Review: Fnatic Clutch G1 Gaming Mouse
Fnatic’s new gaming mouse offers plenty for serious gaming enthusiasts.
Finding the right gaming mouse is deceptively difficult. While it’s easy enough to identify the features you want and know something about your preferred weight and size, nothing’s ever sure until you get hands on. Fnatic’s Clutch G1 checks the right boxes for a mid-range FPS mouse, but its quirks will mean it works for some players and not for others.
The G1 certainly looks the part of a serious gaming mouse: It’s angled forward, with a high curve that comes to a stylishly aggressive edge along its front end. The left and right buttons are integrated into the black upper shell, with a dividing line that widens for the RGB LED-equipped mousewheel and two raised circular profile selection buttons in line to the rear of that. Three LED pips are visible in the seam along the left of the upper shell, and two black plastic thumb buttons (by default mapped to “forward” and “back”) are placed along the upper left side. The mouse is clad in matte black plastic, which gives the unit a premium feel, although the plastic feet detract a bit from this. Weighing 116 grams, it’s not heavy, but it’s substantial enough not to feel cheap. Finally, the braided USB cord is angled slightly upward to reduce desk drag.
The right and left mouse buttons have shallow clicks that feel responsive, and while the shiny plastic thumb buttons look a bit chintzier than the rest of the device, they’re placed well and easy to use. In about a month of using the G1, I haven’t pressed one of the thumb buttons by accident, which is an issue I’ve had with other gaming mice. The one physical input problem I had with the mouse is the notched scroll wheel, which feels a bit too loose and rattles a bit as you scroll. However, clicking it (as mouse button 3) feels much better than most mousewheels I’ve used.
The Clutch’s customization software doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but it’s functional and surprisingly powerful. It supports three profiles, which can each have a custom CPI ranging from 50 to 5000 in increments of 50, pointer sensitivity, scroll speed, double-click speed, and polling rate (125 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, and 1000 Hz). Macro recording is a breeze, and so is setting the LED color and light effects on the scroll wheel. The Clutch G1 uses a Pixart 3310 sensor, which isn’t exactly the latest and greatest thing on the market, but it’s serviceable.
Using the G1 primarily in Overwatch and Doom for about a month, I’ve found that it’s performed admirably. Having three profiles to easily pick on the fly has allowed me to fine-tune my mouse settings between games, or even between characters. The LED pips on the side let you see at a glance which profile you have selected, which is also helpful in-game. I’ve read some reports of users experiencing smoothing-related jittering at high CPI settings, but since I tend to keep mine set at 1200 or below this has not been an issue.
What may put some players off is the shape. I’ve found it perfect for my hand size and preferred palm-style grip, but users with larger or smaller hands, or who prefer a claw-style mouse grip, may find it uncomfortable. Because of the relatively steep angle of the mouse’s back side, claw-grip players may find that their fingers don’t fall naturally over the buttons, or worse, experience wrist cramping. Another issue is the matte finish, which gets unpleasantly shiny when it picks up normal hand sweat and sebum.
Fnatic is marketing the Clutch G1 as a mouse by and for eSports professionals. This seems to oversell the G1, which feels far more suited for home enthusiasts who want to spend a little extra on a gaming mouse, but are put off by snaky curves or green glow of the similarly-priced Razer DeathAdder Elite. It doesn’t do a lot to distinguish itself from the pack in this price range, but it’s a contender nonetheless.
Review unit provided by manufacturer.You can grab one directly from Fnatic’s online store.