Cooler Master MM531 review — a refresh that’s just as good as its predecessor
The Cooler Master MM531 is a refresh of last year's Cooler Master MM530 with less weight out of the box but maintains the same shape, materials and sensor as the older mouse.
+ Easy-to-use driver software
+ Slightly lighter out of the box
+ PBT buttons should last longer than the switches under them
+ Excellent sensor with precise tracking all the way up yo 8200 DPI
+ Low lift off distance is a boon for low DPI gamers
+ Great bang-for-buck
- Needs more RGB
- Braided cables would have been a nice upgrade
- Side buttons have a bit too much travel
Cooler Master revamped their lineup of mice with the launch of the Cooler Master MM530 and MM520. Building upon their tried-and-tested designs, they released the mice with upgraded sensors and of course, RGB lighting. Today, the Cooler Master MM531 we will be looking at further optimizes the design of the Cooler Master MM530 based on user feedback, in the hopes of satisfying more gamers.
The packaging of the Cooler Master MM531 highlights its weight which is lesser than its predecessor. It does share the general design of the packaging though, with a magnetic flip lid to give you a peek at the mouse.
The back is where Cooler Master listed out even more of the highlights of the Cooler Master MM531.
We received a set of replacement feet with our unit, so you can disassemble it and not worry about having bent feet. We most probably won’t take our Cooler Master MM531 apart though, as there isn’t a weight inside, unlike its predecessor the Cooler Master MM530.
The Cooler Master MM531 features the same combination of PBT, ABS and rubber like the Cooler Master MM530. The shape is also exactly alike. The only difference on the outside is while we had a the Cooler Master text in the confines of the hexagon, it’s now gone. No idea why Cooler Master decided they had to minimize their branding on an already minimalistic mouse.
One the left side there’s a rubber grip with hexagon patterns imprinted upon it. The two side buttons are glossy here, and are pretty large to help you actually hit them in the heat of the moment.
We also find a similar rubber grip on this side, but given that this is an ergonomic mouse, the curvature is different over here on the left.
Cooler Master still managed to fit a gold-plated USB connector despite the affordable price point of the Cooler Master MM531, so kudos to them. Unfortunately that was the only premium touch they could do for the cable, as it does not feature a braided sleeve for durability.
The RGB illumination on the Cooler Master MM531 isn’t much to write home about. It has three zones, the scroll wheel, DPI switches and the logo are all you get to play around with.
|Body material||PBT buttons, rubber side grips, plastic shell|
|Sensor||Pixart PMW3360, Optical|
|DPI||Up to 12 000 DPI, in 100 DPI increments|
|USB report rate||125/250/500/1000 Hz|
|Switch type||Omron D2FC-7N switches rated for 20 million clicks|
|Microprocessor||32 bit ARM Cortex M0|
|Cable||1.8m, standard rubber coat, gold plated connector|
|Weight||92 g excluding cable, 131 g including cable|
|Included accessories||User guide, replacement mouse feet|
Well the weight reduction from the Cooler Master MM530 is quite unsubstantial. We are looking at 7g less excluding the cable, which is about the weight you would feel, and a meagre 1.5g reduction with the cable. On the other hand, removing the weight from the older mouse actually takes out around 14g from our Cooler Master MM530, which means that it is lighter than the Cooler Master MM531 if you would put the effort into it.
The mouse will work straight out of the box. But the good ol’ Cooler Master Portal does support it if you want to play around with the settings. Now I say good ol’ because it’s the same version that works with the venerable MasterKeys Pro S which I am still using till this day. Cooler Master definitely needs to work on their software integration, as the Cooler Master CK550 actually uses a different suite by the same name.
As mentioned earlier, the RGB lighting isn’t as impressive as what we have seen from the competition. Cooler Master still tries to make it as customizable as they can, with a slew of modes and effects to pick from. For those of you who are more practical, there are plenty of options to configure the tracking, macros and button reassignment to suit you. Cooler Master also threw in TactiX, which essentially adds another layer of functions to every key when TactiX is triggered. Cooler Master should have taken the opportunity to add an extra side button for TactiX with the Cooler Master MM531, but alas, they didn’t.
The mouse’s shape is designed for palm grippers, but unlike some mice which feature a particularly raised…er…rear, the Cooler Master MM531 features a rather mild slope which allows for a fingertip grip that yours truly prefers when gaming. To be entirely honest, I am partial to mice with this shape as they fit me perfectly.
In terms of its clickers, the buttons are plenty tactile and they aren’t afraid of making themselves heard. The scroll button clicks with ease too, unlike most gaming mice which have tuned their scroll wheels to be inexplicably difficult to press. The scroll wheel is light, making scrolling down long websites a breeze. Our unit has a very funny case of being silent scrolling down, but it makes quite a din scrolling up. The side buttons are quite clicky too but have just a bit too much travel for my liking.
Tracking is perfect all the way up to 8200 DPI, which is an improvement over the previous Cooler Master MM530. The Cooler Master MM531’s predecessor started encountering some amount of jitter at 8200 DPI, but the Cooler Master MM531’s lines still look pretty good until we hit the 12 000 DPI mark. It stops tracking really quickly once you lift the mouse up, especially after I performed the mousepad optimization.
The Cooler Master MM531, at first glance, improves upon the Cooler Master MM530 by reducing the overall weight. But once you remove the weight inside the Cooler Master MM530, it is actually lighter than the Cooler Master MM531. Which raises the question: is the Cooler Master MM531 a necessary addition to Cooler Master’s lineup of mice? Most probably not, but from a consumer’s perspective, the Cooler Master MM531 is a great mouse on its own, and is still one of the most affordable mice out there with PBT clickers and the proven PixArt PMW3360 sensor.
You most probably won’t be upgrading from a Cooler Master MM530 to the Cooler Master MM531, but if you are looking for a new gaming mouse with an excellent sensor and PBT clickers without having to shell out more than RM200, the Cooler Master MM531 should fit the bill perfectly. For RM159, the Cooler Master MM531 is even more affordable than the Cooler Master MM530, which makes it all the more deserving of our Gold PokdeWard!
Our thanks to Cooler Master Malaysia for providing us with the Cooler Master MM531 for review.