CM Storm Havoc Mouse Review
By André Gordirro on August 23, 2013
The long line of gaming-grade mice from CM Storm finally gets a medium-sized model, the Havoc. With a right-handed design and Omron micro switches (from Japan), the Havoc has eight programmable buttons, and it provides an exceptional sliding experience, thanks to some physical characteristics we will detail now. Afterwards, we will talk about its software and performance during gameplay and work-related tasks.
The Havoc has a rubberized central part, a shiny plastic right side, and a rugged rubber coating on the left side, where the thumb rests. On top of this niche, there are three special buttons, also rubber-coated.
The Havoc has four LEDs on the upper left corner to show which sensitivity setting is currently on. Below the rubber-coated illuminated scrollwheel, the user finds two buttons to alter the resolution. All those extra buttons, plus the main right and left switches and the scrollwheel, can be reconfigured using CM Storm’s application, which can be downloaded from the company’s website. (The package does not include an installation CD.)
Upside down, we can see the usual three Teflon feet that are the market standard; however, the two feet on either side are very long, thus making for a perfect sliding experience over a number of surfaces, especially gaming-grade mousepads. The Avago 9800 sensor is right on the middle of the underside.
The Havoc features seven choices of colors for the LEDs on the upper left corner, for the scrollwheel, the two sensitivity buttons below it, plus the CM Storm symbol on the base.
The cable is cloth-wrapped, ending in a gold-plated USB connector.
The 128 kiB of onboard memory keep stored all configurations done by the user, thus allowing him or her to change computers without losing profiles and macros. That way, the Havoc is always able to live up to its namesake. The software can set up to four user profiles (for games, work, leisure browsing, etc.) and record macros. On the default configuration, the button 8 (the lower button above the thumb rest) changes profiles; on other gaming-grade mice, that button is usually located below the wheel or even on the right side; here, as we already described, the left side has three buttons, not the normal two.
The user can set the sensitivity from 100 to 8,200 dpi on four levels. He or she can also turn off the illumination or choose the color (red, green, blue, yellow, pink, sky blue, or white), the intensity, and rhythm (constant, pulsating) of the illumination. Macro recording is very simple, and it is possible to include a time-lapse between commands. For users who like to keep track of all the new configurations, he or she can check the library of profiles and macros stored.
The Havoc is a medium-sized mouse for right-handed users. The gripping style depends on the user’s hand size, but the mouse is more suited for palm-grippers. Being claw-grippers ourselves, we felt it was difficult to reach the button 6 (the forward button above the thumb rest), so we changed the profile function from the button 8 to that one, since it is a less used feature during gameplay. There is no weight adjustment system.
The Havoc slides like few mice we reviewed so far, thanks to the long side feet. The rubber grip for the thumb is also exceptional; it is unfortunate that CM Stom did not use the same material on the right side. Although it is stylish, the shiny plastic on the right side makes it sweat-prone and a little slippery when compared to the overall body. The scrollwheel is not dented, but the rubber coating makes it tight. Unfortunately, it does not scroll horizontally.
In terms of precision, the high sensitivity plus four resolution settings make the Havoc perfect for intense virtual shootouts in FPS matches and selecting a combo of powers in MMORPGs; we recommend lower dpi settings when sniping or touching up images in a photo editor software. With lots of configuration options and a high resolution, the Havoc is ideal for both play and work.
The main specifications for the CM Storm Havoc mouse include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Havoc left a good impression with its tight grip and agile sliding. It is a perfect middle-sized mouse for right-handed palm-grippers who do not care about weight adjustment. Although it is aesthetically pleasing, the shiny right side could have been coated with the same rugged rubber of the thumb rest. The CM Storm’s software has a friendly interface and makes it easy to configure commands and macros.