Page 3 - Subjective Performance Tests
As for performance tests, I have adjusted both the keyboard and mouse to my liking. In daily usage, I generally leave the mouse at 1600 dpi, but for the purposes of the tests, I will try multiple tests at all settings. In my tests, I will run through both gaming and office work. Gaming includes a famous multiplayer online battle arena game, League of Legends, in addition to some first-person shooters like Crysis 2 Maximum Edition and Payday 2. As for office work, this includes typing work like writing this review in addition to daily usage for general purposes. Graphics work is also done as an extension to office work with Adobe Photoshop CS2. For all my tests, I will be using the XTracGear Carbonic mousing surface. Please remember these are subjective tests, but we will attempt to make our results as objective as possible with our cross referencing testing methods.
If you do not know yet, the Cooler Master Storm Devastator MB24 is a membrane keyboard. For $30 including both a keyboard and mouse, I would not expect anything else. For the past while, we have only been reviewing mechanical keyboards like the Func KB-460 or the Tesoro Tizona G2N Elite, but manufacturers are still making membrane keyboards. This is the cheapest kind to make, but it generally is known for a less optimal experience with a lack of response due to squishy keys. For the past two years, I have exclusively been using mechanical keyboards at home, as they offer a better tactile response. Most people tell me once you go mechanical you cannot go back, but is that really the case?
Unfortunately, it is. No matter how great of a keyboard you make, I think mechanical keyboards provide the best typing experience, especially in comparison to membrane keyboards. Membrane keyboards are and will always have circles ran around it when it comes to the overall typing feedback. That being said, for a membrane keyboard, the Cooler Master Storm Devastator MB24 is a very good one. Cooler Master has said this Devastator has a custom membrane design to offer more tactile feedback, and I have to say this is not a lie. Even though I missed my own mechanical keyboard while writing this review, the MB24 is not a pain to use. In fact, there are some features I wish my mechanical keyboard would have. For one, dedicated media keys were quite awesome to use, as I did not have to look for any combination of an F-key and the function key. The MB24 is also quite a bit more silent, as each key press does not make as loud of a sound from either the switch or from the key bottoming out. The MB24 does however have a few quirks. For one, the space bar has developed a sort of squeaking noise when I pressed on it from the right side. Personally all my space bar pressing is done with my right thumb, and so it could be a result of stress after a few weeks of use, but this is rather unfortunate. Secondly, the aforementioned "palm rest" under the keyboard is not really a palm rest. It is far too shallow to really be used for anything other than seeing the cool horizontal bars. Finally, the kickstand does not really raise the keyboard up by very much, and therefore some users may find they will have to adjust to the lack of height. Again, a lot of these are preferences, so take this as you would.
With all that in mind, let's turn off the lights and see what the MB24's real party piece is. As you can see in the photo above, the MB24 offers full backlighting of the entire keyboard, in the color you have purchased. As I have said, blue and green options are also available at the same price. Overall, the backlight is evenly distributed for the main set of keys. The only keys that are not so even in lighting are the media keys. To activate the lights, you will have to press the Scroll Lock button, which means the party lights will only be on when Scroll Lock is on. Generally, this is not a big deal, as most users do not even know what the Scroll Lock is used for. Back in the days, it allowed users to scroll with arrow keys. It was quite useful considering during the DOS era, as screen output was limited to a length of 80 characters by 25 rows deep. Thankfully, this has changed, and this key is almost obsolete. One of the few purposes left of the key is in Microsoft Excel. The Scroll Lock key allows users to pan around the spreadsheet without moving your selected cell.
Moving onto our mouse, I personally grip my mouse in a hybrid sort of fashion, with a split between a palm and a grip mouse. This is because I do not really have a preference in how I grip my mouse. When I used the Gigabyte Aivia Uranium, I found myself tending to a palm grip ,since the mouse had a large and high enough back end to rest your hand on. However, with the Cooler Master Storm Devastator MS2K, the mouse is quite a bit flatter, so I generally tended to a claw grip. Additionally, in order to reach both the forward and backward buttons with my thumb, I had to use a claw grip. If you have larger hands than mine, which is definitely more than likely, you might find the MS2K is a tad too small for you. However, I had no issues with using the mouse. The overall comfort levels from the Cooler Master Storm Devastator MS2K are not over 9000, but on the other hand it honestly is not bad. Comparing the price tag to the actual product, I can use this mouse for quite a while without feeling any discomfort, or feeling like I am missing out on a better mouse
When it comes to weight, I found this mouse to be a tad on the light side. While most users will want a mouse heavier than 128g, at this price point, we should not expect things like customizable weights. Still, it would be nice to see it get a bit heftier. In terms of feel and comfort, the Cooler Master MS2K is a surprisingly enjoyable mouse to use. I have complained in the Aivia Uranium review I often found myself having to "re-grip" the mouse, since it kept sliding out of my hands. As I have previously mentioned, the grips on the side help alleviate this problem by providing an area for your fingers to hold onto. Finally, the friction underneath the mouse is minimized by the four PFTE pads quite well. This in combination with the XTracGear Carbonic meant there were no problems with quickly moving the mouse around. Pair this with the maximum 2000 DPI sensor, and it does a pretty good job with quick actions without having to move your mouse too much. Of course, there are other mice boasting sensors capable of more than 6500 DPI, but this will obviously come down to preference.
As for gaming, the Cooler Master Storm Devastator MS2K performed admirably, but it was obviously not the best mouse I have tried. Playing games like League of Legends did not make me miss my other mice. There is no 'oil slick' delay, as the response time is decent. The key presses are a tad on the louder side, which is not my preference, but it is not too loud. On the down side though, the scroll wheel, much like the space bar on my keyboard, developed a squeak when I scrolled. I use my scroll wheel quite a bit, so again, this is probably stress kicking in. In addition, the scroll wheel is sometimes a bit inconsistent with its scroll to screen action, as there are times I would rapidly scroll down a window, just to see the screen bounce a bit around. When playing first person shooter games, the MS2K is a great performer, especially with its smooth glide. I have to say I am quite surprised at the lack of friction generated between the Cooler Master Storm Devastator MS2K and the XTracGear Carbonic. In comparison with the Gigabyte Aivia Uranium, the cursor movement is not as precise at times. Testing out the mouse on Adobe Photoshop proved to be rather pain free. With the lasso tool, I was able to accurately trace out buildings from a picture of a cityscape. At all sensitivity settings, the mouse is predictable in its movements. In terms of performance, I have to say I am quite impressed with what the Cooler Master Storm Devastator combination pack can do, especially for the price.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Performance Tests