Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 Mouse Review
Some time ago we took a look at the new Fnatic Gear Rush G1 keyboard and the Fnatic Gear Flick G1 Mouse and while the keyboard and the mouse was good there was little to separate them from numerous other peripherals on the market. Well today I’ll be taking a look at Fnatic Gear’s second Gaming mouse the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1.
The Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 is a right handed ergonomic optical mouse with a Pixart 3310 sensor, the sensor itself has a maximum CPI of 5000. There are seven programmable buttons and in addition to this there’s 256k of on-board memory supporting three player Profiles, adjustable Polling Rates, LED illumination and a drag reduction cord.
The Fnatic Clutch arrived at pcG in a small compact white box as can be seen in the images above. The front of the box features a large image of the mouse while the back of the box provides additional information regarding the following features.
CUSTOMIZABLE PLUG & PLAY
PRO-GRADE OPTICAL SENSOR
DRAG REDUCTION 2M CORD
On opening the box we can see that the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 is both nicely packaged and presented. The mouse itself rests within a foam frame beneath which we find a basic Quick Start Guide as can be seen below. There’s nothing else in the box…
At the time of review the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 is available on the Fnatic Gear website for €69.99 and comes with a 2 year warranty.
courtesy of Fnatic Gear
L: 130 mm
|Main Switches||Omron D2FC-F-7N|
|Tracking speed||130 IPS|
|Report Rate||Adjustable, up to 1000Hz|
|Connection||Gold plated USB|
|Package Content||CLUTCH G1 Optical Gaming Mouse, Quick Start Guide|
First impressions of the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 are that its not too dissimilar to the Fnatic Gear Flick G1 that I looked at back in April. Similarly this mouse is also designed with e-sports in mind, meaning that it’s devoid of all things frivolous. This is a True Gaming mouse, a mouse that’s more about how it performs in Game than anything else. Let’s take a look, shall we…
Being a mouse for right handed Gamers the left side is somewhat obviously different from the right. The shape itself is good and the ergonomics are likely to favour the palm and claw style of grip, so that’s me covered as my grip is somewhere between the two. The surface has a soft touch coating that provides a premium feel and a good level of grip. The left side features two thumb buttons that are well placed and easily activated, with plenty of room for your thumb to rest below. Up front on this side we also see a simple Fnatic Gear logo in white. On the other side there’s little to talk about or see except for the Clutch logo at the front.
Looking at the front of the Clutch G1 we see its ergonomic shape that slants to one side. Also note the elevated cord connection that lifts the cable up and away from the surface to lessen any drag. Quite a sensible idea that really…
Looking at the back of the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 there’s really is very little to see, no logo, no lighting, nothing and that’s a bit of a shame. Here though once again we can appreciate the ergonomics of this right handed mouse.
Up top we have the two main left/right buttons both equipped with Omron D2FC-F-7N switches. Centrally mounted we find the scroll wheel that features a rubber tyre style grip as well as LED illumination. The scroll wheel feels good in that it’s easy to use and features noticeable graduations. Behind this there are two programmable buttons that are by default set up as Profile Up and Down, these can be changed to CPI cycle/up/down should you wish. What’s not visible is the fact that tucked in the gap between the side and the upper sections of the mouse are three small indicator LEDs, these are to indicate what Profile/CPI is currently selected. More on this later…
Looking at the base of the Clutch G1 we can see that the mouse features three main glides, one large at the front and two smaller at the back. No additional glides are provided. Centrally mounted we see the Pixart 3310 optical sensor with a maximum CPI of 5000.
|For full operation of the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 the Fnatic Gear software needs to be downloaded as it is not supplied. I downloaded version 22.214.171.124 from here and this version was used throughout testing. Version 2.0 of the Clutch’s firmware was also used throughout testing.|
The following Games were used during testing:
Once powered up the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 comes to life and as you can see from the image below there are two illumination zones. The first of which is the scroll wheel itself, the colour can be configured via the software. Most colours are supported, but it’s not 1.8 million colour compliant. The three LEDs integrated into the left side of the mouse actually serve two purposes. When a button is configured to control Profiles the LEDs change on Profile Change and are white for a short time before switching back to orange to show what CPI you have set. That is of course assuming you have assigned a button to CPI cycle and Profile cycle. If you only use Profile cycling then the LEDs just stay white, if you just use CPI cycling then they just stay orange and if you do both the LEDs flick between colours when the corresponding button is pressed. Clever stuff really and it works well…
In Game I found the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 to be very comfortable and the ergonomics shape suited my bastardized Claw grip well. The thumb buttons are also perfectly positioned for me and easy to activate. The scroll wheel was also found to be easy to use with a nice rubber (high grip) surface and palpable graduations.
