Model: MS-3 Gaming Mouse
RRP: ~£60 (At time of review)
Today we have the Func MS-3 Gaming Mouse (here on Ms-3) to put through the Play3r ringer.
Func are relatively a old but seemingly under the radar company when it comes to peripherals. Founded in California in 1999, their first hit was the Func Surface 1030 mouse pad – of which we have the spiritual successor reviewed here too – and the MS-3 is their latest and currently only gaming mouse. Coming in at an RRP of £60 the mouse is certainly in the competitive zone of the market, and indeed, the last mouse I covered was chomping at the bit to dominate this price zone so it will be interesting to see how the MS-3 stacks up.
- MCU/Processor: WT6573
- Switches: Omron
- Sensor: Avago ADNS 9500
- Memory: Onboard, 512 kB
- Resolution: 90-5670 DPI
- 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
- Lift-off distance: Adjustable
- Upgradable firmware: Yes
- Connection: USB. Goldplated (2 m braided cable)
- Warranty: 2 years.
With the boring but important stuff out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the MS-3.
The Ms-3 itself it comes presented in a fairly low-key package with it’s orange on white reminiscent of the Func website itself. The cardboard has a laminated feel to it.
The rear of the packaging is quite sparse as well only giving us the information we really want in a function over for manner.
The David Bailey reflection aside, the inside of the packaging is much like the front and back in that there isn’t much. The ‘lid’ has a run down of specs and features with a brief description of Func – everything covered in the introduction.
Of course there is the obligatory driver disc, and warranty/quickstart guide. I don’t think any of these are needed in the internet age but I’m sure some people will find having a physical backup comforting.
Leading on from first impressions of the packing we’re briefed with the shape of the mouse for the first time. As you can easily make out this is a right-handed mouse only and there is the scroll wheel, two functions buttons on top and a third in stealth mode where your thumb rests.
First impressions from the aesthetics and grip is that if Ikea were to design gaming mice, this would be the end product. It looks solid, it feels great is just a continuation of the streamlined feeling you get from the packaging alone. Referencing my last mouse review, the finger rests on the right of the MS-3 are a lot more pronounced than the Mk-1. The MS-3 felt unnatural at first, but soon it felt perfect.
As you can see from the above picture we’ve got a scroll wheel along with 6 “other” buttons excluding mouse wheel click and the LMB/RMB. All six of these buttons are configurable to anything you want through the Func software.
As you can see above this is the ‘basic’ settings page which covers the general performance of the mouse. As with the packaging the design is clear, clean and functional. Even before using the mouse for an extended period, Func have their stall set out right. ‘Instant Aim’ is pretty much a ‘sniper’ button which can have it’s DPI rating dropped as low as 90x90DPI and as high as 5670x5670DPI.
There are three different profiles available to the user along with 3 different button and DPI settings possible on each of those. You can keep track of the profile you’re on by the colour of the scroll wheel, which of course, can be customised too. Looking at the above picture you see just how deep Func allows the user to customise key assignment with default Func commands, Windows commands, single key and macro assignments. Nice. It should also be worth noting the allocating of functions to the MS-3 isn’t as laborious as i find it was with the MK-1 thanks to a simple list mechanic.
Following on from button assignment we land on the ‘color’ setting page. There isn’t much to say here other than you can customise by profile as well as the scroll wheel and ‘Instant Aim’ button.
Finally we’re greeted with the macro page. In all honesty, it’s a very poor macro suite. As far as I could tell you’re limited to key presses only as it would never register a RMB click, for example, and again no way to edit the duration of key presses, latency between key presses and so on. If you plan on assigning a “ward here” ping for DOTA/LoL to any new mouse you’re interested in, your best avoiding the MS-3. This strikes me as odd given how solid the rest of the mouse and software appears and the driver suite used is also the latest.
