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CM Storm Spawn Review

CM Storm Spawn Review

Manufacturer: CM Storm
UK Price (as reviewed): £29.95 (inc VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): Unknown

Cooler Master's CM Storm brand is quickly developing a reputation here in the bit-tech offices for its line of excellent peripherals. We’ve been impressed by its previous offerings such as the Inferno gaming mouse, which is still one of the best mice we’ve ever had the pleasure of using.

We were therefore pretty shocked when the CM Storm Spawn first landed on our desk, as its flattened shape is a radical departure from the style of mice that we’re used to seeing. There is method in CM Storm's madness, though, as the Spawn is designed specifically for gamers who employ a claw style mouse grip.

The Spawn proved comfortable to use when using this grip, although we found it tiring to use such an unfamiliar grip for long periods of time. That said, the mouse isn’t entirely unsuited to use in a more conventional palm grip, as the shape remains comfortable. The scoop on the right hand side of the mouse that cradles your ring finger and sits snug to your little finger is particularly successful, and makes the mouse feel bigger than it looks.

CM Storm Spawn Review CM Storm Spawn Review
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There's no getting away from the fact that the mouse isn’t designed for such a grip, though. Its relatively small size means that anyone without elfin hands will find a large amount of the palm of their hand without anywhere to rest, unless they use a claw grip.

Ergonomics aside, the Spawn comes with many of the features we’re used to seeing on gaming mice. There's the usual on-the-fly sensitivity switching, with settings predictably ranging from dismally slow to twitch-tasticly high. Annoyingly, however, there was no LED readout to show which of the three sensitivity settings you’re currently using.

CM Storm also makes a lot of noise about the Japanese-made ultra-step wheel encoder used for the scroll wheel, which apparently makes it more precise. In practice, however, we couldn’t see any tangible benefit from the technology.

CM Storm Spawn Review CM Storm Spawn Review
Click to enlarge

One feature missing from the Spawn, probably due to space restrictions, is any kind of configurable ballast. This is a shame, the Spawn feels disappointingly light and insubstantial out of the box. We would have appreciated the ability to add some heft to the mouse.

We also had a few problems with the Spawn during testing, as it felt strangely indirect and imprecise at times. This was largely due to the Angle Snapping technology that the Spawn has built into it.

This is essentially a movement smoothing algorithm, which helps you draw straight lines. It's aimed at making it easier to track enemies quickly in FPS games. In reality, however, it just felt like the technology was interfering with our movements, while also making us feel slightly divorced from the action on screen. Fortunately, you can turn off Angle Snapping in the downloadable Spawn configuration utility, as well as setting the button bindings and creating custom macros.

Conclusion

While the Spawn is a capable mouse that will suit those who play with a claw grip, we weren't entirely convinced by it. Granted, it’s well made and has plenty of features, but some of these features are pointless or just plain detrimental to your gaming experience - at least you can turn off the Angle Snapping. Basically, unless you’re specifically looking for a mouse to complement your claw grip, there are plenty of better options available.

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Specifications

  • Connection Wired
  • Material Plastic
  • Buttons 7, scroll wheel
  • Sensitivity 800-3,500dpi
  • Extras None

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