CM Storm Recon Gaming Mouse
CM Storm's Recon gaming-mouse uses the Avago ADNS-3090 sensor that has lately been featured in a lot of great gaming mice. The Recon has an ambidextrous shape, which makes it suit lefties as well. The mouse sells for $39.99 - an alright price considering that most competing products with the same sensor sell for over $60.
The Recon launched together with the Scorpion cable-bungee. The bungee is meant to move your cable away from the surface to lower the drag on your mouse. The Scorpion will retail for $19.99.
CM Storm allows you to test the general shape of the mouse through the box, which is nice. CM Storm is also introducing a new mouse bungee at the same time as the Recon. The bungee is called the Scorpion and can be purchased separately.
The bundle does not come with the Scorpion bungee. You get nothing but the mouse.
Cable-wise, the Recon is well equipped. You get a nice soft, thin, light cable that performs really well.
The design of the mouse is a bit odd at first. It is, compared to most, short and bulky. It is ambidextrous, which is nice for all the lefties out there who frequently get let down by companies opting to do right-hand only versions of their mice. Its five buttons can be used for all sorts of things, and CM Storm's Recon, a mid-end gaming mouse, even includes macro capability.
Compared to the Zowie AM mouse, there are more similarities than differences. They both use the same sensor, and they have the same dimensions; however, the shape of the Recon is radically different. The shape of the Recon is very complex, and it makes how the designers intended you to hold the mouse pretty clear. This forced-grip approach will work well for most people, but those with large hands might want to try it out before buying the mouse to make sure they can get a comfortable grip.
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The palm plate of the Recon is rubber coated, which is nice. The sides are made of hard plastic and its buttons are easily felt. You can differentiate between the back and forward button no matter how you hold the mouse, which is great. The mouse-wheel is wider than usual, which I think of as a great little detail. The scroll-wheel click is hard enough and won't activate mistakenly, and the scroll-wheel's tactile rolling-feedback is sufficient for such critical tasks as weapon selection.
The mouse feet are well positioned and give the mouse a balanced feel on the mouse mat.
Compared to the Zowie mouse, the profile outline is relatively similar; however, the mice do feel different because of the finger guides on the Recon.
CM Storm wisely went with the Avago ADNS-3090 sensor for the Recon. The sensor has a rating of 4000 DPI in this implementation, which is more than enough for any high-sensitivity gamer. Roughly half of that DPI is enough for the majority of gamers who use a relatively high sensitivity.
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The CM Storm driver for the Recon is a mess interaction-wise. Like most of the other driver suites, it is designed with loads of graphics, which does not increase performance. You also have to make a new profile for the Recon in order to edit any settings. The default profile does not allow you to adjust anything! This is very inconvenient for, presumably, the majority of users who will only configure and use one profile. Another huge mistake was made with the lift-off distance adjustment (LOD) option. You have to set the lift-off distance to 5 in order to get the lowest possible LOD, but that is highly illogical! Any designer with marginal experience in design for interaction would have done it the other way around. A lower number should correspond to a lower lift-off distance.
The fact that you get the option of having multiple profiles is nice for people who play a lot of different games, but profile selection is only available through the driver suite.
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The Scorpion is CM Storm's attempt at reviving the mouse bungee business. Their attempt is not that well executed, and the Scorpion is not as attractive and does not perform as well as other more elaborate designs on the market. The bungee is basically made of four pieces of plastic joined together by a rubber boom-piece on top. The bungee can be disassembled, but that does not change the fact that it is ill-conceived. The rubber "cord-hanger" is basically a linearly elastic spring that keeps the cable off the mat. It would, perhaps, work better if the hanger was softer. One could remove some of the material on the boom until it is soft enough, but that is pretty time consuming for such a small performance improvement.
The Recon mouse was tested in a variety of games and with normal desktop work. The feel of the mouse is alright. It is a bit on the stubby side, which takes some getting used to, but the thumb/pinky finger groves make it alright to game with after you have acclimatized yourself to the mouse. Interestingly enough, CM Storm opted for a couple primary buttons with a very short travel time. These also take some getting used to, especially because of low actuation pressure and a rebound that is lacking in force. The Scorpion was also tested to see if the cord bungee could, once again, reclaim its spot on the desk.
The mouse is based on what is probably the best sensor for gaming at the moment: the Avago ADNS-3090. It runs up to 4000 DPI in this configuration, which is more than enough for any die-hard gamer. Recon's gaming performance is really good, and tracking is impeccable once the Recon has been configured correctly, which is a little hard with CM Storm's software. Its original firmware gives the lowest lift-off distance on black surfaces. The difference between their new and old firmware is only 1 mm, but it does makes a big difference. The lift-off distance is adjustable, but CM Storm throws users a curved ball. Their software gives you the choice of an LOD between one and five. Most people will probably think that an LOD of one will give you the lowest lift-off distance available, but this is, even though it is pretty logical, not the case. Setting the LOD to five gives you the lowest lift-off distance and the best performance on pretty much all available surfaces.
