Budget Keyboard and Mouse Review

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The Cooler Master: CM Storm Octane is a mouse and keyboard bundle on a budget. For only 72USD at the time of making this article you receive a relatively solid mouse and keyboard combination from a reputable company. Both the mouse and keyboard have choices of seven different RGB colours, easily changeable from buttons built right in. The keyboard has a built in animation, breathing, which is easy to toggle on the keyboard itself, but with no included software, that's all you'll have for animations.

Enough of what you could have found on their site yourself, let’s get into our opinion on this product. The keyboard has quite low deck flex and feels very solid for a budget keyboard. It also has six dedicated multimedia keys, along with a "Windows Key" lock indicator in place of the scroll lock indicator on the top right corner. As far as the feel of this keyboard, it feels nice, and almost like it’s supposed to have a slightly mechanical feel, but is certainly not true mech.

In addition, I couldn’t find what type of switches the keyboard is using no matter where I looked. In addition to seemingly no-name switches, the keys are quite loud. Normally I like this, MX Cherry Blues being my favourite but, the sound of the keys makes it clear to me that it is the clack of the keys making them so loud, and not the click, which is disappointing. The backlighting is solid, with quite even distribution, but as with many keyboards, leaves something to be desired behind words such as the “Home” button.

As stated before the keyboard can switch between
seven colours, with the option of breathing between them, in addition to this you can adjust the  speed at which the keyboard breaths, and there are three intensity settings for the keyboard lighting. The aesthetic of the keyboard is satisfying and overall, I found this keyboard to be very usable for the low price, with the major gripe being that the grooves that Cooler Master has used for design often get things caught in them, such as dust, or other particulates.

The mouse, is not bad, but falls short compared to the keyboard and it becomes obvious which one most of your seventy dollars is going towards. The mouse has dedicated back and forward buttons, which is a nice touch for browsing the web, and would be easy to bind for game use. The switches in the mouse are satisfying and require, in my opinion, the perfect amount of pressure to trigger, but of course, everyone has their own preferences. The mouse has a dedicated button for changing what color of light is displayed, and another button to cycle through DPI settings. There are four DPI settings ranging from 500-3500, and uses an optical sensor.

The lack of included software is likely to leave you with a DPI setting that is not quite satisfactory to you. In my eyes where this mouse really fell apart was the scroll wheel. The mouse that was sent to me has a nubbin sticking off the scroll wheel which seems small at first but proved to be extremely annoying, and is simply due to a lack of quality control. The other thing that has proven to be a big deal is after extended use the scroll wheel makes an incredibly annoying squeaking noise when used.

Now, what it all comes down to, do we recommend this pairing? Well, that answer depends, if you’re looking for a relatively decent mouse and keyboard combo, and are willing to roll the dice a bit with quality control (because I’m sure I’m not the only one to experience these things), then yes, but if your budget is higher, then no. Even with a lower budget it is entirely possible to find nicer combos for the same price or less, that is, if you’re willing to sacrifice brand name. If you are interested in buying this combination click here.

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George Johnston-Lunn

Gaming since could handle a mouse and keyboard, although mainly a PC Gamer has a long history with Nintendo Consoles. Main author for the Hardware reviews and the indie game articles. Canadian.

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