CoolerMaster is one of our favorite PC gaming hardware companies. So when the chance to check out their new Havoc gaming mouse came around we jumped at the chance. After a bit of a dry spell (in mice at least), CoolerMaster is back and ready to take your gaming (and comfort) to the next level. Can this new mouse unseat our current favorite, CoolerMaster’s older Sentinel II?
Specs & Price
At $54.99, those of you who do some pre-judging based on retail price will automatically start to discount the clout of the Havoc. But that would be the wrong thing to do because there’s plenty to like about this mouse over others. For starters, the price. It’s a lot more reasonable than some of the gaming mice on the market that push north of $70. Other perks include an 8,200 DPI Avago 9800 sensor, 8 programmable buttons, 128 KB of built-in memory (save up to 4 profiles) and customizable LED lights.
Clearly, it is not a slouch on paper. But the experience and comfort in hand after hours of gameplay are what ultimately make or break the situation.
Design, Feel & Construction
As far as mice go, and more specifically CoolerMaster mice, it’s pretty standard. Colors are everything you ever hoped for as long as you like black and a few shades of gray. LED accents are customizable by the user and give you a tiny bit of customization.
Button wise you’re looking at more of a FPS type of mouse as crazy button count isn’t the Havoc’s claim to fame. Up top you’ll find the standard left/right and click wheel (with push down center button) as well as two DPI up/down buttons directly below the click wheel. The right side thumb area has three buttons and a soft, ribbed, rubberized thumb pad which is quite fantastic (more later). Finally, the left side is sparse and open, free for your fingers to roam.
After several hours of gameplay, we have to admit, the Sentinel II’s days on top of our desk *might* be numbered. While the long reach palm grip style of the Sentinel II has kept many other mice from being our go-to favorite, the high palm arch on the Havoc makes the shorter length a lot more manageable and, actually very comfortable. Overall, it’s a very filling, contouring mouse with just the right amount of buttons for most games and setups.
In-game, sliding the mouse around our desk was effortless. It wasn’t too grippy and it wasn’t too slick either. Of course, part of that can be chalked up to the choice of mouse pad. We’re using an old CoolerMaster one and it worked great. Though, we brought out an old Rocketfish metal mouse pad that has been collecting dust for at least a year and it too worked fine.
The driver and accompanying software that CoolerMaster provides for the Havoc will (thankfully) not drive you insane. It’s not overly complicated nor too simplistic. The heavy red hues throughout may not be everyone’s favorite, but it fits CoolerMaster’s design philosophy for their Storm gaming brand and in this case looks pretty decent.
As one would expect, DPI settings, macros, LED customization and more are all present. For DPI, each of the 4 profiles can keep track of 4 individual DPI settings to toggle through via the up/down buttons under the clickwheel. Also, we like CoolerMaster’s way of displaying which profile is active. Instead of a number of LEDs where one is lit, or one that simply makes you rely on color to remember which profile belongs to which color, CoolerMaster lights up the corresponding number of LEDs. It’s a minor touch but one that makes the value of the Havoc even more pronounced.
Most gamers shouldn’t have an issue customizing profiles and sensitivity settings at all. CoolerMaster has done a good job of laying out the software in a way that makes it easy and quick to pick up.
A Great Mouse You Should Definitely Check Out
CoolerMaster continually impresses us with their attention to detail, design and providing the right features at the right price. WIth the Havoc, they’ve managed to hit a home run and keep price down so more gamers can get in on the action.
The DPI is insanely high, overkill even. But having the option is always a plus. The button count is enough to satisfy most and onboard profiles are always handy when moving. And best of all, in our book anyway, the mouse feels great in hand. Combine it all together and you have $54.99 well spent.