- Build Quality
After being thoroughly impressed with the CM Storm Sentinel Z3RO-G a while ago, I was eager to check out their newest mouse, the compact, inexpensive Xornet. At $29.99, it undercuts virtually all other gaming mice on the market but still promises a decent 2000-dpi sensor, a 1000-Hz polling rate, and an ergonomic design.
The Xornet is a distinctly “claw-grip” mouse, meaning that it’s not meant to be anchored against the palm but rather supported by the fingertips. This technique facilitates smaller, more precise movements when compared to the palm grip that the Z3RO-G was built for. However, with the wrong mice a claw grip can quickly bring on crippling fatigue and cramping. The paw-shaped Xornet is specifically designed with finger rest that allows you to rest your ring finger on top of the mouse rather than using it to grip the side; it relaxes your hand and gives you more control. Although the three-finger-on-top posture may take some getting used to, the more open position of your hand is actually incredibly comfortable for long-term use. The dimpled, rubberized grips for your thumb and pinky are both supremely comfortable and very grippy, although I predict they will be caked with finger-dirt before too long. Aesthetically, the shape is very striking and unique; the only other mouse on the market that really resembles it is CM Storm’s own Spawn.
In terms of performance, the Xornet can be viewed as a detuned, entry-level version of the Spawn, since it shares virtually all its external components with it. The dimensions (107x75x35mm) and weight (142g) are identical to its pricier sibling. The differences lie in the reduced-DPI sensor (2000 vs. 3500), reduced onboard memory (8kb vs. 32kb), and fixed-function (rather than programmable) sensitivity buttons. In everyday usage, the difference between 2000 and 3500 DPI can be compensated for by turning up the pointer speed, and the lack of dedicated Xornet software (and thus programmable keys) means that the 8kb of onboard memory is sufficient. The two DPI switches that sit behind the (very shallow) scroll wheel let you cycle the sensitivity through 500-, 1000-, and 2000-DPI modes. The main buttons are, like on the Z3RO-G, completely separate (i.e., not part of the main body panel), but there’s none of the looseness we saw there. Cooler Master promises 5,000,000 clicks with the Xornet’s Omicron Micro switches.
If there’s one complaint I’ve got, it’s that the scroll wheel is too tapered and too shallow. I would prefer a wider, more substantial, and weightier wheel that gives your finger a bit more purchase. Also, the cable isn’t braided—a braided cable would’ve lent the Xornet a much more premium feel.
All in all, the Xornet is a very good deal for $29.99. It has all of the ergonomic charm of the Spawn, but the detuned internals mean a 50% cut in MSRP (although you should be able to find the Spawn for much less than $59.99). Because of the Xornet’s good performance, super-comfortable design, and affordability, I highly recommend it as an entry-level competitive mouse well-suited to the routine of daily use.
|Material||Rubber Grip / ABS Plastic|
|Dimensions||(L) 107 X (W) 75 X (H) 35 mm / (L) 4.2 X (W) 4 X (H) 1.3 inch|
|Net Weight||142 g / 0.313 lb|
|Sensor||2000 DPI Storm Tactical Optical Sensor|
|Maximum Tracking Speed||160 IPS|
|Maximum Acceleration||23 g|
|Polling Time||1.0 ms|
|Speed Measurement||6700 FPS|
|Onboard Memory||8 Kb|
|Form Factor||Right Hand Ergonomic|
|Button Assignment||5 mouse buttons+ 2 fix function buttons|