In the fight for market share in the gaming peripherals, MSI is doing with varying degrees of success. The company was able to create very good mechanical keyboards. But with mice, things didn’t turn out so rosy. At first, too low-end manipulators appeared there, then too expensive ones, and only recently a pool of devices began to form that can fill the most demanded mid-range segment, where products that optimally combine cost and quality usually live. One of these mice is a novelty called Clutch GM30, which will be the subject of this review.
|Model||MSI Clutch GM30|
|Type||Gaming (FPS/MMO/RTS games)|
|Sensor Model||PixArt PAW-3327|
|Permission, cpi||200 – 6 200|
|Number of buttons||6 buttons + scroll up / down (left, middle, right, resolution key, two side buttons)|
|Maximum acceleration, g||30|
|Lift-off height (LOD), mm||3|
|Maximum speed, m/s||5,59|
|USB port polling rate, Hz||125 / 250 / 500 / 1000|
|Frame rate, fps||–|
|Internal memory, KB||+|
|Cord length, m||2,1|
|Ability to change weight||–|
|Possibility to adjust the body shape||–|
|Cable material||No tangles|
|Housing surface material||Plastic|
|Backlight||+ (RGB, 16.8M colors)|
|Illumination zones||Scroll wheel, LED strip behind it and logo on the stern|
|Leg material||Teflon (PTFE)|
|Software||+ (Dragon center)|
|Dimensions, (L x W x H) mm||128 x 66 x 39|
|OS Compatibility||Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10|
|average cost||UAH 859 (~$32)|
Contents of delivery
The mouse comes in a white and red box with a plastic strap on top. Everything is familiar here — images of the product in front, listing its advantages and characteristics on the reverse side.
The box allows you to try on the shape of the device without violating the integrity of the package.
The kit contains only instructions.
MSI Clutch GM30 has a symmetrical design with a thicker stern area. The top panel is visually divided into several parts, although in fact it is solid. The surface is smooth and matte, with a pebble-like texture. It does not have resistance to pollution, it will have to be cleaned often. The back part is separated from the keys by a glossy insert. Between the main keys there is a recess with a frame of LEDs around the perimeter. It also houses the resolution switch button, which is easily pressed with a soft click. LMB and RMB are quite dense, without backlash and free play, they are pressed with medium effort, clear tactile feedback and expressive click. Beneath them are Omron switches with a MTBF of 20 million clicks. The middle key works a little tighter and noticeably quieter.
There are no rubber inserts on the left sidewall. Instead, it is lined with double molded plastic L-shaped notches for a better grip on the fingers. Two glossy side buttons have a pronounced triangular shape in profile. Easy to press with little free play and a quiet click. Below them are Huano switches with a claimed MTBF of 10 million activations. Interestingly, the operation can only be triggered by pressing strictly to the side or from the bottom up. When pressed from above, the buttons do not work, and this is probably done intentionally.
The scroll wheel of the mouse is rubberized and covered with large diagonal notches that imitate car tires. There is no backlash, it rotates with a slight crackle, the fixation positions are poorly felt tactilely. The signal cable enters the housing at the center bottom, at a height of 5 mm from the surface, to avoid chafing on the mat. In addition to soft protection against bending, there is an additional movable spiral plastic braid at the beginning of the wire. It is difficult to say what its practical purpose is.
Cord without braid, 2.1 meters long. It is medium in hardness, remembers well and maintains a given shape. There is no ferrite ring, the USB connector is gold-plated. A reusable rubber tie is attached to the wire. It is desirable to use a mouse with a cable holder.
There is also a corrugated plastic insert on the right side of the mouse. There are no side buttons.
On the stern is an illuminated MSI dragon logo. When switching sensitivity, it quickly blinks five times in a certain color (blue, purple, red, yellow and green), indicating the current resolution level.
The mouse has a symmetrical shape and a fairly large size. It is mainly designed for right-handers. Large side keys can interfere with left-handers. The case will be comfortable in any type of grip for large and medium-sized hands. The average weight of 98 grams does not cause problems in manipulation and is well distributed along the axes of symmetry.
The base of the mouse has two long Teflon feet along the front and back edges. They have hooks for dismantling. In the center is an optical sensor PixArt PAW 3327 with infrared illumination. Another MSI logo is engraved on the back of the outsole.
