Trade shows tend to bring out the oddities and the experimental. At CES 2018, we caught our first glimpse of the Cooler Master MasterMouse MM830 - a programable peripheral with an odd side: a D-pad.
For the past year we have been waiting and watching to see just how practical it would be in a gaming setting. Today, that wait is over. We got our hands on the MM830 and will finally explore the practicality of the D-pad.
- MSRP: $74.99
- Switches: Omron (rated for 20 million clicks)
- Sensor: Avago PMW3360 Optical
- DPI Range: 100 - 24,000 with four programable levels
- Tracking Speed: 250 ips/50g
- Programable Buttons: 8
- Processor: 32-bit ARM processor with 512KB on-board memory
- RGB: 16.7 million programable colors
- Other Features: OLED display for data readout or custom logos, four-button D-pad
- Weight: 162g (.36 lbs)
The MasterMouse 830 is an interesting creature. While the (mostly) matte black PBT plastic and rubber construction give the MM830 a familiar feel, similar to many mouses on the market, its built-in features take this mouse into a whole different realm of control and customization. Guiding this control is Cooler Master’s PORTAL software.
When using PORTAL, the MM830 will allow you full control to manage every last button on the mouse, the DPI speeds (including the ability to unlink the X/Y axis), create individual profiles, and much, much more. Feel like changing your OS double click speed or button response time? What about changing the lift-off distance or USB polling rate? The MM830 and PORTAL have you covered. You can create profiles and assign each button to open a different application or remap them to frequently used buttons within your favorite games. You can also assign a button as a Tactix switch in order to create layers of control per button, much like you would use a shift key.
As for programmable buttons, The MM830 features the standard left and right buttons with Omron switches for the heavy clickers out there, an RGB illuminated wheel, DPI cycle switch, and the “hidden” integrated D-pad - which is both its defining and arguably the most divisive feature on this mouse.
Calling these buttons a D-pad is a bit of a misnomer. Traditionally, a D-Pad is used for directional control - hence, the D. While it could be used in that way, the layout is not terribly conducive to that usage as the right side button (if you are looking at the mouse from the side) is further away from the cluster of other buttons. I found that its placement actually discouraged me from using it all together. The D-pad buttons are a subtle, but not invisible. Though someone could conceivably overlook them as a textural design within the rubber siding of the MM830, I would not call them hidden.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. It is this attention to subtly which gives the MM830 a touch of elegance to build upon. While it does have three zones of RGB light bars, the are more accented than in-your-face. Located on the sides of the wheel, the outline of Cooler Master’s six-sided logo, and a small bar on the under side, the MM830 lives in a very tempered space in a world of bedazzled peripherals.
There is one more feature on the MM830 that is worth discussing: the OLED. Honestly, it is a feature that I am incredibly conflicted over. I like the possibility of accessing information on the fly, but I’m not sure that a mouse is the place for that kind of quick reference. While using this feature, not once did it feel instinctual to look to an input device for my CPU or RAM usage. Perhaps, this is a feature that you just have to get used to using. Since the OLED is customizable, I got creative and put MMORPG’s logo in it. Not a bad use if you want your gear to remind everyone who it belongs to.
Subtlety and precision are the names of the game with Cooler Master’s MasterMouse MM830. It’s matte black design and understand RGB give it an unassuming look while housing powerful options for nearly limitless customization. The OLED adds a nice touch of personalization if you choose to use it for a logo or graphic design instead of a place to see system information.
The D-pad is a unique and risky move for Cooler Master. The idea of having subtle buttons worked into the design is great, but the button layout leaves one button feeling inconvenient to use. Button placement aside, they are comfortable and responsive when used. Perhaps we will see a future iteration of the MM830 featuring the D-pad’s smooth style with a more Razer Naga or Corsair Scimitar layout. At least, this guy can dream!
If you are looking for a highly customizable mouse that provided incredible depth of control with a classy hint of RGB, this may be a mouse worth looking into for you. Cooler Master MasterMouse MM830 is truly unique.
- High level of customization for your uses
- Subtle design integrates RGB without being overbearing
- Comfortable claw/palm design
- D-pad buttons have a smooth click underneath the rubber design
- Right D-pad button feels a bit too far away from the rest of the buttons
- OLED location makes it hard to use for any tactile or system information needed on the fly
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.