Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
The front panel of the Cooler Master MM712's retail box had a tagline which said "Fill in the Blanks". This refers to the biggest change between the MM712 and the original MM710 or MM711. Gone are the trypophobia-inducing honeycomb areas, and in its place is a solid set of buttons and body. It is definitely neat to see how Cooler Master has kept the rest of the mouse the same, especially with its shape and size. As such, users do not need to worry about dust or water ingress protection, since this area is not easily permeable anymore. Cooler Master has kept the appearances of this mouse pretty minimal, even with this matte white finish. There are a few grey accent areas, including the side buttons and the scroll wheel, but the whole body is pretty clean. This white finish generally should resist showing handling marks, although it is an ABS plastic, so it will probably show some shine after extended use. The outline of the logo can be seen on the back, which also doubles as the single RGB lighting area.
In terms of dimensions, the Cooler Master MM712 measures in at 116.5mm in length, 62.4mm in width, and 38.3mm in height. Again, this is the exact same shape as its predecessor. The peak height of the MM712 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. This is an ultralight mouse, so it weighs approximately 58g without the cable or dongle, which is very similar to its predecessors. The weight is balanced towards the middle of the mouse, although this does not line up with the sensor, as you will see later. The mouse is ambidextrous in shape, which is good for both left-handed and right-handed users, although the button placement is not. Overall, build quality is quite solid, as we do not have any more flex in the shell with its solid back. It really is great to see the improved design to keep such a light weight while improving the sturdiness of the mouse.
On the left side of the Cooler Master MM712, you can see all of the primary and secondary buttons. 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 center. Underneath, we have primary LK Optical V2 switches with a rated lifespan of 70 million clicks. Overall, the button response and weight feel good. It is definitely different from traditional Omron switches, although the clicks are still satisfying to press. The scroll wheel is a notched wheel. As for the side buttons, we have standard forward and back buttons. They offer a good amount of travel, but they also have a spongy feel in bottoming out. This is more noticeable on the back button, despite using the same Huano switches between the two. As for their placement, they are located right above my thumb and are easy to access while keeping out of the way of accidental presses.
The rest of the buttons on the Cooler Master MM712 can be found at the bottom of the mouse along with the optical sensor. There are three primary areas of PFTE feet to keep the mouse gliding on any surface. An additional Teflon ring around the sensor can be seen to prevent this area from catching. The sensor in question is the PixArt PAW3370, a commonly found sensor for wireless mice. This is the same sensor found on the Cooler Master MM731. As such, users are offered a sensitivity range of 100 to 19000 DPI in 100 DPI increments. The sensor promises 400 inches per second tracking and acceleration of up to 50G. 1000Hz polling rate is standard, but can be lowered to 500Hz, 250Hz, or 125Hz. Thankfully there is no sensor or lens rattle with my unit of the MM712. Interestingly, you can see the sensor is positioned higher up than the middle of the mouse, which may affect the tracking performance with your wrist movement, although I think this is something you will need to be aware of when you use it. We will explore this later in our review.
Moving on, the bottom has a few other inputs and slots. The large slot on the left is where you will find the USB dongle for wireless connection. A small plastic door lets you store the dongle inside. On the right side, we have a pairing button and a function switch. This lets users change between different operating modes, whether it is connected to your PC via Bluetooth, wireless dongle, or wired. A small LED indicator light exists above the pairing button to provide some status updates, including when you change the DPI. There is a DPI switch button at the bottom, in between the certifications and product name. This lets users change the operating sensitivity on the fly and can be configured in the MasterPlus+ software.
Like most recent Cooler Master wireless mice, the MM712 can operate both in a wired or wireless operation. As such, we still have an Ultraweave USB Type-C to Type-A cable included. This flexible and soft cable is excellent at providing a drag-free experience with your mouse without needing a mouse bungee. It still is one of the best materials I have seen on a cable and no other competitor comes close at providing as resistant-free or light of a cable as this one. Obviously, this matters less considering this is a primarily wireless mouse, but is appreciated for those who use the MM712 with a physical connection.
Next, we have the aforementioned USB dongle for connection over the 2.4GHz frequency. Cooler Master offers two ways of wireless connection, including Bluetooth and with the dongle. Over Bluetooth, the mouse should last over 180 hours, while lasting around 80 hours over the wireless dongle. This uses Bluetooth 5.1, but it also operates at a lower reporting frequency of 500Hz. This should be completely fine in day-to-day tasks, and it is great to see this flexibility here. As for my testing with the wireless dongle, I found these estimates to be generally accurate, as the mouse sipped power from its 500mAh battery. In addition, the mouse does have a built-in sleep function that turns off the mouse when no activity is detected after a configurable time period. This meant I did not have to always remember to turn off the MM712 before I went to sleep. I personally never needed to worry about running out of battery before remembering to charge my MM712, and I went several weeks of use before even needing to plug it in.
Unsurprisingly, the Cooler Master MM712 uses the company's MasterPlus+ software. The download size for this utility is 318MB as a compressed file. In general, using the software was a consistently positive experience with a few hiccups. As a public service announcement, I was made aware of the immediate need to update the firmware for the MM712, as earlier revisions displayed latency issues in both tracking and clicking. I am using the latest firmware for both the mouse and dongle at the time of the review. I did find the firmware update process to be quite odd. For one, it forces users to plug in the wireless dongle and connect wirelessly as it needs to update both the USB dongle and the mouse. Secondly, there is no way to get around the firmware update, although in our case this is probably for the best. Once everything was up to date, MasterPlus+ functioned and was able to work with the MM712.
As for the MasterPlus+ software, the program generally works well. Specific to the MM712, there are a total of six different configuration pages. The first tab is marked Wireless, where users can change the sleep timer and low power mode to reduce power usage when the battery is low. The second tab is called 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 scroll wheel button. The Performance tab lets you change the seven DPI sensitivity settings, USB polling rate, angle snapping, lift off distance, surface tuning, and other operating system specific settings. Thankfully, you can limit the number of DPI settings enabled, as I have done so, as this reduces the number of settings the DPI button will cycle through. Finally, you can change the primary button response time, as these are optical switches. We will explore this on the next page. The Lighting tab lets you adjust the lighting. This provides typical LED modes such as Static, Breathing, and Color Cycle. 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. Unfortunately, Cooler Master has still not addressed the scaling for the font and graphics, as I found the words to be too small with respect to the overall size of the window. This is just a minor gripe, as the rest of the utility is clean and easy-to-use.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Performance Tests