Mice tend to come in waves. For a while we saw nothing but ones with dozens of buttons. Those were followed many different ways to be wireless. Then a glut of lighting focused ones. Most recently the market has shifted towards lightweight mice, usually in the form of a standard design with tons of holes cut out of them.
It’s easy to get carried away adding features, or going so far down a certain path that the very design itself is enough to put off some people. It doesn’t hurt to get back to basics. To do the simple things right. That’s what we have in the form of the Cooler Master MM712, the latest in a long line of mice from one of the most famous brands around.
Cooler Master have taken their most recent mouse that followed the “holes = lightness” idea, and kept the format small for those with smaller hands, whilst keeping the weight low without needing to expose all the internals to crumbs and drops of whatever beverage you prefer. It’s a mouse with any and all fat trimmed away until you’ve got an input device that follows all current thinking, without losing sight of the comfort that is paramount. Let’s take a look.
Blimey that’s a cheery box. It reminds us of the 2021 Spurs away kit. Cooler Master’s brand has always used purple as their company colour and the MM712 takes that to new heights. We like it. Harder to spot in these photos without a banana for scale is how tiny the box is. The mouse is already small and it takes up the whole of the insides.
Within the box you find the usual selection of elements that come with a wireless mouse. We’ve got the quick start guide – which is about the size of the box itself to put the above in to context – the adaptor, some enormous teflon feet and the new paracord style cable. These new cables are so much more flexible than a tightly braided one, but just as protective.
The MM712 itself. It’s available in both white and black, and as you can see we’ve got the white one in. It’s diminutive to the extreme, much closer in scale to those old “laptop” mice you used to get. Or perhaps our daily driver is on the large side. The matte finish is very attractive indeed.
On the underside we’ve got the switch that moves between Bluetooth connectivity and Wireless. Within the small door you find the wireless receiver. There are also pairing buttons and, in a triumph of poor ergonomics, the profile button on the bottom.
The side view shows off the only two side buttons on the MM712. Despite being a near-ambidextrous design you only get two side buttons. The main buttons though have some side protection to keep them in place. Important when the mouse has been on this extreme a diet.
At the front is where the charger cable goes, if you’re averse to wireless or just forgot to plug it in overnight.
Lastly at the back the only concession to modern RGB is the Cooler Master lozenge logo.
Despite only having one lighting zone and no extra buttons beyond the ones we’re all used to, the Cooler Master software still lets you play around to your hearts content to get things exactly to your taste. With 19000 DPI in 1:1 mode and the ability to interpolate up to 38000 DPI, you’ve got a lot of room to fiddle. There are a few default options in the button customisation menu, and a macro editor if those selections aren’t enough.
When we were reviewing all the mice that came with holes everywhere to keep the weight down, we understood that it was a look that could be very divisive. We didn’t mind it, as it was different to the usual and we’ve seen hundreds of mice in our lives so different is, to quote Groundhog Day, good. However, divisive looks aren’t popular with accountants and so Cooler Master have made a serious effort to manage to keep the MM712 down in the weight department whilst visually looking like any other mouse.
First impressions last, and when the Cooler Master MM712 arrived the first thing you notice is how tiny the box is. Mice boxes aren’t always huge, but even by those standards we cannot recall a more compact piece of packaging. The second thing that strikes you is how light the MM712 is. We know that lightweight is the big selling point here, but without the holes your eye tells you that it is going to weigh about as much as most mice, yet at a mere 50g it is a featherweight. If you, or your wrists, grow weary in those marathon sessions then the low inertia of the MM712 will score big points. You can use it for hours without a hint of fatigue.
A tiny box means a tiny mouse. We haven’t all got hands of the same size and I know mine are particularly large – easily able to cover an octave on a piano – but if your hands are a similar size then you’ll need to know that the MM712 is on the compact size. Of course if you’ve got smaller hands and have grown tired of ever larger, heavier mice then this will be right up your alley. You certainly will want it in your hands too as that matte finish on our white model is gorgeous to feel. All smooth still textured enough to be grippy, light a well worn pebble.
When it’s this much fun to hold performance is almost secondary, but that doesn’t mean that Cooler Master have scrimped on the sensor. A 19000 DPI Optical PixArt one ensures every movement is flawlessly tracked, and the software is powerful enough to ensure you can tune it to your exact liking. Lastly there are three connection options – wired, Bluetooth, 2.4GHz Wireless – and all of them are pretty much indistinguishable in use. The wireless mode via the dongle in particular is so responsive you don’t miss either the wired mode, or any shot you take.
Like a California Reaper on a Ritz cracker, the massively capable sensor beating at the heart of such a lightweight chassis ensures that the Cooler Master MM712 hits that sweet spot where you can almost think the cursor around. Besides the lack of extra buttons – and the weird placement of the profile cycle button – and the smaller physical size, it’s the type of mouse that will suit anyone for an affordable £59.99 (especially for such a monster sensor) and wins our OC3D Gamers Choice Award.