CM Storm Aluminium Keyboard, Mouse & Headset Round-up Review
Peter Donnell+ / 8 months ago
A few weeks ago we brought you three reviews from the aluminium loving peripheral range from CM Storm, this includes their Pulse-R headset, Mech keyboard and the Reaper mouse. All three of these products are designed to look great, not only on their own, but also when they’re put next to each other. CM Storm do not sell these three items as a complete set, but today we want to find out what it would be like to live with the trilogy together.
Naturally having already tested these products we know they’re great, their performance isn’t even in question today as they’ve all walked away with tasty eTeknix awards in their respective reviews.
Style isn’t everything, but it certainly can’t hurt to have it. With the dominance of eSports and LAN gaming events we are seeing more and more focus on appearance in the PC gaming community. This ranges from branding, sponsorship, customisation of implement, case mods, colour matching components and peripherals, branded clothes and more. Having the cool stuff with the LED lights on it and the matching T-shirt might sound pointless, but many of us are guilty of it.
The packaging alone gives away the fact these products were destined to be next to each other. All three feature aluminium panels that can be removed, customised and then re-attached, allowing you to have your favourite images or logos printed on them, or you could always crack out a can of spray paint and do something creative of your own.
The overall design here looks absolutely blinding, the Mech keyboard has a real sense of presence on the desktop and that is party due to its epic size! This isn’t a keyboard that would be suitable for those with trolley desks or narrow slide out keyboard shelves. The desk we are using here is 95cm (37.4 inches) wide and can accommodate it with ease, but one also has to consider the depth as the keyboard comes with a rather sizeable wrist rest section that cannot be removed.
The headset fits nicely on the desk, although it is begging to have a proper stand to store it upon, with those lovely aluminium panels on the side. I would hate to see this get scratched so I do recommend you invest in a mounting solution to store the headset, a quick Google of “headset Stand” will turn up something useful.
The mouse sits nicely on our CM Storm mouse mat and it is obvious that the three compliment each other well. The LED back lighting on the keyboard, the strip lighting between the keyboards wrist rest, the interior lighting behind the drivers of the headset and the strip light across the top of the mouse all feature strong lines and a glow that matches perfectly.
One of the big factors here is that these are all premium products, so price is something that has to be taken into consideration. While it can be tricky to work out a total price given that all these items are sold separately, so different retailers may have better deals on at any given time, we can give you our best estimate at time of writing.
The Pulse R headset clocks in at around £60 – £70 on any given day, putting it right in the firing line of products from Steelseries and Razer, fortunately it holds up well against them in terms of performance and in my opinion looks better than anything else in this price range.
The Mech will set you back around £130, although we couldn’t find any reliable retailer with stock in the UK at time of writing, however this is a new product range and it may take a week or two longer for distributors to get stock in Europe. While that may not be cheap, it is on par with the bulk of premium mechanical keyboards.
Finally we have the Reaper mouse which is priced at a reasonable £55, making it the cheapest (at least in financial terms) of the three items. At this price range it is highly competitive and it offers some of the best build quality is this price class, as well as an Avago sensor and Omron switches.
Total price for the set would set you back around £250, which I think is actually really good value for money. It is certainly not cheap, but when you factor in the level of performance and quality we’ve seen from these products it certainly sounds like a solid investment. Visually the products look rather epic and with the option to customise each on to your liking I can see the modding community falling over themselves to get a set of these.
There are few options out there in my opinion for those that want a matching set of peripherals, Mad Catz have a very uniform range with their RAT mice, STRIKE keyboards & FREQ headsets all sharing many design features, but they’re not as unified as the CM Storm range. The same can be said for Roccat, their ISKU keyboards and Kone mice look great together, but are not a perfect matching set. So the CM Storm range will go well for the purist, those looking for OCD levels of matching perfection.
On our test desk the mixture of black glass, aluminium panels and the white back lights this setup looks incredible and worth every penny of the £250 price tag. Performance in gaming and day to day use is faultless on all three products and there is little else that needs praising beyond that!
As I’ve said before, we’ve already reviewed this range of products and you can read our in-depth reviews via the links below (all links open in new tab).
Which do you prefer, the mouse, keyboard or headset? Or are you suddenly hating me for making you want to save up £250 for the complete set? Let us know in the comments section below.