The Cooler Master Xornet II: A Mighty Midget?

I’ve owned the older version of this mouse for a few years now, purchased two back in 2011 to be exact. Due to this I was very excited when I heard Cooler Master was doing an overhaul and update. The large draw to this mouse for me originally was its unique shape. The shape reminded me significantly of an Ikari Laser, only smaller and shorter. It’s such a strange shape yet lovable for me. Considering the asking price of about $30 it’s very well built.

This new version improves upon a few things that weren’t so great on the original Xornet. The first being a new updated sensor. It is now using the Pixart 3320, which from what I’ve read is the public version of Logitech’s exclusive AM010. This was previously used in their mice like the: G100s, G302, and G402. The sensor is nice feeling, very smooth and snappy. The only real drawback is the low max tracking speed, which is just over 3 m/s. If you are a very low sensitivity gamer who makes very large swipes it may not be the best choice for you.

The second thing Cooler Master changed is the solid black rubber mouse wheel with a RGB translucent model. This new wheel has a nicer overall feel to it. The steps are better defined and feel a lot less sloppy. While browsing the web it’s not quite as nice to use, however in FPS games it’s a huge upgrade making bunny-hopping or weapon swapping a whole lot more consistent.

Finally, the cable was also changed out for a thinner model. It is a nice touch, although the original one wasn’t so bad. Something nice about this new cable is the inclusion of a strain relieve where it connects to the mouse. This should help prevent possible cable connection issues over time.

A unique hardware liftoff tuning feature has been added that doesn’t require software to work correctly. It is accessed by holding down the DPI down button for 3+ seconds. You can then adjust the liftoff to one of 3 settings using the scroll wheel. This feature comes in handy to tune the liftoff as low as possible for your mousepad. I have used this a few times when the sensor fails to track properly on my mousepad. It’s a pretty nifty feature that is built into the mouse.

Otherwise the other changes to the new model are for the most part cosmetic. They changed the look and feel of the side buttons, rubber grips have a different design to them, and the whole mouse is now completely black. A stealth black Cooler Master logo on the palm rest area is all the visible branding there is. This is significant improvement visually over their older mice with CM Storm branding plastered all over them. It’s a very dull mouse to look at minus the glowing scroll wheel. If you’re into the subdued look this isn’t necessarily a bad thing and does allow the mouse to be neutral for setups complementing the RGB craze.

The new mouse feet are also a pretty big upgrade in my opinion. They are very large and smooth taking up substantial space on the bottom of the mouse. Kudos to Cooler Master for revamping them.

As for the switches used, they have stuck to pretty much the same ones used on the original. The main left and right click utilize Omron micro switches rated at 5 million actuations. Whereas thumb and dpi buttons use TTC micro switches. However, the mouse wheel switch has changed. On the original model it used a full sized TTC micro switch, but the new version looks to have a cheaper half sized model. It still feels pretty good in usage and is still a step above a dome micro switch.

I’ve used this mouse for a few weeks now while gaming and for general day to day computer use. Honestly I can’t get over how comfy it is. I have yet to make the sensor skip while gaming unless I go wild and fling it around. Even with the lower max tracking speed this sensor still feels snappier and more consistent than the original’s.

For me this mouse is a great bargain. I really love the shape, the sensor feels fantastic, and it has the same great switches from the older model. It’s crazy to think how Cooler Master managed to make such a great little mouse at such a low asking price, yet still have things like internal memory, and the integrated adjustable lift off. It’s something I think a lot of other peripheral manufacturers could take note of. If are looking for a smaller mouse and the shape works for you I wholeheartedly recommend this tiny little beast.

 

 

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