February 15th, 2011

Coolermaster Sentinel Advance

Testing

Test Rig

Processor
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.2GHZ
Motherboard
Asus P5QL Pro
RAM
Super Talent 6400 4GB @ 1200MHZ
Graphics Card
Vvikoo 8800GT 1GB DDR3
HDD
Western Digital Raptor 75GB, Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB
OS
Windows XP Pro x86

Methodology

Mice and other peripherals fall into an interesting category for testing as your opinion on them tends to be very personal, as the mouse or keyboard has to be right for you, beyond having the specifications to do what you want with it. Therefore these reviews can be highly subjective so as always, please make sure to test a mouse for yourself before you buy it.

However with that said, our testing methods involve using the mouse over prolonged gaming and general usage periods to test it’s gaming ability, functionality and comfort.

The games used for testing were as follows:

  • Crysis Warhead
  • Gratuitous Space Battles

Results

Crysis Warhead

Crysis Warhead has a great mix of stealth and frantic action depending on how you want to play it, so makes it a great choice for testing peripherals like this one. With it’s whopping DPI, and smooth mouse feet, the Sentinel Advance certainly had the speed for this game, and it glided across the mat very easily. It’s pretty accurate too, but I did find it a little unwieldy. Now this did improve the more I used it and got used to the ergonomic shaping, but even after playing with the weights, I found it a little cumbersome. It’s fine, and didn’t really hamper the gameplay – I was still mowing down soldiers and aliens all over the place – but I did find it harder to use than other mice of it’s size.

That said, the absolutely massive DPI that this mouse has makes whipping around in a firefight incredibly easy. The simple DPI switching too makes changing up the sensitivity when in a slower moving turret, much easier. I like it, and would miss it if/when I go to a lower DPI mouse.

Gratuitous Space Battles

Gratuitous Space Battles is a great strategy indi title from a single man UK developer, and while not having any fast paced action to speak of, it requires a lot of accurate mouse work, so was a great way to test the issues I had in Crysis Warhead. Again, the only problem I really had was that it just feels a bit clunky to me. This could be down to me not being used to ergonomic mice – I’m more of a fan of abidextrous ones – but this one just feels a little clumsy to use. It’s probably something you can get used to, and it’s more of an irritant than something that hinders you, but it can be a bit annoying.

Functionality

When it comes to function, the Sentinel Advance works very well. It’s sidemounted buttons remain out of the way of normal operation – you never find yourself accidentally hitting them – and the other buttons are always easily within reach. The DPI switching is fast, and the LCD is intuitive in allowing you to quickly see what DPI you’re at, or what colour profile you are using.

Comfort

The Sentinel does a pretty bang up job here. It uses that nice soft rubber material over the rear of the device and along its sides. The buttons are nice to rest upon and make a good click when you use them. The only real downside in the comfort is that it feels a little clunky. Not sure which heading that belongs under, but it just doesn’t feel as smooth in it’s operation as other mice have done. It does a fine job, but it’s not quite up there with the Roccat Kone.

Cost

When it comes to money, the Sentinel is one of the more expensive mice out there costing roughly £45 depending on the retailer you visit.

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Peripherals