Good things come in small packages, and Coolermaster’s Spawn gaming mouse is one of them, packing a good balance of features and comfort into a small, inexpensive, capable gaming mouse.
Coolermaster is best-known for their PC products such as cases and cooling fans. CM Storm is essentially their ‘gaming arm’ brand. The Coolermaster Spawn (or CM Storm Spawn) is a budget-friendly gaming mouse designed for ‘claw’ style gamers.
Although it doesn’t pack a lot of extra features, the CM Spawn is comfortable and sports all the fundamental features of a good gaming mouse (check out the gaming mouse buyer’s guide). It’s also small enough to be a good notebook companion.
The CM Spawn’s primary features are its 3 DPI settings and 7 fully programmable buttons (3 standard mouse buttons and 4 extras). The buttons support macros—a relatively rare feature for budget gaming mice—although the Spawn’s macro capabilities are very limited compared to more expensive gaming mice.
The CM Spawn sports 3 different resolution presets: 800 DPI (Dots-per-inch), 1800 DPI, and 3500 DPI. In addition, the CM Spawn is ‘hard wired’ to 1000 Hz polling rate—the highest rate typically supported by standard gaming mice to provide maximum responsiveness.
The DPI Settings are fixed, though you can change the order that you can step through them, or disable one or two of them altogether. For example, you could set two of the 3 DPI presets to 800DPI and the third to 1800DPI if you never plan to use 3500DPI.
The CM Spawn also supports DPI switching on-the-fly via the two buttons on top of the mouse (behind the scroll wheel), which by default are assigned to DPI Up and DPI Down commands. The two thumb buttons default to the ‘forward’ and ‘back’ commands in your Web browser—a common configuration/default for mouse thumb buttons.
However, all of the buttons on the CM Spawn can be re-configured as keystroke replacements, macros, or one of several preset commands (such as Scroll Up or Scroll Down, for example). Macro functionality is very limited and the CM Spawn only supports macros up to a maximum of 5 keystrokes. The macro recorder doesn’t record delays between keystrokes nor allow you to specify delays either. (Note that most mice in the Spawn’s price range don’t support macros at all.)
The CM Spawn also has onboard memory for storing configuration information, thus you can use it on computers without the CM Spawn drivers installed and still use your configured macros and presets.
The CM Spawn is designed for right-handed ‘claw’ mousers—that is, gamers that prefer to rest their palm on the mouse and splay the fingers.
Despite its small size, the CM Storm Spawn is still quite comfortable. Its shape is very similar to the SteelSeries Cataclysm mouse (see the slideshow for a comparison). The rubberized-side grips on the mouse provide a very stable, solid grip that feels good under your hand and fingertips. The scroll wheel is very firm and provides excellent, accurate tactile response.
In addition, the CM Spawn’s primary mouse buttons are a little firmer than average and also provide good tactile response as well—and the extra buttons are reasonably well place. Given the CM Spawn’s small size, placing the thumb buttons further back toward the rear of the mouse might have been helpful—at least for those with larger ‘claws’.
Although the CM Spawn is on the small side (scarcely bigger than the Razer Orochi notebook gaming mouse) and might not be good for gamers with big hands, it’s very portable and a good travel mouse.
The CM Spawn performs quite well, although a DPI setting in the 1200 range would have been appreciated. Going from 800DPI to 1800DPI/3500DPI is a bit of a dramatic jump. 1800DPI is still a bit ‘squirrely’ in FPS (first person shooters) and fast-action games. 3500DPI is best reserved for general computer usage, provided you have a fairly large monitor running at high resolutions (1680×1050 or higher, for example). Otherwise it might be a bit fast.
But aside from that minor quibble the CM Spawn provides virtually everything you could ask for (and then some) for a mouse in its very modest price range.
The CM Spawn is comfortable, capable, and sports just enough bells and whistles (macros mainly) to give it an edge over other mice in the budget price range (around $50). And the disadvantage of its small size is offset by its portability. In short, the CM Spawn is a solid recommendation for a budget gaming mouse and well worth checking out if you’re in the market for one.
CM Spawn technical specifications (courtesy of Coolermaster)
- 3500 DPI Optical Sensor
- 800, 1800, and 3500 DPI Presets
- Max. Speed: 60 IPS (inches per second)
- Max. Acceleration: 20G
- Image Processing: 6400FPS (frames per second)
- Image Processing: 5.8 Megapixels / Second
- Mouse Settings Storage: Sentinel-X TM 32 KB
- Polling Rate: 1000 Hz USB Transfer Rate
- Right-hand Ergonomic Claw-style
- 7 Fully Programmable Buttons
- Durability: Precise & Long-lasting Mouse Buttons & Scroll Wheel
- Ultra Swift Teflon Feet
- Cable Length: 2 Meters
- Gold Plated USB Connector
- Anti-Drift Control Sensor