To start off, the MS-3 is the best mouse I’ve ever used and I stuck with the default layout. The fit alone puts it above anything I’ve used. With that in mind, extended periods of usage either gaming or browsing, even writing this review and editing the pictures for it have been superb with the MS-3. I genuinely can’t fault it for what I’ve used it for, especially not given my day-to-day Mamba cost half as much as the Ms-3 and has half as many functions.
Turning to gaming, this is the MS-3’s stage by a fair margin, only stopping from being box office due to aforementioned (lack of) macro suite. To start off, button placement couldn’t be better. With a few minute of using the mouse I found myself using the ‘retreat ping’ with just a flex of my thumb almost as if I had enhanced reflexes. When I realised how easily I had done it I felt a smile creep across my face. Like wise there is the ‘Instant Aim’ button perfectly placed under your thumb. The placement and usefulness gives you a genuine feeling of ‘bad ass’. Whether it’s popping your flares on Battlefield 3 in the manner of holding a flight stick or firing up, having it as your ‘Fus Do Rah’ dragon shout button or a shield for your team in League of Legends, it almost feels like cheating. Func really should have called it the ‘Equalizer’ or something as it’s so good.
The Instant Aim button is also so good because of how well it’s contemplated by the button that rests under your thumb (default is mute function) – everything is just in the right place and comfortably so. Like wise the button that’s defaulted to switching profiles is at the tip of the RMB. I used this to switch between three profiles on separated by DPI. It’s a lot easier and faster than using the (default) DPI buttons located under the scroll wheel.
Moving onto how the mouse works in general, and it works just fine. I tried it across my MDF lamented desk, Func’s own ‘1030 XL’ mousepad and my day-to-day Razer surface. Liftoff and jitter wasn’t an issue even when I tried forcing it through the software.
Now onto the solitary negative. It’s absolutely criminal that the macro suite is barren. Shogun Bros had a deeper suite than my Mamba offered at this price point so why not Func? Not even registering mouse clicks during the recording just strikes me as bizarre. Func are selling hardware worth some software whereas everyone else is selling hardware and software when you buy one of their packages. Admittedly, I’m not a macro user in any capacity, but I know a lot of gamers are and to some extent, even basic stuff is required for WoW raids and so on. What is there works as intended but there just isn’t much there and then is dwarfed by the competition upon comparison.
To conclude my review of the MS-3 I’m left frustrated. This mouse, for me, would get every award we can muster here at Play3r. The price is right, the performance is right, everything is so right about it, but only for me. The dire macro suite is a huge let down, both in itself and also when you consider the package Func has brought to the table. It makes me feel senile as I pulled up the Mk-1 on a similar thing in regards to its ‘Precision Sniping System’ – whereas that was unnecessary, here we’ve got something that really should just be better. Perhaps it will be something Func address in a software update.
With the solitary negative out the way, I can’t explain how great this mouse has been in my time with it. I can’t imagine a mouse being any better except for being wireless. Button placement, performance and the capacity to which you can tweak and customise is all top draw. The software suite, for the most part, is easy to use and doesn’t throw and jarring hoops for you to jump through to setup and also saves us from the dearth black, red and green UIs which dominate the gaming peripheral scene with its sleek white, silver and orange offering.
To sound out this review then, I feel I have to stress how much this mouse is the best mouse for £60, if not available on the market excluding any specific needs such as wireless capability for example. If you feel you wouldn’t miss the macro suite, much like myself, then get this mouse. It’s almost as if Func read my MK-1 review, corrected everything hardware wise but forgot the software side of the equation. It fits that bit better, functionality is that bit better but the software department was caught napping.
The Ms-3 would be my suggestion for anyone in the market for a new mouse at £60 or up. As I’ve said, I can’t imagine a mouse being any better. Macro suite aside, it is a complete gaming mouse in every respect and for me personally. For this reason, it deserves a solid five stars all round and is therefore granted our Editor’s Choice award.
The MS-3 has been nothing but superb to use. With the macro issue aside, this is the perfect gaming mouse and a steal at £60.