Recon's tracking is perfect at the lower DPI-settings of 400 and 800. It is totally consistent and is, coupled with the low lift-off distance, a pleasure to game with; however, the higher you go, the worse it gets. There is, apperantly, a reason why Zowie chose to cap the DPI to 2300. Above 3000 DPI, it simply felt less precise on all surfaces it was tested on.
The Recon is rock steady with the polling rate set to 500 Hz, and it performs brilliantly with FPS games. A short spin in BF3 and CS:GO is enough to show the potential of this mouse. It is precise, consistent, and it can track very fast movements. That, coupled with a low lift-off distance, makes it a very nice mouse for FPS games. The Recon is probably OK for die-hard RPG gamers, but there are many mice that can do that perfectly for a lot less.
The shape of the Recon is a bit of a hit-and-miss. People who can actually grip it the way it is meant to be gripped will have a great experience, but comfortably using this mouse might prove a bit tricky if you have hands like mine that are larger than average. The Zowie mouse is far superior in this respect, since the way you grip it is not as highly dependent on the shape of the mouse.
The Scorpion is not as hardcore as its name suggests. It is cheaply made and does not offer a performance boost over running your cable along the surface and onto a tidy desk without any obstacles. The whole mouse bungee business is borderline gimmicky. Most bungee designs actually add more resistance to cable movement instead of just letting the cable slide across one's gaming surface, which is the exact opposite of what it should aim to do. It might make sense for someone using a soft surface with a mouse that has a braided cable, but that is only because sleeved, braided cables are a bad choice for mice.
This product only proves useful in very specific situations, and it is not that well designed to begin with. It can really only be recommended to those using a cheap, soft mouse-mat with a mouse that has a braided cable.
Value and Conclusion
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<td>The CM Storm Scorpion is not a good piece, especially for such a price. While we can think of some scenarios where it is worth the asking price, most people will be better off running their cable over their desk. This solution could be for you if you have the unfortunate combination of a fraying, loosely woven cloth-mat and a mouse with a braided cable, but I sincerely doubt that this is the best way to spend your money. Letís face it - a lot of really good mouse mats only cost around $20.
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<tr><th></th><td>CM Storm Recon Gaming Mouse</td></tr>
<td>Aside from the lift-off distance adjustment shenanigans, the Recon proved to be a mouse that is well worth its asking price. The choice of Avago's ADNS-3090 sensor is neat and does, in the Recon, offer the same level of performance as other implementations, and it is, at $39.99, hard not to like. The shape is a bit odd and your comfort level will depend highly on the size and shape of your hands since the palm plate is heavily sculpted. The Recon comes with a rich feature set, and its driver allows you to tweak pretty much anything.
I am a huge fan of optical mice and really love my Zowie AM. The Recon looks like a nice alternative, especially given that I struggle with Zowie's mouse-wheel choice a little bit.
If the Avago 3090 is the best sensor on the market (this seems to be the consensus), why does it only seem to see use on the cheaper mice? You'd think companies would be putting it on their flagship models.
Most of the flagship models are probably designed by the marketing departments in the sense that they use the parts with the highest numbers which look good on the packaging.
A lot of people still think that the higher the DPI the better the mouse, which of course is totally wrong.
How does this sensor compare to the one in the cm storm spawn?
It is the same sensor possibly a different revision, but most likely totally identical.
Frederik can you elaborate on that higher DPI isn't better statement? I have never really given it any thought and always wondered why they kept upping the DPI. Thanks for the review and information sir :)
You basically just need enough DPI to reach 1:1 scaling which means that there is no interpolation of positions. Basically set your windows pointer speed to 5/11 and your mouse to max DPI and see how fast it is a 1:1 (all other driver induced oddities need to be disabled for this of course). My guess is that most of the people with 8200 DPI will have a seriously hard time using the mouse at the max sensitivity.
I think for high sensitivity on a high resolution setup 3000 DPI is more than enough even for people using a high sensitivity.
Thanks, I am going to give my Razer Salmosa a go on this. I believe I am using Windows Default Drivers for it instead of the drivers on the disc. I have no idea why their drivers happen to quit working with the mouse when you come out of sleep/hibernation every now and then. It really is annoying to unplug and plug the mouse back in.
yeah a little too slow for me. I moved it to 7/8 out of 11 and like it a bit more.
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