Gaming mice, how far they have come. Some of us might remember a more simple time. A time where if your mouse wasn’t moving well you would open it, clean the ball tracker and off you went. Those were simpler times. Since then the technology has improved at a dramatic rate. Introducing us to the optical mouse. Microsoft might have been the leaders in that field, bringing us the legendary IntelliMouse. Not only was it groundbreaking in terms of accuracy, but it was also ergonomically sound as well as priced perfectly.
This was groundbreaking at the time. But since then, other companies have jumped on the bandwagon and the technology has skyrocketed. Not only has the sensor tech improved. We have seen the move to mechanical switches, refinement of ergonomics to cater for left- and right-handed users. Adding wireless and Bluetooth functionality, charging pads and the colour onslaught of RGB. The big names in the mouse category such as Logitech, Corsair and SteelSeries has pushed the market to develop at such a rapid rate that it could be tough for new brands to step into the market. MSI has decided that it wants in! Can it claw its way into a very established market and fight it out with the big names?
The MSI Clutch GM60 looks nice! With RGB under the left- and right-click buttons as well as under the logo, it does illuminate nicely. So from a looks perspective, the Clutch GM60 does fairly well. The feel of it is rather confusing. Coming in at around the R1500 mark it is rather expensive. That price would have you feel inclined to expect a more premium feel. The Clutch GM60 comes with many swappable parts like side panels that click on with magnets as well as a swappable top cover. The fundamental problem with them is they don’t change the ergonomics of the mouse that much. The side panels do help if you prefer to have the sides of your hand off or on the desk while working, but other than that it has no real point. The Clutch GM60 does have a decent weight which is nice for someone who likes a slightly more meaty mouse. Unfortunate that the weight cannot be adjusted like many others in its price range. The swappable panels feel rather plasticky as well. Making them feel more premium would go a long way to justifying the price.
Then we get to the RGB. RGB is not for everyone, so this section might be slightly opinionated. The Clutch GM60 has 3 zones of RGB. Featuring the usual 16.8 million colour spectrum. The RGB zones are all covered with a frosted type plastic making the colour softer. personally I quite like that.
After some homework, we found that the Clutch GM60 is fitted with a Pixart PMW 3330 sensor. This is a decent sensor, being used since 2016 on mice like the Asus ROG Strix Pugio and Evolve. This sensor allows for decent DPI options and has respectable accuracy. I personally use a Logitech G903 as my every day and swopping it with the Clutch GM60 I could definitely feel the difference. But once again, we need to compare apples to apples, and when doing that the Clutch can hold its own rather well. Pairing the Pixart sensor with OMRON keys definitely creates a strong and durable.
The MSI software that accompanies the mouse needs some work. One of the features that the other bigger brands have that really sets them apart is the ability to control everything from one app or hub. Like Razer and Logitech does. If you have multiple MSI devices, you can pair certain aspects of it and work it from the app but generally, the app needs refinement. Everything works but feels clunky. The RGB feature in the app, noticeably, lacks the ability to match the RGB with what is on your screen. Unless we couldn’t find it.
The MSI Clutch GM60 is by no means a bad mouse. Considering that this is MSI’s first step into the gaming mouse section they have made a good first step. Their biggest adjustment would need to be to find its own identity. The Clutch GM60 is not sure what it wants to be. Does it want to be a budget/entry-level gaming mouse. MSI is marketing this as an esports focused mouse and it is not, but that is okay! Instead of trying to compete in an already saturated market aimed at a small target market, they should promote it for what it is, a mid-level gaming mouse. It ticks the right boxes. It has customizable panels, removable cable, very capable sensor and switches, and it has programmable RGB. Those all make for a more than acceptable and capable mouse.
This makes it a really good first-step for MSI. What they need to go and do not is focus less on features, as they did with the Clutch GM60, and focus more on their design and refinement. Any brand can slap features on a mouse and call it good. The Clutch GM60 feels slightly rushed and a case of accepting designs and imperfections because they were “good enough” rather than perfect. But a brand like MSI, that is synonymous with quality, albeit, in other sectors, we can expect their next iteration of the Clutch series to be significantly better and probably rivalling the other big brands.
A single sentence to describe the Clutch GM60: A jack of all trades, but (unfortunately) a master of none, yet.
Special thanks to MSI gaming for providing the review hardware