Manufacturer: Fnatic Gear
Model: Clutch G1
UK Price: £59.99 Fnatic Gear online store (at time of review)
US Price: $59.99 Fnatic Gear online store (at time of review)
Today I have the pleasure of reviewing Fnatic’s new Clutch Gaming Mouse.
Being a massively popular e-sports team winning numerous tournaments in games like Counter Strike Global Offensive, Overwatch and Dota 2, Fnatic launched a gaming peripheral division towards the end of 2015, through the acquisition of the Swedish brand Func. This acquisition served not only to promote the brand through products to fans and gamers, but to also produce equipment they themselves would use in tournaments proving that when you buy one of their peripherals, you are getting the same gear that the professionals use.
Fnatic haven’t settled on just a base range of products either, R&D continues and improved products developed with feedback from the players and community roll out on a regular basis.
The latest mouse to come from Fnatic is the Clutch G1, a gaming grade mouse with a whole host of functions. It has been designed in conjunction with their top players for use in official tournaments, so will be expected to perform at all times. Let’s crack on with the review and see what it can do.
- Pro-Grade PIXART 3310 optical sensor, 50-5000 CPI resolution, up to 6500 FPS, 30G Acceleration
- Omron D2FC-F-7N (10 Million clicks) switches
- Onboard memory supporting three player profiles
- Seven customisable buttons
- Polling rates 125/500/1000Hz
- LED Colours
- Ergonomic design for right-handed players, in claw or palm grip
- Rubber Coating
- Low drag braided 2m cord
- Built for e-sports
- Fnatic Gear software
- CPI Increments 50 at a time
- Scroll Speed adjustment (Global Setting)
- Pointer Sensitivity (Global Setting)
- Double Click Speed (Global Setting)
- RGB LED colour customisation for the mouse wheel
- Three customisable profiles
- Custom Button assignments
- Macro recording
- Backup and Restore enabling portable profiles
- Polling Rate adjustment.
- Clutch G1 Mouse
- Quick Guide
Let’s have a good look at the Clutch G1 starting with the packaging.
The packaging is well presented without excessive bulk and an uncluttered appearance. Seeing this on a store shelf it will look more of a premium product compared to bubble plastic packed items or the smaller boxes with the mouse just crammed in.
The rear of the box is filled with the mouse capabilities and specifications, along with some marketing. My poor eyes were not too keen on the mid-grey on black as the text is quite small, this would only be a problem in store as all of the information can be found the Fnatic website.
Removing the box lid, the mouse is presented rising out of foam packing, this reminds me of the premium unboxing experience you get with Nvidia’s high end GPU’s. The quick start guide falls out of the lid but there are no awkward plastic clips or tie-downs, removing the mouse is stress-free, the only thing tied up is the cable with a run of the mill bread-tie, some premium products use a branded velcro strap to tie up the cable, this is often attached with a loop around enabling the strap to assist in organising cables further along, it would have been a nice touch for the Clutch.
The Clutch itself has a feel of quality to it, the rubber coating is of a high grade, these can sometimes feel more like plastic. There is a balanced weight to the mouse without it feeling too light. The shape of the Clutch fits very well in my palm and has a comfortable feel to it, the only downside is that this is a right-handed mouse, with contours biased to make any attempt at left-hand usage awkward. The Omron switches in the main buttons give a satisfying click, I am confident these will perform very well under gaming use. The scroll wheel is stepped, so ideal for weapon switching in an FPS, the wheel coating is ridged and has a good grip. The remaining buttons on the mouse don’t have the same quality feel of the main buttons but will of course not be under as much constant use.
The cable has a tight braiding giving it a slippery texture, which will help prevent snagging, the USB connector is gold plated giving it a premium look.
The underside of the mouse is laid out as expected with this style, the PIXART 3310 optical sensor surrounded by smooth glide pads, supporting both soft and hard surfaces. Over time it is often advised to apply stick-on teflon pads to keep performance optimal.
Before we get onto testing lets take a look at the software.
Offering a multitude of configuration options Fnatic Gear have provided some excellent software, downloadable along with an online manual from the Fnatic Gear download page.
Installation is very straight forward and I was ready to go in seconds.
Opening the software I was presented with the Basic Settings page, Fnatic have continued to use the Func software interface applying a dark skin along with their own branding. This makes good sense as the software is well written and stable, I am sure Fnatic can increase the number of options or adjustment granularity as their mouse products progress and improve.
A nice clean overview of the main settings, defaulting to profile 1, changing the profile keeps the screen and allows you to individually configure the profiles for switching when needed using the two buttons behind the scroll wheel.
