Cooler Master Storm Xornet II Review (Page 1 of 4)

By: Hai Wang (Debut Review)
January 29, 2016

For the Japanese car industry, sport models of vehicles evolved from their normal editions are normally wider than the rest of their siblings. For example, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI is 5.5 cm wider than normal Impreza WRX, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is 5 cm wider than normal Lancer, and the Nissan Skyline R34 GTR is 6 cm wider than normal Skyline R34. Although it is not necessarily the case wider body design equals to better performance from all aspects, having wheels spanning outwards can increase stability, so handling is consequently enhanced. On the other hand, wider body designs featuring the flared quarter panel also emits aggressiveness, which is essential to being a sports car. There are lots of ways to make the standard edition look like the sports edition, but if you pay attention to the quarter panels, you can easily tell who the ricer is. In today's review, I am not intending to give you an impression that the Cooler Master Xornet II, which is today's reviewing subject, is inspired by any Japanese Domestic Market sports car, but when I saw the Xornet II for the first time, the wide body design soon draw my attention. Unlike the cars, the Xornet II's wide body design is not intend to enhance handling, but rather, due to the ergonomic consideration. Now there comes the question: With the extra wideness for the ring finger rest, will this claw grip mouse deserve the description on its retail package, “The best optical gaming mouse design for claw grip”? Let us find out.

The Cooler Master Storm Xornet II arrived via UPS Standard to us here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As you can see from the picture, the parcel is little bit big for just a mouse, because it is -- a few other things were in the box as well. The package was shipped from Chino, California, where the headquarter of Cooler Master is located. I was not the person who received this parcel in the first place, but the cardboard came with pretty good shape, and there were very few dents on the surface.

Peel the shipping package off, we can see the retail packaging of the Xornet II. The background color is in accordance with the Cooler Master website’s theme color. In the middle of the cover lies the top view of the mouse. The company logo is at the top left of the box, while a “CM Storm” symbol sits right beside it. The name of the product, “Xornet II”, is proudly located below the picture of the mouse, and it follows with a sentence that indicates the key feature of this product. The overall design of the package is simple, compact, and precise. It does not reveal too much of the Xornet II; even the RGB backlit mouse wheel is turned off in that picture. Yes, the package is talking to us -- “Want to find out more? Just open the case and try it on!”

Before digging into details, let us take a look at the specifications of the Xornet II, as borrowed from the manufacturer's website:

Technical Specifications
Grip Type: Claw
Material: Plastic / Rubber
Color: Black
LED Color: RGB
On-board Memory: 8KB
Programmable buttons: 7
Connector Cable: USB 2.0
Cable Length: 1.8 m

Sensor Specifications
Sensor: Avago 3320 Optical Sensor
CPI (count per inch): 3 Levels and up to 3500 DPI setting
Tracking Speed: 80 IPS/20g
Lift Off Distance: < 3mm
Polling Rate: 1000 Hz / 1 ms
Angle Snapping: No
Mouse acceleration: 20 g

Dimensions & Weight
Dimensions (L x W x H): 105.4 x 76.6 x 37.2 mm (4.15 x 3.01 x 1.46 inch)
Weight: 132 g / 0.291 lbs
Weight (without USB Cable): 80 g / 0.177 lbs

You can either open the box from the top, or just flip over the front cover to get access to the mouse. There is not a lot of stuff in there; just a mouse in a plastic plate and a card. The card indicates the specifications of the Xornet II, and how much hazardous materials are contained in the mouse. I think the reason to provide such information is for regulatory reasons, rather than to prevent people from putting it in their mouth. Unsurprisingly, the driver disc is not provided, since the mouse is plug-and-play, and software that can change the macros is available online.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Performance Tests
4. Conclusion