CM Storm Inferno ReviewManufacturer: CM Storm
UK Price (as reviewed): £33.48 (inc VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $49.99 (ex tax)Preferred Partner Price: £36.23 (inc VAT)
The Inferno is the second product we’ve seen from Cooler Master’s gaming orientated offshoot company CM Storm which, if the Inferno’s box is to be believed, is arming the gaming revolution. We think baffling the gaming revolution may be a more apt slogan, though, as the Inferno comes with enough buttons, gizmos and software options to make even the most seasoned gamer scratch his head.
First impressions of the Inferno were good however. The mouse is reassuringly well built, with an elegant, ergonomic shape. The hump of the Inferno rested snugly in our hand leaving our fingers free to dance around the Inferno’s multitude of buttons. The inferno was also pleasingly weighty which added to its quality feel; gamers who prefer a lighter mouse may find this off-putting.
We like the styling of the Inferno too as it looks purposeful and aggressive without being tacky. The vented front grille looks particularly good in an over styled muscle car kind of way. The buttons dotted around the body of the mouse are pleasingly tactile and well positioned. This is something of a triumph given that the Inferno plays host to no less than 11 of them, nine of which are programmable via the bundled software.
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Of note is the hexagonal top button, which switches between the four saveable profiles, and the rearmost of the thumb buttons which is the grandly titled Storm Tactics button. This button can be used in combination with other buttons on the mouse to execute user-defined macros or scripts which can be set in the software. We found the two small buttons positioned either side of the main buttons useful, despite thinking they would get in the way when we first saw them. The mouse wheel was also reassuringly chunky, meaning we never had to fumble to find it when quick switching between weapons in CS:S.
The cable is braided, which is something of a standard feature on gaming mice these days. The braiding did its job though as we didn't experience any tangling or snagging meaning our gaming sessions were free of frustration. Its also very long, so you should have no problem getting it to reach the back of your computer.
The Inferno felt responsive and accurate in games and when performing more pedestrian tasks on the desktop. As with most gaming mice, the sensitivity of the 4,000dpi-capable laser sensor can be adjusted on the fly, with five programmable settings available. The only gripe we had here is that when viewing the mouse from our normal sitting position, it was difficult to see which of the five settings we were currently using - the light used to indicate the current setting tended to bleed though onto the adjacent settings.
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The bundled software allowed a dizzying amount of adjustments to be made to the settings of the mouse. It could however be criticized for being excessively complex and has all the usual slightly tasteless pop out tabs, military styling and bright colour scheme we're coming to expect from mouse configuration software. Still, its functional and well laid out once you get used to it.
Once you've got used to the software everything from the sensitivity, button response time and lighting scheme can be adjusted and saved to one of the four available profiles. These can be flicked between on the fly, and are saved to the Inferno’s on-board memory so you can take your settings with you on the move.
Also included is a comprehensive script and macro creator which allows for complex combinations of mouse and keyboard keystrokes to be executed instantly. This is a feature usually aimed at hardcore MMO players but we also find it useful for entering regularly repeated information such as e-mail addresses and such like.
We can’t find an awful lot of faults with the CM Storm Inferno. It’s well made, comfortable, accurate and has an almost infinite level of adjustability. The extra buttons it carries may not be appreciated by everyone, and the fact that it’s weighty may put others off, but we enjoyed our time with the Inferno and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. At £40 it’s also great value, especially given the upward trend of gaming mouse pricing.
CM Storm Inferno