The backlight in the design of the mouse occupies a significant place. As separate zones, there is a light wheel, a logo on the back and seven LEDs in a U-shaped recess in the center. They are very bright at maximum, and therefore it is good that there is an opportunity to adjust the intensity of the glow. The most interesting thing is that these diodes can even show a natural white color.
The mouse has software for fine-tuning, but can also be controlled by keyboard shortcuts. Naturally, this mainly concerns the backlight. The DPI button in combination with different buttons gives the following effect:
- DPI + RMB — brightness change (three levels and complete shutdown);
- DPI + SCM — switching modes (nine effects and complete shutdown);
- DPI + Front side button — change the speed of the effect (3 levels);
- DPI+Rear Side Button — change direction or color;
- DPI + LMB — Change the speed of fading backlight.
As software, MSI Clutch GM30 uses Dragon Center universal driver in current version 18.104.22.168. It is quite heavy, requiring download, installation, and a few additional SDK components. You can configure automatic or forced start. We will only touch on those components that relate directly to the mouse.
To get to the mouse settings, at the top you need to find the MSI Device tab. The current firmware version of the device was defined as 1.02.03. Settings can be saved to three profiles that can be named. In the «Buttons» section, remapping of five keys is available. Scroll wheel directions and enable switch cannot be changed. The buttons can be assigned a default action, disabled completely, bind any of the five available mouse commands, assign one of the seven multimedia or audio commands, or associate a macro with it.
A macro command can include up to 200 actions, consisting of keyboard commands and five basic mouse actions. Releasing and pressing buttons are treated as separate actions. You can assign fixed delays, or record them «as is». Command chains can be imported and exported in .txt format.
In the sensor settings, only the polling frequency is regulated within 125, 250, 500 or 1000 Hz and five sensitivity levels are separately configured in the range from 200 to 6200 cpi in 100 cpi increments.
Lighting is configured using the Mystic Light component. The color of the scroll wheel, logo and seven LEDs in the central part of the top panel are separately adjustable. It is possible to customize any color, adjust the brightness, speed and direction of the eight effects, or separately assign a color to each LED. All changes will be saved in the mouse’s memory.
Ergonomics and testing
The MSI Clutch GM30 was tested on a plain black Mionix Alioth M cloth mousepad. The mouse feels large and tall in size. In the hand, it is not ideal, but comfortable enough, allowing you to implement any type of grip. By weight, the device is average, there are no distortions in weight distribution. Thanks to the texture of the side panels, the mouse sits very firmly in the fingers. The top panel coating also feels good, although it tends to get dirty quickly. There are no questions about the operation of the main switches and the scroll wheel, they are quite informative and tactile. The mouse slides not very willingly, with a low level of inertia. The cable here turned out to be harsh, it is inconvenient to use it without a holder. Separately, I want to praise the backlight. In terms of the margin of brightness and the quality of color reproduction, and in general, in terms of aesthetics, it was done successfully, at the level of the best models of the market leaders in gaming peripherals.
The software, on the contrary, turned out to be overloaded, as for the implementation of a couple of basic functions. It was developed as a complete solution focused on a system completely assembled from MSI components, and for a simple mouse there is frankly a lot of extra stuff. I would like the manufacturer to release a separate simplified driver.
As a sensor, an optical PixArt PMW3327 is installed here in the classic version. This is a solid mid-range sensor. It is quite difficult for a simple player to cause a cursor crash in him, the behavior is stable over the entire range of available resolutions. There is some smoothing that increases as the resolution increases, but there are no other parasitic moments like acceleration, judder, etc. The traditional “fly in the ointment” for these sensors is the unregulated lift-off height, which is, as usual, quite large.
Congratulations to MSI. They turned out to be quite a successful mouse for the middle price segment. The Clutch GM30 has everything that an unpretentious player needs — a comfortable shape and good coverage, good switches and a scroll wheel, a normal sensor and a beautiful backlight. And best of all, it’s all relatively inexpensive.
This model also has a couple of drawbacks. The first of these is a harsh cable that will force FPS gamers to eventually look for a retainer or holder for it. The second point is that the software is too voluminous, I would like to see it in a simpler version.
MSI Clutch GM30 is a simple and practical gaming mouse with good lighting at a reasonable price. A fairly versatile option for work and all kinds of games where accuracy and speed are needed, but it is not required to set records.