Each profile can have three CPI settings, the slider bars handle the settings stored at each level, I have used software in the past that allowed increments of 1 but this software at the moment increases 50 at a time, however I have not needed to fine tune to such tiny levels in my experience, so these increments will do nicely. Another customisation available is to separate the x and y-axis to allow a different CPI setting on each.
Other options laid out, Pointer Sensitivity, Scroll Speed and Double-Click speed are global settings, meaning that these carry through to all profiles, the polling rate however can be different between profiles. Looking at the top of the screen there are persistent backup and restore buttons along with a restore defaults button, which can be activated from any location in the menus. Finally the Start on Boot switch I enabled so I didn’t have to remember to launch the app each time. The profiles however are stored on the mouse and will function without starting the software.
In the next tab, button assignments allow for some advanced customisation, reassigning functions to taste. Different button assignments can be configured for each of the three profiles, this is very useful for setting up specific controls for different games and being able to switch between them as needed.
In the colour settings tab, the scroll wheel is configurable on a full RGB scale, the three CPI level lights flash orange when changes are made, but remain white the rest of the time. Lighting modes include Heartbeat and Fade-in amongst others, along with a custom option to set the brightness at different time intervals.
The macro recorder allows the recording of various mouse functions, great for repetitive tasks, not just in games but applications too, each macro can be saved in the library and selected when needed. Used in conjunction with a macro programmable keyboard, some tasks could be completely automated.
I find the software to be well presented and easy to use, from the clear interface to the highly configurable profiles it just about covers everything you could need. But enough rambling on about that, let us get onto some testing.
Performance and Testing
My normal mouse is the very nice Func MS-3 R2, which holds some very similar design features to the Fnatic Clutch G1, this tells me that the Fnatic is built on solid ground and I am in for an excellent mousing experience.
Using the mouse for day to day tasks, such as web browsing, writing articles and selecting and cropping images, the Fnatic Clutch G1 is a pleasure to use, the rubber coating and ergonomic shape enabling me to slide around the mousemat for hours without any fatigue. The mouse really does have a premium feel to it.
Onto some gaming and I chose to use the mouse with some of my favourites.
- Counter Strike Global Offensive
- Pool Nation
- Command and Conquer Generals
Whizzing around Overwatch as Lucio, the mouse is quick allowing me to hit decent (for me) scores, switching to Soldier 76 I found plenty of accuracy to prop up my skill level.
CS:GO was also a pleasant experience, using the profile switch to speed up to my preferred CPI of 2000, I was enjoying some arms race and casual with some friends without any annoying incidents.
Pool Nation is one of my winding down games, after a frantic night of shooting and driving its fun to grab a buddy and challenge them to a few frames, here the mouse needs to be accurate, I bob the CPI down to 600 and can steadily zone in on my shots, accuracy again assured from the Clutch.
A surprise visit from my two stepsons got us a hankering for some nostalgia and dare I say it, retro gaming. C&C Generals was a solid favourite with us when they were still at home and we found that rather than struggling with the CD’s the whole thing worked loads better when we bought the big 17 title pack from Origin. The mouse coming into its own here with me selecting a CPI of 1200 for this task, an enjoyable night was had by all.
Gaming with the mouse is a smooth and painless experience, the ease of configuring CPI on the fly, the shape and feel of the body, the rubberised surface material all adding to a product that I can easily recommend.
Fnatic Gear has presented an excellent mouse in the Clutch G1, the build quality and materials are all of a high grade, the performance is exemplary and the plethora of configuration options available should be enough to suit most needs. One downside to the design is that the mouse is built for right-handed users, at this time there isn’t a left-handed option which could result in strong diddly words being uttered by Ned Flanders along with a wide bunch of gamers unable to use it comfortably.
The Fnatic Clutch G1 is in the same price bracket as the Steelseries Rival 300 and the Logitech G502, both of which can be obtained a little cheaper than the Clutch, so at around £60 it could do with shedding a few pounds.
So to round up I am going to grant the Fnatic Clutch G1 a Silver Award, for an excellent gaming grade mouse. A lot of effort has gone into creating a pro-level mouse that gamers and fans of Fnatic can buy and experience the gameplay the way the teams do.
- Excellent build quality and materials
- Comfortable design (right handed)
- Excellent sensor
- High quality main buttons
- Well presented software
- Programmable profiles
- Macro programming
- Only available in a right handed design
- Priced quite high compared to the stiff competition it is up against