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Wednesday, 19 May 2010 13:23

Cooler Master Storm CS-S and CS-M pads tested - CS-S Battle Pad H2

Written by Muamer Odobasic

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Review: Three excellent gaming pads


Not long after reviewing Sentinel gaming mouse, we received a few Cooler Master’s mouse pads. We’re talking about CS-S Battle Pad H2, CS-M Weapon of Choice AK DM and CS-M FPS Tactics DC pads which, just like the Sentinel, belong to the CM Storm gaming product line.

As mundane as mouse-pad may seem at first, pro gamers tend to put a lot of emphasis on this primitive, yet useful thing as it increases precision and adds comfort. 

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All three pads come in rectangular boxes with almost identical but instantly recognizable design. 

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Apart from the CM Storm logo, the front features unavoidable warfare themes, such as the tank on the CS-S, Kalashnikov on the CS-M Weapon of Choice and a sniper on the CS-M FPS Tactics package.

Cooler Master did a pretty neat thing of sticking a sample of the pad’s fabric on the front box, so you can take a look at what you’re getting without opening the package.

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The rest of the sides are filled with specs, descriptions etc.        


                                                       CS-M FPS Tactics DC

 

CS-S Battle Pad H2

CS-M Weapon of Choice AK 

Control/Accuracy

9/10

10/10

8/10

Speed/Glide

10/10

10/10

8/10

Tracking/CPI

9/10

7/10

9/10

Durability

8/10

9/10

9/10

Laser performance

9/10

9/10

8/10

Optical performace

9/10

8/10

10/10

                                    


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CS-S Battle Pad H2


Most of the gamer populace is already used to playing on medium sized or large pads, so the CS-S Battle Pad H2 (SGS-2000-KSS-1-GP) will probably surprise them with its modest size.

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This is the smallest pad in the Storm series, and might prove to be quite popular with frequent LAN-party and similar event visitors as it’s flexible and small (260x210x2mm). 

The front of the CS-S Battle Pad H2’s packaging features a tank, but the pad itself has no motifs on it. The design of the pad is pretty simple  - black with CM Storm logo in lower right corner.  

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You’ll find the specs on the sides of the package.  

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The pad is made of flexible material so you can always roll it up and take it with you.

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The upper side of the pad is made of, as Cooler Master calls it, H2Glide fabric, which is a fine-threaded fabric that helps the mouse glide on it.

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The rest is made of 100% natural rubber which will keep it in place at all times.  

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The pad is priced at €10.


Test

Well, at least we didn’t have to reboot anything – we performed our testing by using 2 different gaming mice; we used the pad in games as well as in everyday apps. For the past few weeks we’ve been using thse with CM Storm Sentinel Advance and OCZ Behemoth.

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CS-S Battle Pad H2 is a flexible and pretty small pad which will require a couple of days to adapt to it, especially if you’re used to harder and larger pads. However, we must admit we were pretty surprised with what we’ve seen in the last few weeks. We’re extremely satisfied with tracking and the surface fabric is great on touch and won’t irritate your skin.

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The rubber base is a common feature nowadays, and no wonder – it gets the job done. When under pressure, the pad is virtually impossible to move off its place.

The only downside to this pad would be the size. Any kind of more serious gaming will reveal this pad’s weakness, but its compact size mans that it’s more portable.

CS-S Battle pad gets dirty pretty quick and it’s a magnet for dust, but that shouldn’t be a problem as it can easily be cleaned with water.




CS-M Weapon of Choice AK DM


CS-M Weapon of Choice AK DM is an M sized pad, but the pad is pretty large.

You can buy the CS-M Weapon of Choice in two versions – the first one is M4 DM which comes with an M4A painted on top, whereas the second one is AK DM which, as the name suggests, comes with a picture of AK-47 a.k.a. Kalashnikov.

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We received the AK DM Kalashnikov version, a weapon which is usually reserved for the bad guys in most modern games.

As we already mentioned, the packaging for all three pads is almost identical, with the sole difference being the size.

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This pad is flexible as well, so you can roll it up and take it with you.

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The upper side of the pad is made of, as Cooler Master calls it, DurameshTM fabric. This fabric is made to provide excellent precision and improved tracking. Note that the surface of this fabric is not as smooth as those on the CS-S Battle Pad H2 and CS-M FPS Tactics DC pads.

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When it comes to design, we’re sure anyone with a taste for being a bad guy will love it.

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The pad is priced at €10.

Test

We tested the CS-M Weapon of Choice AK DM by gaming and using standard, everyday apps with two mice.

This pad has proven to be extremely precise, but we couldn’t get used to the Duramesh fabric which is pretty rough and after a period of gaming, you’ll be feeling as if your palms are really dry. This might prove to be a problem with some users, but in the end this is a pretty subjective observation and some users might actually like this.

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The base is made of natural rubber just like the rest of the pads on our test, and it does its job.

DurameshTM fabric gets dirty pretty easy and attracts dust, but it’s pretty easy to clean with water.




CS-M FPS Tactics DC


CS-M FPS Tactics DC is made with maximum efficiency and extreme optical mouse precision in mind. Its size is rated at M, but it’s slightly larger than the Weapon of Choice pad, which also has M size. It’s flexible and easy to roll up and take away. 

The packaging is almost identical to the previous two.

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Cooler Master uses DuraclothTM fabric, which is tailored after optical mice. The surface is extremely soft and usage feels as if you’re working on just a tad bit rougher silk.

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Any FPS lover will surely like the design, as it comes with a couple of war-themed pictures painted on the surface.

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As was the case with the previous pads, the base is made of 100% natural rubber and gets the job done.

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The pad is priced at €11.

Test


We tested the CS-M FPS Tactics DC with somewhat older Logitech optical mouse, as well as two laser mice. We’ve tried it in gaming as well as standard, everyday apps.

This surface left the best impression of the lot. It performs great with the optical mouse, and the laser mice haven’t performed any worse either. FPS Tactics pad is very soft on touch, so hardcore gaming and long gaming sessions will prove to be a breeze.

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The rubber base gets the job done and will keep your pad in place at all times.

Like most fabrics, the CS-M FPS Tactics DC surface gets dirty pretty easy and acts as a magnet for dust, but we’re talking about synthetic fabrics which can easily be cleaned with water.
 





Conclusion


Cooler Master’s Storm team, the guys who stand behind CM’s gaming product lines, has pulled off a nice surprise. All three pads did well and are flexible, making them your potentially best LAN-party friends.

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All the pads perform great, but in our humble opinion, the CS-M FPS Tactics takes the cake. The pad performs excellent with optical as well as laser mice, it features soft fabric which performs well and won’t irritate your skin.

The prices are pretty evened out, among each other as well as compared to competing products. EU prices on these are between €10 and €12, which is not much considering that you’re buying an often overlooked piece of gaming equipment.

(Page 2 of 5)
Last modified on Wednesday, 19 May 2010 15:45
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