Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look - Hardware and Software

As you know by now, Fnatic Gear acquired Func prior to producing their products. Thus, it is hard to not refer to the previous mouse the Clutch G1 is based off of, the Func MS-2. In essence, the Clutch G1 is the exact same product, barring two button changes. The Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 looks like a traditional palm grip mouse. The body is not symmetrical, as it favors right-handed users in regards to the button placement and the curvature of the shell. The entire mouse is coated in a soft touch material, similar to the original mice and even the Fnatic Gear Flick G1. This rubbery like surface feels good in the hand, but some may find it slippery when a tad wet. The matte black finish is relatively good at hiding fingerprints and marks, but if you have dirt or debris like cheese powder on your fingers, you will start seeing stains. Looking at the shape of the mouse, the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 is rounded at the back, and this will encourage users to employ a more palm-like grip when utilizing the mouse, but I will get into this later. You readers already know how much I loved the original Func MS-2 for its design. Since then, my mind has not changed, and the Clutch G1 holds the same functional, clean, and simple design.

The Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 measures in at 130mm in length, 68mm in width, and 43mm in height. As you can see, the mouse is only slightly larger than the Flick G1 and practically the same dimensions compared to the MS-2. However, due to the curvature of the mouse and how it is shaped more right handed users, the Clutch G1 feels like there is greater side support for the ring and pinky finger. It also feels slightly taller compared to the Clutch G1, although in reality it is not by much. One area you might think is different compared to the Func MS-2 is the weight, with a manufacturer's specified 116g. However, the difference is Func measured the weight without the cable, and Fnatic Gear measured it while including the cable. With a small scale, I found they are both actually the same weight. It still is heavier than the Flick G1, which was 90 grams. Even so, this is a pretty average weight for an all-encompassing mouse. At the top center of the mouse is the black braided cable, measuring at a length of 180cm. Braided cables are preferred over the rubber counterparts as they are generally more durable. I find this braided cable a tad stiff though, and it could have used a bit of fabric softening. Otherwise, at the end of the cable is a gold-plated flashy male USB plug, which looks nice, but should perform exactly the same as any non-plated USB connector.

From the left side, you can see all of the buttons on the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1. You will notice right away this mouse dropped a total of two buttons from the MS-2, which is not exactly a terrible thing either. At the front, you have your standard left and right buttons with a scroll wheel in the middle. The two main buttons have Omron switches underneath rated at ten million clicks each. The scroll wheel is a notched wheel, with the same rubber coating as the MS-2. The sides are translucent with an RGB LED underneath to show multiple colors. One thing I noticed is the fact the scroll wheel has a bit of side wiggle, which is a bit annoying. Other reviewers have reported similar issues, leaving me to believe this is a manufacturer's issue. However, Fnatic has informed me this is something they are aware of an looking into, which is great to hear. Underneath the scroll wheel, we have two round buttons. By default, it is set to cycle through your profiles. All of these buttons can be set to other things with the software, as you will see soon enough. Finally, on the left side of the Clutch G1, we have two side buttons. By default, they are set to Forward and Back. The layout is pretty good, and I never had an issue with adjusting to the placement of the Clutch G1. Overall, the main buttons feel great to press and offers a nice tactile response, as expected from Omron. The secondary keys require slightly more actuation force, but they feel okay. The scroll wheel is also a tad stiff in terms of scrolling and pressing, but this is similar to the MS-2.

Between the side and the body exists a slit housing three LEDs. These lights serve one of two purposes. For one, it can indicate the current profile, as you can have up to three profiles loaded onto the mouse. When indicating the profile, the lights will display as white. It can also be used to cycle through the DPI settings. When lit up, these show as orange. It would be nice to see these lights be the same color as the scroll wheel, but as this color changing would compromise on the functionality aspect of the LEDs, this is understandable.

Flipping the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 over, we can see a similar state of affairs as compared to other mice. We have three polytetrafluoroethylene, commonly known as Teflon, feet to help with keeping a smooth glide. At the top we have a sticker with some more product information, certification, and a serial number. In the middle of the mouse we have the opening for the sensor. Inside we have a Pixart ADNS 3310. This is a commonly found sensor, used in other mice, including the Flick G1. This mouse thus can offer from 50 to 5000 DPI in sensitivity at a maximum of 6500 frames per second. It promises true 1:1 tracking with zero hardware acceleration, although it can be enabled up to 30g. Tracking speeds peak out at 130 IPS. Finally, report rate can be adjusted to 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, or 1000Hz. Unfortunately, the sensor is not as firmly attached to the mouse, as I can hear a very slight sensor rattle. We will see how this affects the performance later on.

Taking a look at the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 software, we can see Fnatic has kept a similar layout to the Flick G1. The first screen you see here is the "Basic Settings" screen, and this allows you to change CPI settings, pointer sensitivity, scroll speed, double click speed, and polling rate. The software also allows you to scroll by page with the scroll wheel. This mouse can be adjusted from 50 to 5000 CPI in 50 CPI increments. A total of three levels can be saved for each profile. There are also three profiles to be saved. Unfortunately, there is no way to change the lift off distance, but I will mention the importance of this in the performance tests.

The next page is the "Button Assignments" page, which allows you to reassign the mouse buttons. All of the buttons can be reassigned for different keys and actions. However, for obvious reasons, the mouse must always have one of the buttons assigned to left and right click. These buttons can be changed between different mouse buttons, mouse setting changes, media buttons, office shortcuts, and windows functionality. In addition, this can be used for macros, unlocking the mouse for keyboard shortcuts too.

The "Color Settings" page allows you to set different colors and lighting effects on the mouse. As this is an RGB LED, you can choose a color from 16.8M options. However, your eye can probably not differentiate between the multiple shades of some colors. You can also change it to constantly cycle the colors through the rainbow. As for lighting modes, there is Pulsate, Heartbeat, Blink, Fade in and Fade out, all of which vary the brightness over time in different patterns. There is also a custom mode that is really just a constant on mode. All of the pulsing modes can also be varied in terms of the intervals. Finally, if you really do not want any lighting, you can switch it off.

Finally, the "Macro Recorder" page is where users can make macros to be used with the mouse buttons and keyboard presses. All these settings are saved to the mouse upon exit, and thus you can take this mouse out and plug it into another computer while still having the same settings. Powering the mouse is a Holtek HT68FB560 microprocessor and 256KB of flash memory to save all your profiles. It would be nice to see some more interesting features, including game engine integration like we have seen with SteelSeries, but otherwise this software is quite clean.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Performance Tests
4. Conclusion