Fnatic Clutch 2

Es­ports or not, this is def­i­nitely, ab­so­lutely, a mouse

Maximum PC - - IN THE LAB - –ALEX COX


about Fnatic’s ethos (and our own fre­quently face­tious na­ture) that re­ally makes us want to make fun of the es­ports com­pany at ev­ery pos­si­ble op­por­tu­nity. In­deed, we’ve done that be­fore, much to the cha­grin of our cof­feead­dled le­gal ea­gles. But not to­day. To­day we look at the Clutch 2, and we’re go­ing to treat it dead se­ri­ously. Just you watch.

The hu­man race has been blessed, in the ma­jor­ity of cases, with two hands. This is a mouse that, de­spite its oth­er­wise rea­son­ably bal­anced sculpt­ing, is suited for the right­most of those; a pair of thumb but­tons has been placed on its left-hand side. These but­tons are, at least in the con­text of mice, rather large and easy to press. Wider thumbs may press them more eas­ily, per­haps even by ac­ci­dent; their ac­tion is rather soft and indis­tinct, but much of that ac­tion hap­pens long af­ter the click of their mi­croswitches, so they are suit­ably quick to ac­ti­vate.

As be­fits a PC mouse, the Clutch 2 sports more but­tons than just those. There is a mode-se­lect but­ton nes­tled in the up­per ridge, deep-ac­tion and stiff to press, as such things should be. In front of that is a click­able scroll wheel, cal­i­brated to de­press with an ac­tu­a­tion force that is bal­anced enough to pre­vent ac­ci­den­tal cen­tral clicks, and en­gi­neered so that ev­ery stiff rolling ac­tion of one’s mid­dle fin­ger can only be de­lib­er­ate. Astride the wheel sit two face but­tons, their mi­croswitches ( man­u­fac­tured by Om­ron, and able to with­stand 50 mil­lion clicks) po­si­tioned per­fectly to al­low them to be de­pressed, with very lit­tle force, any­where from the front edge of the mouse to a point ad­ja­cent to that mode- se­lect but­ton. This will suit users with un­usual hand shapes or in­ter­est­ing grips. There’s lit­tle depth to these but­tons; where their side-mounted pals ac­ti­vate quickly and con­tinue, these ac­ti­vate with no travel and stop dead.

Both the left and right edges of the Clutch 2 are adorned with a stip­pled sil­i­con coat­ing in an at­tempt to cod­dle one’s thumb and ring fin­ger, and pre­vent slip­ping. The ef­fi­cacy of this coat­ing de­pends on the skin type of the user. We found it less than ef­fec­tive, cer­tainly com­pared to the more tex­tur­ized sil­i­con coat­ings em­ployed by other mouse man­u­fac­tur­ers, but this will not be the case for those with a less re­laxed style of hold­ing. The top layer, we’re told, is coated in oleo­pho­bic paint, a layer de­signed to re­pel hand sweat in times of mous­ing in­ten­sity, which is a nice touch.

There’s a hand­ful of con­fig­urable col­ored LED lights in­side, for those whose hands need a lit­tle il­lu­mi­na­tion, and a large area of slip­pery sil­i­con be­neath. As a mouse of very lit­tle weight—the Clutch 2 is iden­ti­cal in bulk as its slightly wider but oth­er­wise iden­ti­cal coun­ter­part, the Flick 2—this gen­er­ous foot of­fers an ex­treme amount of ma­neu­ver­abil­ity. Its sen­sor, a Pixart 3360, is re­garded by many as one of the most ac­com­plished op­ti­cal sen­sors on the mar­ket, and only adds to that move­ment acu­men. Through soft­ware, the sen­sor can be tweaked to in­crease its lift dis­tance, or con­fig­ure the res­o­lu­tions as­signed to the mod­e­s­e­lect but­ton, from slug­gish slow to out­ra­geously fast.

In sum­mary, then, the Fnatic Clutch 2 is a com­puter mouse. It’s un­likely to of­fend any­one who puts their hands on it, and it can suit just about any style of grip. It is, per­haps, a lit­tle more ex­pen­sive than it should be, con­sid­er­ing the mar­ket it is in—there are de­vices that gamers will find more ex­cit­ing, and there are mice with pret­tier de­signs and ad­di­tional but­tons—but the sim­plic­ity and stiff­ness of the Clutch 2 make it per­fect for those who want to con­cen­trate on what they’re do­ing with­out mak­ing mis­takes. “It’s a rough road to the top,” says box-adorner “Rekkles.” “You need to trust your equip­ment no mat­ter what.” Rekkles, as we can plainly see, is a sage.

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