The MSI Clutch GM41 Lightweight Wireless announces itself quite succinctly. It’s the wireless sequel to the already lightweight wired GM41, and it’s built for those gaming moments when speed and accuracy matter.
It’s not exactly a revelation – there’s a market full of wireless gaming mice – so you’ll have to work hard to top them. It’s competition in particular with the Razer Viper Ultimate, with which it shares a whole host of probably non-coincidental design similarities and the exact same weight in the hand – although Razer’s wireless mouse places edge switches of each side, while this is left alone.
It’s more expensive than its wired cousin, as if that’s surprising, although the MSI Clutch GM41 Lightweight Wireless isn’t terribly expensive for something with those specs. At $95 (£70, AU$129), it’s on par with (or even slightly cheaper than) many rivals, though we’ve struggled to find it on sale at that retail price – expect pay much less.
However, it is not the cheapest. If you’re on a budget, something like the SteelSeries Rival 3 offers very similar features for a lot less money, albeit in a slightly heavier shell; the aforementioned Razer Viper Ultimate, which is now a few years old, may also be available at a similar price if you shop around, and indeed might prove to be the better choice if you can get it at a discount.
Just calling it “lightweight” almost feels like MSI is downgrading a bit. At a claimed weight of 74g (2.6oz, or 75g actual according to our entirely unscientific scales), the MSI Clutch GM41 Lightweight Wireless weighs a hair heavier than many honeycomb-cut rivals and around 10g heavier than the wired version of this mouse. Still, it feels generously insubstantial – next to Logitech’s already airy G903 it’s much easier to move around the desk.
The weight it carries is well balanced; there may be a very slight heaviness to the front, but pinching the slightly siliconized diamond pattern edge panels at the natural midpoint doesn’t cause it to tilt forward or backward . Turning the Clutch GM41 side-to-side in its hands highlights its feline insistence on landing on its feet, which is precisely what you’d expect from a gaming mouse.
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Reduced weight (and, to some extent, reduced cost) mice tend to feel flimsy. That’s not quite true here. The main body of the GM41 is strong and stable, but the top buttons could use some extra bracing. The right button, in particular, was a little noisy on our review model, and that’s highly unlikely to be the fault of the Omicron switch underneath.
There aren’t an abundance of extra buttons either, although you do have a pair of function switches on the left side, positioned so that the GM41 clutch remains mostly ambidextrous, at least so long as interested left-handers are ready to have a little fantasy. with their ring finger. The DPI control is below, on a recessed switch that also acts as a function key to adjust the palm RGB lighting.
While you can plug a micro USB cable directly into the front of the Clutch GM41 to charge it while you’re using it (watch out, Apple, please, that’s enough), you can also choose to charge it while you’re using it. night via the included USB docking station, so it snaps into place with satisfying magnetic precision.
The charging dock also includes a USB passthrough, which on an attached sticker is “for MSI dongle use only”. While, yes, it’s a handy place to put the little wireless dongle, you can insert it into any port – and other things will work in the dock’s pass-through port as well. Don’t tell MSI we tried it.
So how does the mouse do? Really good, provided you’re the right person for that pointing device – and there’s a chance you’re not. If you’re really looking for a light finger feel as well as light weight, uh, the heavier top button strength might not appeal to you; we like that it effectively prevents accidental clicks from lazy fingers, but the stiffness (particularly evident in the grip) belies the sensor’s outrageous sensitivity. And boy, is it sensible.
A 16,000 DPI eye upgrade from the wired version of the Clutch GM41, the PixArt PAW-3370 can reach 20,000 DPI. It’s not the highest out there, with Logitech’s latest HERO sensor offering 24K resolution, but it’s still far beyond what even the most nervous StarCraft pro could possibly need. Since it connects to a 2.4GHz wireless dongle and polls at 1ms, it’s about as fast, responsive, and latency-free as a wireless mouse can get.
Predictably, it can get a little too sensitive if you really push it, although of course you can dial things back if you’re more of an arm-swiping mouse than a wrist flicker. MSI’s software is rudimentary and littered with spelling mistakes – and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to recognize that there are more potential mouse buttons beyond the left, right and middle, forcing you to perform some mental gymnastics if you want to remap the side pair for your favorite game. – but it does work and stores your settings on the mouse, making it easy to get familiar with when switching between machines.
The only thing we found really stuffy was the scroll wheel, which travels a good distance between the notches and only registers movement as it settles into each notch. This, again, is a thing of preference: if you’re looking for a looser wheel, or a wheel that will continue to travel if you give it a good nudge, this isn’t it. On the plus side, it’s grippy, covered in silicone that replicates the texture of the side panels and has a defined chunk at its notches.
We really couldn’t find any off-key notes in the way the GM41 plays. Blasting through multiplayer Quake (the best esport in the world, no arguments please), we found it easy to connect and quick enough to blast some ridiculous rocket blasts; clicking a few Dota 2 towers felt natural and straightforward. It lacks those extra macro buttons, especially given competition from, say, Logitech’s more complex and versatile wireless mice, but if you’re more used to raw simplicity in your right hand and everything else is left on the keyboard, you’ll be happy.
The battery is quite extensive, with the extra 10 grams over the wired version giving you 200 hours of portable power. We don’t know exactly how accurate this is but after over a month of daily use I’ve only had to charge it twice which is a pretty good metric, not hurt by the fact that it goes to sleep fairly quickly, and wakes up seamlessly when moved.
So, the MSI Clutch GM41 Lightweight Wireless is, in all respects, pretty good. In other words: we didn’t like it so much that it might oust the Logitech G903 from our desk, but we wouldn’t complain if we were forced to switch. As a simple, functional, reliable and comfortable gaming mouse, it does its job with aplomb.
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