A good mouse works like an extension of every proper PC gamer’s hand. Whether you play FPS, MOBA or MMO games, a good mouse is the most essential tool in your arsenal. We have tried wireless mice, we have tried super lightweight mice, we have tried very simplistic looking mice, and we have tried mice with excessive RGB lighting. If you know what you’re looking for, you’ll definitely find something out there that will satisfy your needs. The problem is that most manufacturers focus on making their products excel in one area at a time. You will hardly find a good all-rounder that’s not too pricey. For all of you out there that are looking for exactly that, fortunately, there’s the MSI Clutch GM41 Wireless.
I was never a big fan of wireless peripherals. If I had to choose, I’d always go for the wired version of everything I used, just because I knew connection would never be an issue. An extra cable was a small price to pay to never worry about that sort of thing. And that’s how the backside of my desk ended up looking like a jungle from all the tangled wires. Everything changed when I had to convert to the laptop side of the PC Master Race. You see, it was a little hard for me to accept that my ultra-thin gaming laptop had to turn into Doc Ock every time I wanted to play some Warzone. So, I went wireless. And the MSI Clutch GM41 is one of the reasons the cable-free life has been a blast.
First things first; Obviously the first thing one notices is the design. I will keep things simple, just like the design of the GM41. It’s simple, following minimalist standards. If you’re like me, and you like things that don’t desperately try to stand out from the rest of your setup, you’ll love it.
Its elegant lines join together beautifully. The whole upper side is covered with a matte coating, which helps it to be extra grippy. Even for those who are unfortunate enough to sweat heavily. The charcoal black colour is a beautiful departure from the completely black colour we’re used to seeing in every other mouse in this price range. On the sides, the side rails have embossed squares, which help a lot with the grip. You can’t really grasp how helpful this is until you try gripping it for yourself.
On the left side, there are two additional buttons, which have a glossy texture, so you can easily distinguish them with your finger. While I’d prefer them to have a different texture, because I really despise anything glossy, with the matte on the top and the embossed patterns on the side, glossy starts to make sense from a design point of view.
The only RGB LED on the GM41 is the illuminated MSI dragon in the centre of the back. It’s not the most impressive RGB lighting we’ve seen on a mouse, but it can get bright enough if you’d like it to. It fits very well with the minimal aesthetic this whole device has going on. Its understated appearance makes you underestimate it a bit at first glance, and that’s part of its charm.
The MSI Clutch GM41 is solidly built and that’s noticeable from the get-go. It’s light, but not so much that you think they sacrificed build quality in order to make the numbers look impressive. It’s made from what feels like a single piece of hard plastic, which seems ready to take all the abuse you’re going to throw at it every time you lose those important gunfights. No matter how hard we pressed on it, we didn’t hear the slightest whine from the plastic build.
We’ll get to the charging dock in the later stages of this review, but let’s talk a bit about the cable first. The GM41 is wireless, but if you want you can plug in the bundled cable and use it the traditional way. This cable is made with MSI FrixionFREE technology, which really puts a limit on how “grounded” the wire can keep you. Of course, the wire is braided, with gold-plated ends on each side of the cable.
What stuck with me was how well it fits on the mouse. On most mice with a detachable cable, you just plug in the mini-USB or USB-C, and you’re ready to go. Here, the connection port is “deeper” in the mouse and the mini-USB wedges into the cable input, securing the connection. So, not only it’ll never randomly disconnect, but you can also use it as a nunchaku if you ever need to.
Something I really find bizarre about gaming mice nowadays, is that most companies are willing to sacrifice comfort to gain in smaller size and speed. Thus, the market of gaming mice is filled with tiny ultra-light mice. Which, while lightning-fast, force you to use claw or fingertip style grips. “So what, git gud”, I can already hear you saying. However, playing for more than 2-3 straight hours without resting your hand on the back of the mouse can be incredibly tiring, even for my – relatively small – palms. If your fingers don’t get exhausted while playing using claw, congratulations on your new superpower.
After that mini-rant, I want to conclude that the MSI Clutch GM41 is, thankfully, a full-size mouse. It weighs 74 grams and fortunately is not uncomfortable fast. Your palm can rest easily on the back of the mouse, and your hand can cover the entire available surface. It is designed symmetrically, which means that you can use it comfortably with any hand that suits you. Even the keys split-off slightly towards the edges, so you can rest your fingers on them, or get a better feel when adjusting your grip. This is the most effortless to use mouse that I’ve ever tried.
Let’s get a bit more technical; the MSI Clutch GM41 is not a pushover in this area either. It sports the PixArt PAW-3370 high-performance optical sensor and mechanical OMRON Switches on all keys, which are rated for up to 60 million clicks. It supports sensitivity up to 20,000 DPI and movement speed up to 400 IPS. DPIs are set to 5 different levels (400/800/1600/3200/6400) via the button on the bottom of the device. Through the Dragon Center, DPI can be increased up to 20,000. The refresh rate goes up to 1000Hz (default) with a response speed of 1ms through the 2.4GHz wireless connection.
