're a little too small and recessed to be adjusted when things get super-frantic. They're fine otherwise, but we've had a couple of mis-hits when our synapses become overloaded with tasks (things to kill, usually). The buttons all have a satisfying click to them. They don't feel quite as snappy as Omrom's, although whether they are and it's just a side-effect of the design, or they aren't and that's what helps keep the Sentinel III affordable, we don't know. They're not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but gaming mice is about the most competitive marketplace around so we have to be extremely nitpicky. The software is very easy to use and applying your settings doesn't take very long. You can adjust almost everything using the screen on the mouse should you so desire, although for simplicities sake it's better to take the time to set your profiles up properly to begin with. In short, an excellent sensor coupled to nice design and an attractive price means you wont be disappointed if you choose the Sentinel III.
If you have been around as long as us then things get a little - not much - murkier. We understand that having a popular design it's difficult to make massive changes to it. However, if you have just brought a Sentinel III then only the extremely nerdy would be able to spot the difference between it and its predecessors. If you're a DPI whore then the Sentinel II is, thanks to its laser sensor, even faster. The main upgrade we can see, beyond the software, is the headlights and the change in sensor from 8200DPI laser to the Avago Optical. All the button placements are the same as before, as is the main design. Unlike other weight adjustable mice there is nowhere to store the ones you aren't using, so keep them safe. We're sure the earlier ones came with a case to store them in. Speaking of changes that aren't really changes, the logo on the display can be changed, but just to a monochrome 32px by 32px image and the displayed colour doesn't change with your colour choice, so it's always blue. Yes it's a little thing but the world is awash with £40 mice and when you're producing an upgraded version we want something that has been upgraded. This could be called the Sentinel II Optical and you'd be none the wiser. How cost effective a doubled-resolution, colour changing display would be we don't know, but it can't be much and we'd be willing to pay another fiver or so for a harmonious look to our weapon of choice, as well as a little more freedom in our clan logo design.
In short then the CM Storm Sentinel III is a very minor update to an already excellent mouse, and so wins our OC3D Gold Award. But take note, Cooler Master, that next time we expect you to push the design boat out a little further. Everyone wants our new toy to be obviously new to passers by, not only new if it's upside down and you can see the logo.