For a $40 mouse, the Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse generates very positive reviews, with virtually every outlet that tests this modest model reporting back on how it surprised and pleased them. It comes with one major caveat: to truly get the most out of the CM Spawn, you must enjoy the "claw style" grip that a large number of gamers use. Claw-grip mice are used by resting the palm on the mouse with the fingers splayed over the buttons (as opposed to having the heel of the hand resting on the mouse body). Several reviews, including the in-depth write-up at HardwareHeaven, include pictures of that mousing position so that you can tell whether this is a model you'd enjoy.
Assuming it is, reviewers say, you'll be pleased with the Cooler Master Spawn, which is part of CM's Storm line of products. Buttons are placed perfectly for that grip, there are rubber surfaces where you'll want to rest your fingers, and the mouse is light for quick movement under your fingers. The seven buttons are completely programmable, including the capability for basic five-character macros, which is unusual at this price point, reviewers said.
Testers also like the durable hardware built into the CM Spawn, the ability to save your preferences into the mouse's onboard memory so that it will remember them if you switch PCs, and its precise movements. It doesn't work well on anything but a mousepad, experts caution, and lacks some of the cutting-edge features found in mice at twice its price. If you don't like a claw-style grip, you'll likely find it uncomfortable.
Reviewers around the world were surprised and pleased by the performance of the Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse. We found in-depth reviews directed at gamers at the OverClock Intelligence Agency, HardwareHeaven, BenchmarkReviews, Xtreme Tech Junkies, HardwareCanucks.com, TweakNews and KitGuru. Because the mouse is relatively new, user reviews are sparse, but those that exist are almost unanimously enthusiastic.
In a detailed review, the OverClock Intelligence Agency gaming site evaluates the Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse, awarding it a Gold Seal of Approval. They like the 3,500 dpi sensor, seven programmable buttons, precise scroll wheel and highly durable click hardware, along with the ability to save your preferences right on the mouse, so that moving it to another machine doesn't require recalibration. The reviewer is not a fan of the CM Spawn's "ergonomic claw" grip, which makes the mouse shorter and fatter.
Review: Cooler Master Storm Spawn Gaming Mouse, Zahn Funk, Feb. 7, 2011
This solid review of the Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse includes unique pictures that show how the mouse's shorter, wider shape fits into the hand. Reviewer Stuart Kerley likes the Spawn's comfort, Teflon-coated feet, solid button feedback, responsiveness and precision. It does not respond well to any surface but a mousepad, they note. "While perhaps not having all the bells and whistles of more expensive gaming mice, the Spawn delivers on robustness and style," Kerley writes. The mouse earns the HardwareHeaven Silver Award.
Review: CM Storm Spawn Gaming Mouse Review, Stuart Kerley, Jan. 2011
"The CM Storm Spawn is an attempt to bring things back to the basics, cutting out much of the fat of traditional gaming peripherals and leaving you with a gaming mouse with all of the essentials," writes Austin Downing in the BenchmarkReviews.com rating of the Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse. He tests the mouse for two weeks in gaming and desktop software. "The CM Storm Spawn provides great features for a bargain price that is hard to beat," he writes, awarding a BenchmarkReviews.com Silver Tachometer Award and a score of 8.8 out of 10 stars.
Review: CM Storm Spawn Optical Gaming Mouse, Austin Downing, Feb. 6, 2011
Christopher Allegra likes the feel of the Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse, but says his large hands never did adapt to the claw grip required to control the smaller mouse. Still, he finds the mouse's features more than worth the price in this review for XtremeTechJunkies.com. "It would be hard to find something really wrong with the Spawn," he writes. "[It] is a heavy contender in the budget PC gamer's market." He grants the mouse an Xtreme Tech Junkie's Extreme Award.
Review: Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse Review, Christopher Allega, Feb. 15, 2011
In this detailed, hands-on review, HardwareCanucks.com says the Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse is "easily one of the best claw-grip gaming mice we have ever used… absolutely excellent design… world class." They warn that it is definitely for those gamers who like the claw grip, versus fingertips or a full-hand-filling mouse. They love its precision, button feel and placement for that grip style, though they don't care much for the cord. HardwareCanucks.com awards the CM Spawn its Dam Innovative and Dam Good Value awards.
Review: Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse Review, "AkG", April 6, 2011
The Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse gets a positive review from this gaming enthusiast, who awards it 4 out of 5 stars. "Good things come in small packages, and Coolermaster's [sic] Spawn gaming mouse is one of them, packing a good balance of features and comfort into a small, inexpensive, capable gaming mouse," reviewer Bryan Edge-Salois writes. He likes the buttons that allow DPI switching on the fly, the extra-flexible programmable buttons, though macro support is limited. He notes most mice in this price range don't support macros at all.
Review: Coolermaster Spawn Gaming Mouse: Comfortable, Powerful, Portable, Bryan Edge- Salois, Feb. 22, 2011
In this undated review for TweakNews.net, Jackie Mueller awards the Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse a TN Top Rank Award. "Be sure you understand the differences between the Spawn and palm-grip mice before making a purchase," she writes. "Once you're sure this style suits you, then I can highly recommend this offering." She likes the quality construction, precise tracking, onboard memory, anti-drift sensor and software from the CM Spawn. The claw-grip design won't appeal to everyone, and it needs frequent cleaning because of all the rubber pieces, she notes.
Review: Cooler Master CM Storm Spawn Gaming Mouse Review, Jackie Mueller
8. Xtreme CPU
Kristopher Wandall praises the Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse's price, claw-grip design and performance in this review for Xtreme CPU, but questions its optical laser positioning, which he feels should be in the center of the mouse for this type of grip, the inability to fully adjust between DPI settings (it has preset positions within its range), and the relatively short liftoff distance. He awards an overall score of 8.3 out of 10.
Review: Is Cooler Master's CM Storm Spawn an Affordable Gaming Mouse?, Kristopher Wandall, July 10, 2011
The U.K.'s KitGuru.com puts the Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse through its paces, awarding it 9 out of 10 stars and a Must Have designation. "All told, the Cooler Master Storm Spawn is a solid contender in the market, boasting impressive performance in a well-built package," Henry Butt writes, adding that it is "one of the best value-for-the-money gaming mice on the market."
Review: Cooler Master CM Storm Spawn Mouse Review, Henry Butt, Jan. 6, 2011
The Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse is relatively new, so there aren't a lot of reviews on Amazon.com. Of the dozen or so reviews there, all award it 4 or 5 stars out of 5. Users are pleased with the mouse's size, looks and performance, as well as its value price. "I think CM hit the nail on the head with this one," writes one user. "One of the best mice on the market today," says another.
Review: Cooler Master CM Storm Spawn 3500 DPI Optical Sensor Gaming Mouse (SGM-2000-MLON1), Contributors to Amazon.com