“The Sentinel III is certainly worth your consideration…”
Gamers’ expectations are high nowadays when it comes to their peripherals. As high-quality options become ever more common and increasingly reasonably priced, market competition is rife. Hardware veterans Cooler Master however know this well, and are once again attempting to stay on top of the game with their new Sentinel III gaming mouse.
The Sentinel III is ergonomically designed specifically for gamers and is packed full of technical features to enhance your experience. Some of the most obvious of these on the face of things are its claims of a high-end sensor, high DPI capabilities, a customisable built-in display and naturally a wealth of programmable buttons to play with. All of this comes packed into an attractive box, but the design of the mouse itself doesn’t quite do it for me…
I like certain aspects of the Sentinel III’s aesthetics. Its curvature, its customisable colours, high quality and length-appropriate wire and the onboard display do add an air of quality and personality to the model. The screen in particular is perfect for relaying information such as DPI or adding that personal touch with a clan logo or dank meme. The colour, the size, the button layout, the finishing touches and the scroll wheel were aspects I liked a lot less though, for a variety of reasons. Some of these, such as my distaste for the colour and scroll wheel, are simply based on personal preferences. The other aspects I have mentioned however had more specific and technical grounds.
The size of the mouse made it awkward to use with smaller hands, largely in combination with the button layout. Whilst the ergonomic design does offer great comfort during long sessions, I found it necessary to repeatedly adjust my holding position in order to reach particular buttons during gameplay. The issue I had with the mouse’s finish was that it looked somewhat imperfect, as if the final design stage was rushed. Specifically, there is a large line across the top of the mouse where separate parts have been joined. When gamers are so increasingly particular about their gear, there is little room for such visual oddities when it comes to decision time.
Technically the mouse holds up against its closest competitors. At a price point of $59.99 direct from Cooler Master’s US shop, it sits around the mid-range mark. The figures in its spec make this a pretty easy valuation to get on board with. With up to 6400 DPI, a 32×32 pixel OLED display, 16.8 million customisable colour options for the lighting, 8 buttons, both main buttons certified for 20 million clicks and 512kb of onboard memory for macros and profiles, this mouse has a solid range of smartly implemented features to go on. The numbers don’t lie, but naturally the performance itself is the real maker or breaker in the end.
When I previously mentioned the mouse’s sensor, I described it as claiming to be high-end. There was good reason for this, and that is in testing the mouse I found it far less responsive on certain surfaces. Used directly on a desk it was very poorly responsive to movements, and on an old mouse mat I found frequent problems too. Combined with a high-quality gaming surface, the mouse holds up fine, but it is worth nothing that this is really a requirement to get the best use out of it.
The mouse also contains removable weights for you to perfectly balance it to your preferences. This is beneficial in marketing the product to gamers with more specific needs, such as competition gaming or personal comfort. These however are located in the back of the mouse, making full adjustments to balance impossible. Unlike others mouse options, it also lacks a storage container for these when it is not in use. The way that this modification option is designed and implemented is perfect for making quick and easy changes though, making adjustments easy to make on the fly.
The Sentinel III is certainly worth your consideration if you are in the market for a new gaming mouse. It has several advantageous features, and much of what wasn’t so well received by me personally was down to personal needs and preferences. It is however important to consider the size of the mouse and button positioning, as these will not suit everyone, as well as the limited nature of the weighting options it offers. It is also not the most responsive of peripherals without a high-quality gaming surface to combine it with. If these aspects are not an issue for you, it may be right up your street. For others, make sure you do not overlook potential barriers to your personal experience.
- A range of solid technical specifications at a reasonable, mid-level price.
- Good ergonomic design for comfort and control.
- Built with high-quality hardware and components.
- The integrated OLED display is ideal for DPI conveyance and personalisation.
- Customisable lighting allows you to implement your own style for your setup.
- Curvy design, OLED display, lighting and a decent wire demonstrate quality.
- Nicely designed, informative and attractive packaging.
- Easy DPI, macro and profile customisation via optional, additional software.
- Button layout and large size of the mouse require hand positioning adjustments to reach certain commands.
- Mouse wheel appearance and colour of the mouse did not hit the spot for me.
- Large line across the top of the mouse ruins visual appeal somewhat.
- Mouse sensor was not very responsive to use on certain surfaces.
- Removable weights cannot adjust weight distribution across the whole mouse, only the back of it.
- No storage provided for removable weights when not in use.