Func MS-3 (Revision 2) Mouse Review
As a guest reviewer for pcGameware I was given the opportunity to review the Philips 298P4QJEB monitor, and along with it I was provided a mouse (and a mousemat) to review. Now this mouse is from a company I’d personally never heard of before, that company being “Func” with a tag line of “Functionality. Perfected”. The mouse provided is an Func MS-3 (Revision 2) and is a right handed only item with a rather ergonomic hand friendly shape. The mouse has a resolution of 90-5670 DPI, along with other high spec features like 10M cycle OMRON switches, onboard 512Kb of Profile storage and an adjustable report rate up to 1000Hz. The button arrangement on the mouse features the usual left and right click buttons, along with three (yes count ‘em) thumb buttons and an “instant aim” DPI switch button.
The MS-3 comes in a rather nice white and orange liveried box, showing the general profile of the mouse on the front giving a clue as to it’s hand driven shape. This mouse appears to be a revision 2 model as the box has a sticky label attached declaring “R2″ and listing some improved features. If this label had not been applied then this would have been a very understated set of packaging.
The box back gives an overview of the mouse with buttons and features indicated and their functions explained.
The box can be opened to display the mouse and the interesting shape is immediately evident. There is some information on Func and how they came about, some talk about the shape of the mouse and the placement of the buttons, and some more detailed technical specs, including the 90-5670 DPI, the use of OMRON switches and the 512kb onboard memory.
Inside the box there is the mouse (really?), a drivers disk, a manual and also a card that explains how to get the MS-3 to be recognised on some Windows 8 systems (seems they may have experienced users having a problem with this). This card is actually quite an interesting read as it leads the user through the process of booting Windows 8 into safe mode without a mouse, as is really quite well written in that I believe even a layman (like me) would be able to follow the steps.
At time of review the Func MS-3 Mouse was retailing for approximately £42, and is provided with a 2 year warranty period.
courtesy of Func
|Sensor||Avago ADNS 9500|
|Memory||Onboard, 512 kB|
|Frames per second||12,000|
|Tracking speed||5.1 m/sec (150 ips)|
|Max Acceleration||30 g|
|Image processing||10.6 megapixels/sec|
|Report rate||Adjustable, up to 1000Hz|
|Connection||USB. Goldplated (2m braided cable)|
|Dimensions||126.92×100.69×42.38mm / 4.99×3.97×1.69in|
|Netto weight||127g / 0.28lbs.|
My first impressions of the MS-3 are a little mixed, I’m intrigued and if I’m honest a little apprehensive. I’ve not ever been tempted by a fully hand shaped mouse and this mouse is designed to be used with the hand in a very specific position. The mouse is literally shaped to accommodate all your fingers and can only be held in one way. This is going to be an interesting review!
Looking down on the top of the MS-3, really brings home the hand shaped design, with the right hand side of the mouse stepping in, in line with your ring finger and little finger. The mouse itself is wide in the palm area (mainly to accommodate those ring and little finger indents), and is covered in a soft feeling smooth surface (not really rubberised). Buttons available here are standard left and right click, which are activated with what I think is a fairly long tactile movement, a rubber covered scrollwheel, with a click activation, two DPI setting switches behind the scrollwheel that cycle up and down through the 3 DPI settings available per profile, and importantly a profile selection button in the top right hand corner of the Right Click area that cycles from Profile 1 through to Profile 3 and back to Profile 1 again. A point to note (and not visible on the photos) is that there is a set of lights in the top of the mouse that indicates the profile selected, showing 1, 2 or 3 lights corresponding to the profile used.
- Front / Back
The front view of the MS-3 more clearly shows the profile selection button along with the very nice 2m long braided cable.
The back of the MS-3 is pretty non-descript apart from showing the large width of the base plate of the mouse and the indents for the thumb, ring and little fingers.
- Sides (left & right)
The left side of the MS-3 is where the three thumb buttons are located. Here we have two normally placed thumb buttons located just above where your thumb would naturally sit, along with a rather cool lower thumb button that your thumb naturally lays on. This lower button is really quite hard to actuate as would be expected as if it were light touch you would be constantly clicking it with your thumb in general use. Also located on the left is the Instant Aim button which is located at the tip of your thumb and is used to instantly select a pre-designated DPI setting.
The right side of the MS-3 again shows the interesting shaping of the mouse and how much it is designed to be used with your fingers in a very specific position.
The underside of the MS-3 features four reasonably large slides surrounding the Avago ADNS 9500 5670 DPI sensor, which itself is placed in the middle of a rather cool looking Func Logo.
As you can see this mouse design is very specifically designed around the shape of the hand, and I think will force a certain hand position on the user. The button placement looks very good and the features and specifications look ideal for gaming use. I guess the proof of that is in the gaming, so lets get on with it…
The Func MS-3 is connected using a single Goldplated USB plug, and was connected into the Fatality Mouse Port of my ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 motherboard.
Software is required (supplied on disk) to get access to the full functionality of the Func MS-3…
As a step away from the norm at pcGameware (and as a guest reviewer), the Func MS-3 was tested using my gaming build (separate boot disk) but was not tested on a newly installed build of Windows. Suffice to say that my Gaming build is minimal and is not bloated out with any non-gaming based software.
The software for the MS-3 was installed from the start. I downloaded the software from the Func.net web site, but had to link through to the support area, and then via the “Gaming Mice” category to locate it (some links on the main product page I think would have been useful).
