Cooler Master Sentinel Advance II and Speed-RX
Cooler Master is looking to build upon its initial success of the Sentinel Advance with this updated model, which primarily includes a more robust sensor. Other than a colour styling tweak from black to charcoal, the Sentinel Advance II remains largely unchanged from its predecessor. That’s both good and not-so-good, since the best of the original has been kept, but its shortcomings appear to be unfortunately carried over as well.
In terms of features, the Sentinel Advance II offers an outstanding 8000 DPI sensor, which is about the most sensitive out there, certainly plenty for just about any gamer. We question the one-upsmanship of bragging about higher DPI than the competition since 8000 DPI is, well, insane. It’s far too touchy to use practically, so the sensitivity will be dialed down significantly anyways, though presumably the accuracy remains. In practice, the need for 8000 DPI is highly questionable. The onboard memory to store your profiles to take on the road if you need is a great inclusion, with complete plug-and-play functionality, though driver installation adds far more customization. The removable weight system is helpful to customize for user preferences. And finally, the lighting effects are fantastic if you love a bit of extra flash, literally and figuratively.
The ergonomics here are pretty good for the most part, provided you have slender hands. The Sentinel Advance II is a long, thin mouse, and those with bear paws for grippers will be frustrated. There isn’t any sort of ring finger or pinky support on the right side of the mouse, such as we’ve seen on some other competitors, though those typically cost much more, so we can’t complain for the $60 price tag here. But the real problem is that the buttons are too stiff, and so is the click-wheel. Couple this with small and stiff thumb buttons, and these are tough issues to overlook, since they’re inherent to the use and success of a mouse. The positioning of the OLED is less of a concern, while the forward positioning of the sensor at the pivot point is likely obscure for the vast majority of users except the sensitive folks that may notice that something just seems "off" when doing more precise and detailed work. Gamers, however, likely won’t notice this, but the stiff buttons may leave your fingers sore after long fragging sessions.
With a current price of $60 USD, the Sentinel Advance II is priced in the mid-range of the gaming mouse segment. Most full-featured mice like this are far more expensive, so Cooler Master has done an good job positioning this product in the marketplace. As for the Speed-RX gaming surface, it can be found for about $20, a competitive price for a gaming surface if you like a control mat.
The Sentinel Advance II is in a tough market but it’s well priced, and gamers who want extensive features that won’t cost a fortune would do well to take a look at this mouse. It has some drawbacks that may, or may not, matter to you depending how particular you are for a $60 mouse. We think it’s a good option and value if that’s the type of combination you’re looking to find.