|Func MS-3 Gaming Mouse|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Tom Jaskulka|
|Monday, 11 March 2013|
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Gaming Mouse Final Thoughts
I already have my favorites, and I didn't think a palm grip was for me. This mouse made me want to switch - it's that comfortable. That being said, there are still some things I would prefer slightly different... Smooth out those rests for the ring and pinky fingers, and maybe place that default profile switch button by the DPI buttons. Then again, the amount of research Func has done is probably an order of magnitude more than I've done, so who am I to complain? I'd be interested to hear if others feel the same way. Otherwise, this is my first experience with a purpose-built palm grip mouse, and it was a great one. I'm still not entirely sure I'm a convert though, I found I just couldn't get the same precision using my palm as I could with my fingertips (understandable, considering how much more dexterous your fingers are than your palm by design). Using this mouse in fast paced shooters like Battlefield 3 was a good and very comfortable experience, but I never felt like I could get the DPI low enough to make those precision shots at a distance if necessary. Of course, that's what the Instant Aim feature is for, and it works great for those moments.
It is obvious this is a mouse designed to be used with a full palm grip. I believe this is inherently inferior for precision - you simply cannot move a device with as much precision with your palm as you can with your fingertips. That being said, Func has provided more than enough functionality to offset this, with DPI settings and the Instant Aim function. Likewise, to be fair, how many of us can reach laser precision with our fingertips anyway? It is entirely possible the comfortable grip and other features will more than offset the slight loss in precision for most users...it did for me. For a device that you use for hours at a time, comfort and feel usually become the most important features. If it doesn't feel right, not much else is going to matter. The MS-3 feels good.
So did Func get it right on their first try?
Func MS-3 Conclusion
They got it right. It isn't perfect, and won't be for claw or fingertip grip users, but the MS-3 is a well-constructed device with a focus on giving you an advantage in-game. It does that quite well - better than most, I'd say.
The MS-3 is a top performer. Even using the MS-3 on pads other than the 1030 XL didn't cause any strange sensor behavior. Laser sensors can be notorious for preferring certain surfaces; I didn't notice any of this type of behavior with the MS-3. Cloth pads (Goliathus Speed edition and Kabuto), hard pads (Surface 1030 XL, Destructor 2), microfiber pads, straight desktop surfaces...none of these caused tracking issues. The Omron switches allowed for solid and tactile clicks - no mushy buttons here, making it easy to click a single time or rapidly without missing a beat. This is truly a mouse that allows you to focus on your game.
It just so happens the MS-3 has the appearance to match. As always, this is such a subjective rating - beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? This is one of those devices of which a picture cannot do justice - the design really attracts your eye in person. The smooth curves, proportions, bright and even LED lighting that manages to stay understated, matte finish with gloss black for the buttons...all of these add up to a sophisticated and attractive presence. The small touches and unique additions (profile/DPI lights in the seam, ring of light for the Instant Aim button) set the MS-3 apart from the competition. In my opinion, this is one of the best-looking mice available on the market. The attention to detail from the packaging to the orange accents on the braided cord really clue you in to the amount of time put into the design. I think Func should be commended for bringing something so polished to market on their first try.
Similarly, the MS-3 is constructed well. There aren't any squeaks or rattles, and the mouse feels solid in your hand. Each button actuates with a pleasant tactile click (with Omron switches, they should!). My only complaint here is the default profile cycle button above the right mouse button. Once again, it isn't a deal breaker as it is rarely used, but this is the only button that wiggled ever so slightly in its place. Every other button had that perfect feel, this was the one outlier of the group.
The functionality of the MS-3 is right on par with most mice in this price range, if not more so. The ability to remap any button, switch to your favorite color, and store those profiles on-board is welcome in any mouse. The MS-3 manages those operations with zero fuss. While there are still some growing pains with the software especially in the macro area, the function is still there and adequate - hopefully it will be made even more powerful in future updates. Until then, the macro recorder sits on the lower end of the competition - yet the overall functionality of the MS-3 is easily within the top 5% of the gaming mouse market at this price range.
As of the time this article was written, the MS-3 retails for $79.99 (Newegg), placing it square in the upper-mid range for gaming peripherals. To get the ten programmable buttons, the customizable LED colors, on-board memory to save profiles and DPI switching features, you can expect to pay at least that amount or more. The MS-3 brings its comfortable shape to the relief of palm-grip users (and converts) everywhere, and a touch of class and sophistication on top of that. Most other mice that use the same sensor and have similar features are right in the middle of this price range, making the Func MS-3 arguably the best value for palm-grip users. If you need a mouse that can accomodate different grip styles, this may not be the absolute best option for you - but the MS-3 makes no apologies for that, and it shouldn't have to. Therefore, I've rated value as it would apply to palm-grip users, and for those users I believe this is one of the best mice available. Its only real competition is the Mionix Naos 5000 (or possibly the Naos 8200 for a little more), and I believe the button placement on the Func MS-3 is superior (otherwise, the two are very similar and retail for the same price).
I always struggle with how to rate certain peripherals, as many features of gaming mice simply cannot be benchmarked or viewed strictly objectively. However, the Func MS-3 has a strong foundation of very functional features that work very well. These features are wrapped in a comfortable and elegant looking shell, topped off with a premium feel for the switches and surface finish. It is my opinion that Func did an excellent job on their first gaming mouse, from the packaging to the hardware and core functions of the software. Even though it isn't for everyone, I feel for its target audience (and even those looking to switch to a palm grip) the MS-3 deserves a Golden Tachometer award. These features are what you should look for in an $80 peripheral, and the MS-3 delivers.
- Palm grip only!
Final Score: 9.2 out of 10.