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CM Storm Spawn review: CM Storm Spawn

The Spawn isn't terrible by a long shot — but in the hyper-competitive world of gaming mice, it's going to need a few more revisions before we recommend that you spend your hard-earned money on it.

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Craig Simms
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Craig Simms

Special to CNET News

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

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The Spawn comes in what Cooler Master calls a "claw" shape, claiming a natural grip. Despite the width of the Spawn, we found this to be more or less true, although the surface of the mouse caused our palm to slip a little too easily. The mouse also rocked to the left and right when in use, a disconcerting instability that was distracting during Windows use.

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6.5

CM Storm Spawn

The Good

Claw grip is surprisingly comfortable. Lightness contributes to good dexterity. Good accuracy.

The Bad

So light that it drifts across your surface when your hand is off it. Surface is slipperier than expected. Mouse doesn't sit stably on surface. Macros feature has a pitifully low entry limit. DPI switchers could be placed better.

The Bottom Line

The Spawn isn't terrible by a long shot — but in the hyper-competitive world of gaming mice, it's going to need a few more revisions before we recommend that you spend your hard-earned money on it.

It's also incredibly light, and has very smooth feet — a good thing for dexterity, but a pain when your hand isn't actually on the mouse. We found that if the cable tugged on the mouse in any way, it all too happily drifted in that direction, rather than staying put.

Below the scroll wheel are DPI switchers, while on the right there are two thumb buttons. The latter are easily reachable and distinguished, and the former can be a bit of a pain, as with all switchers found under the scroll.

Cooler Master curiously includes three firmware updates for the Spawn, all for different surfaces. We found that on our Vespula mouse mat and test-bench surface, only the 0.30a firmware worked — 0.31 and 0.32 didn't respond at all, only working when the mouse was placed on our jeans. Despite Coolermaster's recommendation to install the 0.32 firmware, we'd say stick with 0.30a.

The control panel is easy enough to use, but is the usual overwrought affair, throwing design out of the window in order to vainly establish some sort of gamer cred. The usual stuff is here: angle snapping, pointer acceleration, polling rate, customised DPI settings and macros. We wouldn't bother with the macros, though, as they store a pitiful 10 entries — that's five key presses, counting both up and down stroke.

Most companies haven't twigged yet that this sort of overwrought design doesn't necessarily mean "gamer".
(Screenshot by Craig Simms/CBSi)

Despite our concerns, in-game performance for the Spawn was quite good. The incredible lightness of the mouse complements the surprisingly good grip, with decent accuracy offsetting any balance issues that we picked up in Windows and application use.

The Spawn isn't terrible by a long shot — but in the hyper-competitive world of gaming mice, it's going to need a few more revisions before we recommend that you spend your hard-earned money on it.