Along with the Func MS-3, I also received a Func F-Series 10 XL Gaming Mouse Pad, I used this pad to test out the MS-3.
The following games were used to help in the evaluation of the Func MS-3:
- Battlefield 4
- Survarium (BETA)
- Skyrim (DLC)
Reviewing this mouse was always going to be interesting, simply because the shape is so specifically hand based. I have to admit to being a little unsure when I first laid my hand on the mouse, but you can’t argue that the mouse doesn’t direct you to hold your hand in a very natural relaxed position. I’ve always been a gamer that rests their palm on the mouse back and so the MS-3 felt right to me after the first few minutes, that initial strangeness of the finger indentations was soon forgotten. I’m not so sure that claw type gamers will feel so comfortable as I think this mouse shape may well be totally alien to their grip.
The buttons all seemed to be right at your finger tips, with some of them being a slight reach away (like the Profile change button and the Instant Aim button). On clicking the Left and Right mouse buttons I definitely felt that their travel was longer than my existing Gigabyte Aivia Uranium Mouse. This lead me to believe that I might be a bit light fingered on them and not actuate them properly, and there were a couple of occasions in a normal Windows environment, when I though that this had happened, having said that in Game with the adrenalin up, this wasn’t a problem.
The Func MS-3 comes with a CD containing the configuration software, but it can also be downloaded from the Gaming Mice support area of the Func.net website. The software is pretty comprehensive and features four screens containing settings for Basic Settings, Button Assignment, Color Settings and Macro editing. Additionally there is the ability to switch between profiles and set the first three of these pages of settings on profile by profile basis (the Macros are shared across Profiles).
- SOFTWARE – Basic Settings & Button Assignments
The Basic Settings page allows you to make DPI and acceleration changes. There is the option to set three DPI settings per profile in this page along with defining the DPI setting for the Instant Aim button. By default the X & Y DPI values are linked to each other and move together, however this can be overridden by turning on the “Separated X & Y settings” switch. There is the option on this page (and the subsequent pages) to change the Profile that is being changed via the Profile selection buttons across the top of the page.
The Button Assignment page, allows you to allocate various commands to each of the buttons, including macros that have been defined in the Macro Editor screen (see below).
- SOFTWARE – Color Settings
The Color Settings page allows you to customise the colours of the lights on the sides of the scroll wheel and separately the light colour of the circle around the Instant Aim button. All shades of colour are available here when you combine the colour selection slider with the Saturation and Brightness sliders.
- SOFTWARE – Macro Editor
The Macro Editor page, is where you can record macros, there appeared to be no way of editing a macro once recorded (that I could see), and the Macro Editor simply records all mouse clicks and key presses from the point that the Record button is clicked to the point when the stop button is clicked. Although good for simple macros I can see that this could be a bit limiting if you wanted to set up a more complex macro.
- SOFTWARE – Firmware Update
The Firmware Update button doesn’t so much load a page as it fires off a couple of dialog boxes, the first is a warning that another mouse may be required to complete the firmware update and that you should only use Checksum validated firmware. The second offers a browse button to locate the firmware file on your file system, once selected the dialog generates you a checksum value to confirm against the downloaded file.
After my initial reservations over the shape of the Func MS-3 (Revision 2), I have actually had a great time reviewing it. The shape suits my palm style of game play and you feel that the mouse is never going to slip in the heat of a game. The buttons are well placed and well weighted (maybe apart from the longer travel on the Left and Right mouse click) and the addition of the under thumb button is a great idea, and very useful, as is the Instant Aim button, which I never thought I would use, but in fact did.
The build quality is very good and the mouse feels solid in hand, it also glided very smoothly over the 10 XL mouse pad leaving me feeling like I was always in control. The design is excellent and it feels to me that a lot of thought has gone into it, it won’t be a mouse for all people, as I know some shy away from the more ergonomic shapes, but for me it was a real eye opener (and hand relaxer). The ability to set the light colours to pretty much any shade you like was welcome, although it would have been nice to have seen more of the lights, not just on each side of the scroll wheel and around the Instant Aim button.
The software provided is good for all the main functions of the mouse, setting DPI, configuring Profiles and setting the colours, although I think the Macro Editing functionality could do with some work, bear in mind though that this mouse is fully Firmware Updatable, so you never know Func might improve on this area in the future. Talking of Profiles and DPI, having the profile switch button in such an easy place to click it makes switching profiles a doddle, to the point that you could very easily have a Profile set up specifically for a class of play in your favourite game and switch between them simply as you choose your kit loadout. The ability to upload all these profiles to the mouse is also a great idea as you can travel with the Func MS-3 knowing that your profiles are travelling with you.
Performance wise I had no issues with the MS-3 it never missed a beat in game no matter what I was playing, it was equally happy in the faster paced games as it was in the slower ones, and that Instant Aim button really came into it’s own in Battlefield 4 and Survarium for sniping.
To sum up, this is a great mouse and a welcome addition to any gamers arsenal, the price point isn’t bad, but there are quite a few cheaper mice out there, some of them that are very good, by all accounts. Performance is great, software good, macros not so much. Would I swap it in place of my Uranium? Probably not, but that would be more about my like of not having any cables trailing across my desk, than any worries I might have about the performance of the MS-3. This is a very nice product, well done Func!
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Many thanks to Func for providing this sample for review