Mice in the sub-30$ category have one caveat or another. If we look at the G102 LightSync probably is one of the most popular contenders in this budget, but there are caveats to it. Even the Corsair Katar Pro came out to be a guinea pig of Corsair’s experimentation of the PMW 3325 sensor, and the Lift-Off Distance (LOD) is so big that it feels almost unusable on-hand. But, almost no one talks about the MSI Clutch GM11. It is a solid underdog because of being weirdly priced. The mouse is a few bucks costlier as compared to the Katar Pro and the G102 LightSync. But, it almost has none of the caveats that disturb these contenders. Today we have the Clutch GM11 with us. And, before we begin, I would like to thank MSI for sending over a review sample of this product to us for review.
Well, to start things, the unboxing experience was too good. You won’t expect this much in the sub-$30 range. The box contains the mouse inside a two-layered plastic vanity case. Inside the box, we get a quick start guide and the mouse. The unboxing experience was truly one-of-a-kind. While we have seen other companies cheap out on the unboxing experience at this price point, MSI innovated, and the results are truly appreciated.
Moving over to the device itself, it is symmetrical. That appeals to both lefties and righties universally. It has a tapering end, and that would help in a palm grip. The thumb grip is a bit concave. That makes sense for palm rest.
Surface and Build Quality
It is heavy for a budget mouse. And it feels premium in hand. We have a rubber scroll wheel. Although that looks good, I think that won’t last long. The entire body is made out of glorified plastic. But, what let me down the most is the thumb grips. It has no textured surface, which will make gripping a bit more of an active task. And, for a gaming mouse, that doesn’t make sense at all.
This thing has Omron switches, with over 10 million clicks. And, considering that to be true, this thing should last 2-3 years for a typical gamer.
The mouse packs a long wire, and the wire has some good build quality. It surely weighs over 150g from what I can say. But, it is neither braided nor anti-tangle. So, that is a bit of a concern. Also, I am not happy with the USB header. It may look sporty, but it seems like MSI cheapened out on it.
It has LEDs, lots of them, for a hundred more frames in games. The MSI logo along with the dorsal rim lights up. But, while gaming, your entire palm covers the entire RGB. So, this much does not make a lot of sense.
This thing has 6 buttons in total. The left and right clicks are super tactile. And, it needs a bit of pressure for a click. That’s good. In comparison, it is very easy to click with the Katar Pro. So, accidental shots will be rarer with the GM11. Good luck in playing the sneaky game!
The thumb buttons, which are programmed for forwarding and going backward functions, are super good. They aren’t loose, they aren’t small, and they are just what you would want for a good gaming experience. I have to say, they are a lot better than the thumb buttons in the Katar Pro. The thumb buttons in it are probably the worst I have ever seen in a mouse.
But I didn’t like the scroll wheel. It is very loose. It has 0 friction and doesn’t resist movements. That is not something you would expect from a mouse at this price range. I am disappointed with it. The DPI switch is good and resists clicks to quite an extent. That is something you would love, especially in extreme combat situations where an accidental click might not favor you.
Moving over to the mouse feet, these are made of rubber. There are two arches at the bottom and an arrowhead foot at the top. While they are anti-skid, they aren’t removable. I understand why MSI did that. Permanent feet pads are more sturdy and won’t come off in heavy usage. But, it makes disassembly difficult. As the average user won’t open the mouse, it’s all good.
This Clutch GM11 packs the very popular PMW 3325 sensor from Pixart. That isn’t a very high-end sensor, but it is good for the price. And, this thing goes up to 5000 DPI with increments of 100 DPI. That upper limit doesn’t make any sense and it is just a marketing number. The nominal tracking speed is 220 inches per second or almost 5.58 meters per second. Tracking is quite good. There is no pixel skipping or acceleration, and I don’t have any immediate complaints.
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room – performance. We ran several tests on this thing and the results are quite surprising. Let’s get to them.
Lift-Off Distance Test
Starting with the Lift-Off Distance test, or up to how much height from the surface the sensor tracks movements, this thing stopped tracking at the two DVD mark. So, the lift-off distance is between 1.2 to 2.4mm. And, that is pretty good. In comparison, the Katar Pro, which has the PAW3327 sensor, a revision of the PMW3325 sensor, stops tracking at 4 DVDs. Which results in a high lift-off distance of 3.6 to 4.8mm.
