I'm always of two minds about everything-but-the-kitchen-sink sorts of peripherals. On one hand, I can't stand fussy tools, and I'm not particularly swayed by bright, colorful lights. Give me an input device that delivers comfort, high quality, and long-lasting durability, and I'm a happy camper. On the other hand, it's fun to see what a company can find to cram into a format that's decades old, and what users find to do with those features. And so it is with the Cooler Master MM830 mouse.
At first glance, the MM830 looks like any other semi-blingy, well-appointed gaming mouse. The scroll wheel and underside of the palm rest are lit, there's a prominent and glowing CM logo, and there are multiple buttons present. But looking a little closer at the left side, the button array is actually a D-pad. Just in front of the D-pad is a little 96 x 24 OLED readout.
Let's get this out of the way first: The OLED thing may be cool, but it's completely unnecessary and may be functionally useless. Cooler Master describes its use cases thusly: "Flaunt your colors, rep your clan emblems, or fly your fireteam banners with pride—or even display crucial stats in the thick of battle." Okay, fine, it's fun. But no one is looking down at their mouse in the middle of a firefight. Any information you need at a glance is going to be on the screen most likely, and anything else—like current RAM usage or the selected lighting profile—are better displayed and addressed outside of your latest round of battle royale and not on a tiny OLED.
The D-pad presents far more interesting potential. Having four programmable buttons of any kind on one side of a mouse is a great start for those who prefer to map extra controls and functions to their mouse instead of the keyboard, but as mechanical rodent aficionados know, button placement can be sketchy. The D-pad format is familiar and established, especially to gamepad users, and it should be ideal for small thumb movements.
"Should be." After an unofficial poll of the crew, at least one TR writer was adamant that a D-pad on a mouse is not ideal, and that the button layout on the SteelSeries Rival 500 is superior. But in peripheral land, there's a great deal of subjectivity, so you may find the D-pad to be just right. Personally, as a relatively clunky-fingered person, I think I'd prefer the more pronounced tactility of a D-pad to the subtler Rival 500 buttons, even if the former takes a little more physical work.
The rest of the CM MM830's specs look promising, in any case. The top part of the chassis and the buttons are PBT plastic, and there are Omron switches and an ALPS encoder on the scroll wheel. There's a Pixart 3360 Optical sensor under the hood that's capable of 100-24,000 DPI. There is no reason for such a sky-high DPI, but it's good to see that you have some granular control over the levels across a more-than-wide-enough range. You can map the DPI to the dedicated button that's located behind the scroll wheel. The Cooler Master MM830 will run you $75 on Amazon or $80 on Newegg.