Normally I would focus a lot on the sensors performance, but Cooler Master went with the Avago PMW3360 optical sensor that so many mice now use. Everyone goes with it or a variation because it is a quality sensor with great tracking. So most of my testing was focused just on the overall usability of the MM830 itself. I personally prefer an ambidextrous shape normally, so the ergonomic shape of the MM830 was a little off to me. I have large hands but when I palmed the mouse it would push it a little forward from where I would like to hold it. A claw shape worked better for me to keep my thumb right in the center of the D-Pad and closer to the front of the triggers.
Speaking of the D-Pad, with this being one of the main features I spent more time playing around with it than I normally would with side buttons. Normally as long as my thumb can reach them and they work with my push to talk button I am happy. What I found was the distance between the front and back buttons that was put there to make room for your thumb might be a little too far apart. I had to pull my thumb back much farther than I am used too to reach the back button and if my hand was smaller it would be me trying to reach my thumb up to get to the front button. The top button is actually in a good spot for using it by itself, when I moved my thumb down between the top and bottom I had to rotate my thumb up and down to use them both and even then the bottom button was hard to push with my fat thumb. My wife didn’t have the same trouble with her small hands, but I did confirm with a third person that the bottom button was hard to get their thumb down into.
I’ve had some experience with previous Cooler Master mice with the PBT finish and I still like this as a material. My preferred finished is that soft rubber finish, but I have learned over the years that the rubber finish will wear off or if it lasts it will eventually get a nasty sticky residue. So combine that with PBT being a stronger plastic than ABS and you have a finish that should hold up for a long time. Now the rubber grip on the left side of the mouse doesn’t get too much use because of the buttons and I didn’t have any issues with it getting greasy which I get sometimes with side grips. I did, however, have to use the D-Pad buttons to get the grip on the mouse when picking it up. The left side does have a tiny bit of scoop shape to it, but not enough to make up for the curved shape on the right side.
What about the OLED? Well, I mentioned earlier that in my experience most screens like this aren’t very usable. You have to have a very specific use for them or they become a gimmick. When digging through the software most of the options they give you weren’t very usable but two I did find useful. The current DPI display option is a nice way to confirm what setting you are on, though the three profile LEDs should do the same. Then there was the APM display that shows your actions per minute at any given moment. I don’t think I would need to look at that on the fly and really you can’t see the screen from a normal position, but it does look cool I guess. In other words, yeah the screen ends up being a gimmick, unless you want to display your custom logo design.
As for the lighting on the MM830, well Cooler Master went a little crazy here if you ask me and this is from someone who doesn’t mind RGB lighting. I’m not a huge fan of the underglow lighting at the back of the mouse but it can be turned off. I actually liked that they just lit up the CM logo outline under your palm and the RGB scroll wheel is normal. But the brightness on the DPI indicator lights pushes things a little overboard for me. They are much brighter than they need to be. Thankfully you can turn down the lighting, but all of the lighting is linked together so when you turn down the bright DPI indicators you also turn the other lighting down even more and those aren’t as bright to start. There was a workaround, setting a multizone lighting effect but turning on every clickable light turns off the DPI indicator but leaves everything else on. You also cant set different colors to different areas of the mouse. The one big plus I can say though is Cooler Master is the first company to get orange right. Normally the orange setting in the software gets you a washed out almost orange and you have to slide over into the early reds to get a real orange lighting but the orange in the software was a nice rich orange.