Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
As you may already have read, the Cooler Master MM711 Blue Steel is not too different than their standard MM711. The original MM711 actually launched in both black and white, and in matte and glossy finishes, for a total of four different models. On the other hand, today Cooler Master has their Blue Steel variant. Other than the color, they also used a more metallic-like surface finish. This gives the mouse a bit more of a sparkle without being shiny. Otherwise, we still have the ultralight shell with the trypophobia-inducing honeycomb structure. The holes make the mouse still easy to grab onto, but I can say that after a while, they unfortunately hold hand residues and oil after prolonged use. I have been using my original MM711 since the beginning of this year, and it has become a bit grimier than I would have liked. Internally, Cooler Master still has their dust and splash resistant coating, which is nice to see, but it is not waterproof. The hollow structure is not necessarily hollow all the way through, as there is a translucent diffuser for the lights. This should help in preventing dust or debris from settling too deep into the mouse. Speaking of lights, there are two lighting areas on the MM711 Blue Steel, with one near the scroll wheel and another at the back of the mouse.
In terms of dimensions, the Cooler Master MM711 Blue Steel measures in at 116.5mm in length, 62.4mm in width, and 38.3mm in height. The peak height of the MM711 is situated nearer to the rear of the mouse with a gradual slope up from the front and a smoother, rounded curve down near the back. As I have mentioned, the mouse weighs under 60g without the cable. The weight is balanced to the middle of the mouse, lining up with the sensor. Overall build quality is good, but you can still flex the mouse a bit when pressing the bottom of the mouse. It is not a huge deal, especially since weight is not usually applied in this area and reinforcing it will affect the ultralight design.
The Cooler Master MM711 Blue Steel utilizes the same fixed Ultraweave cable that measures 1.8m in length as the other models. As I have mentioned in other Cooler Master mice reviews, this is the lightest, most-flexible braided cabling I have ever used. This is the reason why I have been returning to Cooler Master mice after every review. I really hope I can see this similar sort of braiding used with other manufacturers, as it is the best cable I have seen. At the end of this cable, we have a typical full-sized, gold-plated USB port with a ferrite bead near the plug.
On the left side of the Cooler Master MM711 Blue Steel, you can see all of the primary and secondary buttons. As this is the same shell as the original MM711, the mouse is ambidextrous in shape, but the button layout is not. The main left and right buttons are separated from each other and the rest of the body. They are slightly sloped towards the middle of the button, which makes users naturally rest their fingers in the middle of the button. Underneath, we have primary Omron switches with a rated lifespan of twenty million clicks. Overall, the button response and weight feel good. The scroll wheel is a notched wheel. It is black in color, unlike the rest of the body. Under the scroll wheel, we have a black DPI switch that lets you change the current sensitivity. By default, this cycles between seven levels ranging from 400DPI to 16000DPI. With Cooler Master's software, you can change these sensitivity levels, as we will see later on. On the side buttons, we have the standard forward and back buttons. These side buttons are also black in color. They offer a good amount of travel, but they also have the similar spongy feel in bottoming out. This is pretty typical for secondary keys, especially since they should not be as easy to press as the primary ones. As for their placement, they are located right above my thumb and are relatively easy to press while keeping out of the way of accidental presses.
The bottom of the Cooler Master MM711 Blue Steel reveals the mouse feet and the sensor. The mouse feet are made out of PTFE, which is commonly known as Teflon. These give the mouse a smooth glide. I am quite happy to see Cooler Master also provide replacement feet as they can wear out. In the middle of the base is the sensor. This is the PixArt PMW3389, which is one of the top-of-the-line PixArt sensors out there. The PMW3389 tracks at high speeds of 400 IPS with acceleration up to 50g, although it is not enabled by default. Polling rate is set to 1ms, or polling rate of 1000Hz, and a maximum native resolution of 16000 DPI. Unfortunately, I did notice a bit of rattling from the sensor, which was something I commented about on my original MM711 as well. Otherwise, I am glad to see the base of the mouse is also finished in the metallic blue that we had on the top.
One thing that has changed a bit since the original MM711 is Cooler Master's MasterPlus software. While they are all compatible with each other, Cooler Master has been updating it to their 1.x version. It does seem like they have increased what comes with the software, as the download size is now 207MB in size. Even so, using the software was still a consistently positive experience. In addition, I ended up updating the firmware installed on this mouse during usage. Internally, Cooler Master has provided 512KB of memory on the mouse to store all of these settings. There is also a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ processor to control everything.
The main thing they added to the MasterPlus software has been more PC monitoring statistics, as it now reports CPU and GPU measurements like temperatures, percent usage, and voltage. However, when we look specifically at the MM711 Blue Steel settings, you will see these pages are practically all the same. The first tab is for Buttons, where you can assign different actions for each mouse button or scroll wheel action. You can enable mouse combinations, which let you add more mouse actions when pressed in combination with the DPI cycle button. The Lighting tab lets you adjust the lighting on the MM711. This provides typical LED modes such as Static, Breathing, Color Cycle, and custom modes. You can also use them to indicate the current DPI setting with the "Indicate Mode". The Performance tab lets you change the seven DPI sensitivity settings, USB polling rate, lift off distance, angle snapping, angle tuning, surface tuning, and other operating system specific settings. Thankfully, you can limit the number of DPI settings enabled, as I have done so. This reduces the number of settings the DPI button would cycle through. The Macros tab is where you create and record macros to be assigned to the mouse actions. Finally, you can save up to five different profiles and settings in the Profiles tab. If I wanted to nitpick the MasterPlus software, I would have liked to see some better scaling for the font and graphics, as I found the words to be oddly small with respect to the overall size of the window. This is just a minor gripe, as the rest of the utility is a very clean and easy-to-use experience.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Performance Tests