However, the real ace up MSI’s sleeve is the dual-textured mouse skates. The skates, on which the mouse rests to move quickly, are textured. Specifically, they have embossed corners with curves from the outside to the inside, creating a gap in the middle of each “skate”. This means that there is a smaller surface on which the mouse actually stands on, and therefore less resistance. With so little resistance, if the mouse were any lighter, there wouldn’t be enough grip. But here, it feels just right. Somehow, MSI managed to find the perfect balance at 74 grams.
Who needs cables anyway?
The biggest selling point of the GM41 is, of course, that it’s wireless. There is of course a wired version as well, if you’re more of a traditional type of guy/gal. The GM41 Wireless connects to your PC via a tiny USB Dongle that supports 2.4GHz connectivity. Unfortunately, there’s no Bluetooth support. The dongle is tiny enough to be stored either in the charging dock or wedged in the mouse’s wired port. That’s some smart design on MSI’s part.
MSI promises up to 80 hours of use on a full charge and… that’s about right. Especially if you consider that I have been using the GM41 for a full week and have only charged it when I took it out of the box. A full charge takes about one and a half hours. The MSI logo will flash green while the device is charging, which will change to steady green as soon as charging is completed. According to the company, a fast charge of 10 minutes, gets you up to 9 hours of use. There is an on / off switch on the bottom of the device to save battery when not in use. The RGB backlight also turns off automatically if the mouse remains idle for a while.
The charging dock is made out of the same sturdy plastic as the mouse. At the bottom, it has a textured surface that helps it stick lightly on smooth surfaces. It connects magnetically to the mouse via the two gold-plated charging poles on the upper side. The magnets are strong enough to snap onto the mouse very quickly, without you having to adjust the connection at all. The base is powered using the mouse cable we mentioned earlier. As with the mouse, with the base, the cable is wedged to the underside so that it doesn’t get accidentally disconnected.
MSI is known for the over-the-top bundled software it offers for most of its products. MSI AfterBurner, for example, is the go-to program for any overclocking enthusiast out there. Mainly because it’s full of features, which even if you never need them, you know that they’re there. Dragon Center, the accompanying software for peripherals, works similarly. It has so many features you’ll almost never use, but they’re still there. The problem is, that all of this makes it unnecessarily sluggish. The installer alone is 500mb in size, which is too big for a simple companion software. It’s quite slow, and maybe a bit complicated to use, and the interface looks dated, when it’s really not.
However, there’s several mouse-related options you can play around with. You can adjust the polling rate, DPI, lift-off sensitivity, and enable corner-snapping and Motion Sync. There is also a battery level indicator bar. Of course, you can remap all mouse keys, and even use them for macros.
RGB is another thing you can manage through Dragon Center. There are three presets: Rainbow, Breathe, and Steady. All of them relatively self-evident. In the last two you can change the colour displayed, while using Rainbow, it just cycles through all available colours. Sadly, when choosing colours in the other modes, I encountered a small problem with certain hues, which just refused to be displayed correctly. The RGB on the mouse only lit up in colours close (or not at all) to what I was setting it to, but never the colour of choice. Turquoise, for example, was displayed as light blue, gold as orange, and pink as purple. The same hues, however, were displayed as normal when cycling through the colours in the Rainbow preset. That just means it’s not a problem of the LED, but a Dragon Center one. I hope it’s fixed in a future update.
I really liked this one. It has more or less everything I look for in a mouse. It is well-built, minimal, and sits well in the hand. Not all designs need to be over-the-top with colourful lights and striking designs. Sometimes the value is in the functionality, and the MSI Clutch GM41 proves just that. With a battery that lasts for weeks (especially with RGB turned off), not days, you will never need to use a cable. But even if you do need it, it’s well-thought-out. It’s comfortable in the hand, offering a good grip while achieving the sweet spot between light and ultra-light. The only problems I encountered while using it were software-related, meaning they are either easily fixed or simply bypassed completely if you decide not to use Dragon Center. The GM41 works perfectly as plug-n-play anyway.
You can get the MSI Clutch GM41 for around €80 in all partnered retail stores. For this price, it is a pretty good mid-range wireless mouse solution, especially if you’re looking for something simple in design. At this price, you will hardly find another with the same set of features, especially the ambidextrous design, as most lightweight gaming mice are designed with right-handed people in mind. On the other hand, if you liked the GM41, but it’s a bit outside your price-range, you can always get the wired version. Which goes for just €35-40.
If you’re looking for a more e-Sports focused, wired mouse, you can always check out our review of the SteelSeries Prime+!
A huge thanks to MSI and InfoQuest for providing the review unit that was used for this review!