Moving to the jitter test, which is the measurement of whether the mouse cursor makes sudden and unpredictable moves, the results are quite intriguing. In lower CPIs, that is, up to 1300 CPI, the jitter is almost negligible. But, in the higher CPIs, that is 2400 and above, the jitter is too much and 3600 and 5000 CPI suffers the most. Although crazy high CPI like that is completely non-sense for daily usage, it is a bit underwhelming.
CPI Divergence Test
|Nominal CPI||Measured CPI||% Deviation|
|400 CPI||399 CPI||0.250%|
|800 CPI||800 CPI||6.875%|
|1600 CPI||1631 CPI||1.937%|
|2400 CPI||2431 CPI||1.292%|
|3600 CPI||3648 CPI||1.333%|
|5000 CPI||5089 CPI||1.780%|
In our CPI divergence test, which measures what resolution the sensor tracks in a particular set resolution from the drivers, we get some interesting results. We took 5 readings for each set resolution. And, in all acceptable DPIs, we get an almost negligible deviation. Pretty well played, MSI!
Perfect Control Speed Test
In the Perfect Control Speed test, which refers to the maximum speed at which your mouse tracks without any mouse acceleration, we get pretty high values. While the nominal value is 5.58 m/s, it is very hard to hit that number in average gaming use.
Speed Related Accuracy Variance Test
In our Speed Related Accuracy Variance test, which shows the sensor’s accuracy at different speeds, we see a pretty solid result. In this graph, I did a fast swipe and then slowly put the mouse back to its original position. Any displacement, like this one while slowly sliding it, is caused by human error.
Polling Rate Test
Moving over to our last test, i.e. the Polling Rate test, we didn’t find anything fishy. This thing allows 4 different frequencies, 125, 250, 500, and 1000 Hz. We tested the frequencies by rapidly flicking the mouse to and fro in a point. The results are okay, and we don’t have any particular complaints about a single or couple of tracks being way above the set frequencies.
The results are quite good, and that is why it is said that the PMW3325 is one of the best budget sensors out there. It shows off its capabilities here.
The mouse comes bundled with the MSI Dragon Center software. And I have mixed feelings about this software. In the higher end, MSI already has switched to the MSI Center software, you might ask why.
Dragon Center is infamous for being buggy. It comes with its own set of problems and installation errors. Add to that, button customization is lacking. You can only program them for select functions related to mice control. It doesn’t allow adding Windows functions to it, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
In terms of DPI customization, it is okay. You can customize the DPI from 100 CPI to 5000 CPI, in increments of 100. There are four set polling rates, which get doubled as you go higher.
Lighting is okay in my opinion. The LEDs aren’t too bright. And, as mentioned earlier, your palm covers the entire LED while using the mouse. So, it is a bit quirky.
In terms of customization through Dragon Center, there are seven possible effects whose speed and brightness can be varied giving a total of almost 250 unique effects. There is a stealth mode too. That’s pretty sweet.
In terms of how much value for money this thing is, it deserves a solid 6/10. And, although it doesn’t do any particular gimmick over its competitors, notably the G102 Lightsync and the Steelseries Rival 105, I can strongly recommend this over the Razer DeathAdder and the Corsair Katar Pro.
As Razer has stopped production of the best value-for-money mouse ever, the DeathAdder, the available units are from old stock. And faulty units are in plenty. It isn’t worth the risk. And for the Katar Pro, oh, Corsair tried its creativity and destroyed a mouse that could have won the best value-for-money mouse after the departure of the DeathAdder.
With G102 Lightsync riding the popular guy’s game, just remember that the popular guy isn’t always the best. The Clutch GM11 is a solid underdog, although is a bit pricy with all of its competitors priced 200 rupees less than this one.
The GM11 is a solid mouse, but the pricing kills it. It is so good that I can get very close to recommending this to people, but then come back. And, while the Indian market is extremely sensitive to pricing over anything else, this isn’t a very good move from MSI.
The surface doesn’t favor palm grip and caused excessive pain in my first use. There is no thumb grip texture. And that causes an issue.
Anyways, if you simply ask me what is the best sub 2k mouse, I would probably recommend the GM11 at the end of the day. With all other competitors having one or the other problem in terms of experience, I think it’s better to spend more on a similarly specced but better-performing device
MSI Clutch GM11 Review
The Clutch GM11 is a solid underdog. It easily is one of the best budget mice offerings, although the pricing is a tad off. But, considering the other aspects, it is a solid recommendation in the sub-30$ range.