From a pure performance point of view the Pixart 3310 Optical sensor aboard the Clutch G1 performed very well indeed. There was no sign of any hardware or software assistance and the mouse also seems free from any for of lag or jitter. In Game whether slow (Divinity Original Sin 2) or fast (Battlefield 1) the mouse was spot on with its tracking. Although I would say that it lacked the razor sharp focus of some (although very few) other Optical mice tested. It’s difficult to say what this is down to (as it’s only barley noticeable) but the feeling was there nonetheless and should be noted.
A couple of oddities that I also noted in testing were that the right mouse button seemed very slightly loose, in that I could press the button down and get a tapping sound before I got the clicking sound of the switch. The same was not true of the left mouse button and this may well be exclusive to my sample. The other issue, while minor is that if the PC goes into Sleep Mode, when the PC comes back on the CPI/Profile LEDs do not come back on. Swapping Profiles/CPI again resolves this problem.
The software for the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 can be downloaded here, as it is not supplied. The software installed without issue and I used version V126.96.36.199 of the Software and version V2.0 of the Firmware throughout testing. The software itself is split across four main tabs.
Note along the top are the three supported Profiles as well as two further buttons that allow access to storage for the purpose of Backup and Restoring Profiles. Whatever configuration you perform it is always bound to the currently selected Profile.
The first tab in the Fnatic Gear Software is the Basic Settings tab. Here you can adjust the CPI, up to three CPIs are supported from 50 to 5000 in 50 CPI increments. Both the X and Y axis can be adjusted independently via the Separated X/Y switch. Basic Windows features (Pointer Sensitivity, Scroll Speed & Double Click Speed) can also be customised here. The Polling Rate can also be modified, by default this was set at 1000Hz and this setting was used throughout testing.
The Button Assignment tab allows control over the seven programmable buttons aboard the Clutch G1. This screen is nice and easy to use as you can simply select the button you wish to program and apply your new function. Numerous mouse functions, Fnatic Gear functions and Windows functions are supported although there’s no way to easily assign a single keyboard command. For this it seems that you’ll have to create a simple Macro for just one key press!?
The Color Settings tab allows you to modify the colour of the scroll wheel only. This colour is then simply bound to the selected Profile. Colour representation is good (but it’s not 16.8 million) and various colour effects are also on offer from Color Cycle to Pulsating, Blinking etc. The LED lighting can also be turned off should you wish.
Finally we have the Macro Recorder tab, that’s probably the simplest Macro Recorder tab I’ve ever come across. Here you can create and record Macros, although there’s no information as to whether it’s recorded in real time or with a fixed delay! After some testing I can confirm that it’s with a fixed delay. There is also no way to edit a Macro either, but hey it works I guess!
The Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 is like many an e-sports mouse we’ve seen here before at pcG. It’s a comfortable, well made purposeful mouse with a great optical sensor that ensures your tracking is never far off. The only issue with this is that there’s now numerous similar models on the market and many still seem somewhat expensive to me…
The Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 arrived at pcG in a small, smart little white box and while the packaging and presentation was very good there’s not much in the box other than the mouse. Once out of the box the Clutch G1 was found to be a good looking well made right handed mouse, that had all the hall-marks of being a great e-sports mouse thanks in part to its ergonomic design and the Pixart 3310 Optical sensor.
Feature wise the Clutch G1 sports the aforementioned Optical sensor with a maximum 5000 CPI. In addition to this there are seven programmable buttons, on-board memory and basic (scroll wheel only) LED illumination. There’s also an additional three LEDS that serve as both the Profile indicator (white) and/or the CPI indicator (orange) embedded in the side of the mouse.
In use I found the Clutch G1 to be comfortable even with my bastardized Claw grip, thanks to a good overall ergonomic shape, low weight and well placed thumb buttons. The scroll wheel not only looked good when illuminated but also worked well in use with a high level of grip, thanks to that rubber tyre and nice palpable graduations. One thing that I did note though was the at the right button seemed maybe too high allowing me to tap the button and not get any actuation, although this was not apparent in-game. It has been suggested that my early sample was faulty and another is on it’s way. I’ll update this review when the new sample has been checked.
From a pure performance point of view and looking at that Pixart 3310 Optical sensor there was very little to complain about. Tracking was very good with no sign of any form of either hardware or software assistance. I mainly played with a CPI of either 800 or 1600 DPI depending on the Game and noted that although tracking was very good, I personally didn’t think it was up there with the very best, but it’s damn close…
Fnatic’s software is best described as good, it’s got most things a Pro-Gamer needs, but maybe not all the Bells ‘n Whistles a Real Gamer needs or perhaps wants. The Macro Recorder in particular could do with a little work as it is basic at best.
Overall the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 is a good all rounder and maybe if e-sports is your thing then this may well be the mouse for you. But for me, thinking about Gamers in general, it concerns me that other Gaming mice still offer more features and good tracking at similar prices. I’ll leave you with one final thought, a random one it may be but it’s in my head and I’m going to let it out. Just because Formula 1 is the pinnacle of the automotive world, doesn’t mean that we all should drive to work in an F1 car… 😉
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Many thanks to Fnatic Gear for providing this sample for review