Review: Ambidextrous design for gamers and slackers
The Recon is the seventh gaming mouse from CM Storm, Cooler Master’s gaming oriented brand.
Let’s start off with a quick glance at the spec sheet:
• Avago 3090 optical sensor with 800-4000 dpi
• On-The-Fly Lift-Off-Distance adjustments
• On-The-Fly DPI adjustments
• On-The Fly USB polling rate adjustments
• Up to 1.5m/s or 60”/s tracking speed and 20G of acceleration
• Highest grade Japanese Omron micro switches
• Extra wide 16-bit USB data path
• 1000 Hz polling rate / 1ms response time
• Super Grip coated ambidextrous mousebody
• Ultra swift mouse feet
• Flexible 1.8 meter or 78.6 inch long cable
• Dimensions (W x H x D): 64.4 x 116.4 x 42 mm/ 2.53 x 4.58 x 1.65 inches
• Multicolor Mousewheel light to identify Profiles
• You are covered for a period of two years for parts and labor
• Weight ca. 180 g
• PC with USB port
• Windows® 7 / Windows Vista® / Windows® XP
• Internet connection (for software installation)
• At least 35MB of hard disk space
The Recon is shipped in a package proudly bearing CM Storm’s colors - black and red. As you can see, it lets users see the Recon mouse under the plastic hood and it shows off some basic specs. The box contains only the mouse, no additional accessories here. You will need an internet connection to install Storm Tactics software.
Recon's left side features forward and back buttons, and since it’s an ambidextrous design an identical button layout can be found the right side as well. The buttons are not too high and are easy to access. The side buttons use TTC switches and the same goes for all other buttons, except the right and left click button where Omron switches are used. CoolerMaster was keen on longevity and Omron micro switch technology promises a minimum of 5 million clicks and years of fun with Recon. Recon has nine programmable buttons in total.
The top of the mouse is rubberized and feels just about right under your palm. The Recon is medium size mouse measuring 64.4 x 116.4 x 42mm, thus it should be good for users with both palm grip and claw grip.
Unlike other CM Storm mice, the front of the Recon features two protrusions on both sides of the USB cable. Ambidextrous symmetry in action.
The Recon is a wired mouse and the cable length is ca. 1.8m. The cable is plasticized and rubber coated and it closely resembles the cable used on CM Storm’s Ceres 400 gaming headset. The cable ends with ferrite choke and golden plated USB connector.
The mouse features a 4000 DPI sensor, making it top of the line when it comes to optical mice. The Avago 3090 optical sensor offers users the ability to change precision on-the-fly in four 800DPI increments. LED indicators display the current DPI setting.
If you’re wondering how to tell optical and laser sensors apart, you can either consult the manual or peek into the hole. You’ll see that laser mice have a narrower aperture and don’t have that healthy LED glow when connected to your computer. Laser mice use beams in a spectrum invisible to the human eye.
Next up is the anti-drift control sensor. A quality optical engine should include an anti-drift system that would provide lossless performance during lifts and drops. In other words, it’s the distance that dictates how far the mouse goes before the sensor stops tracking movement. If the distance is high, cursors tend to move while you’re lifting the mouse. Needless to say, nobody likes that. Recon’s optical sensor has lift-off-distance of 1mm to 5mm and the lift-off-distance can be adjusted throught the software.
Unless you want to use advanced options like macros, profiles and custom buttons, there is really no need to install any software. However, if you want the added functionality offered by the Recon, you need to download CM Storm Recon software, which can be found here. After the installation it will also allow you to install new firmware in case the Recon is not up to date.
There are a lot of features and many of them can be used on the fly. You can see the Recon software tabs and options in the screenshots below.
The buttons tab is opened by default. Here we can change functionality of each of the nine buttons. Profiles are listed at the bottom of window, independent of the tab. Up to five profiles can be active at the same time. You can not edit the default profile.
Each of three LEDs can be assigned a specific colour. You can write your own RGB code to create the desired color, and even the intensity can be controlled.
The profiles are saved on the hard drive, and you can create as many as you need, but up to five profiles can be stored in the mouse memory.
The info button shows the hardware version, the firmware version, the sensor version and the software version.
Good ambidextrous gaming mice are few and far between, making the Recon a very interesting choice for left-handed gamers. Better yet, it doesn’t feature a tacky, oversized design like so many gaming mice today. In other words, it will look and feel at home in the office or in front of a gaming rig.
Build quality is good and the rubberized finish is pretty comfy and nice to the touch. Due to its compact it’s also a good choice for gamers who don’t have huge hands, like teens and women.
The combination of an Avago sensor, Omron and TTC switches promises gamers plenty of accuracy. For most gamers 4000 DPI will be more than enough.
At €40 it is not the cheapest thing around, but it is competitively priced.