MSI Clutch GM31 Lightweight Wireless Ergonomic Gaming Mouse & Charging DockDecember 22, 2022
TypeErgonomic wireless gaming mouse
Last August, we reviewed the MSI Clutch GM41 wired/wireless mouse, offering superfast charging, extended use on a single charge, and fantastic performance, rating it a 9 out of 10 for gaming mice. Since that review, I replaced my Logitech G502 weighted gaming mouse with the MSI Clutch GM41 mouse for a few reasons. The MSI Clutch GM41 was exceptionally more lightweight than the Logitech G502 (without any weights), maintained its smoothness on most mousepad surfaces, was more precise on small movements (perfect for content creation), offered a less cluttered mouse for not only gaming but also for everyday use.
When the company contacted me to test their MSI Clutch GM31 lightweight wireless ergonomic mouse, the latest in their wireless gaming series, offering even more outstanding performance than the GM41 variant, I welcomed the chance to test its performance and compare the two to see which one provided a better experience overall.
MSI Clutch GM31 Lightweight Wireless Ergonomic Gaming Mouse & Charging Dock: Does The New Generation Surpass The Old?
MSI assures consumers will like the new Clutch GM31 gaming mouse design and specs, offering a smaller form factor with different ergonomics. The optical sensor within the mouse utilizes the PIXART PAW-3311, offering up to 12000 DPI. The microcontroller unit, or MCU, is the Nordic 52833 (nRF52833) SoC, made by Nordic Semiconductor, offering low-energy Bluetooth transmissions. The MSI Clutch GM41 has a polling rate of 1000 Hz, with a battery life of up to 110 hours.
When talking about performance, the max speed, or IPS, is 300, while the max acceleration is 35G. The new mouse weighs 73g, uses a 60M Omron switch and three different memory profiles, and comes with a charging dock and FixionFree Type-C to A Cable. The Omron switch will allow the mouse to last up to 60+ million lifespans. The size is 120mm x 64mm x 37mm, which is ideal for smaller hands. The mouse uses PURE PTFE skates for high-speed accuracy and movement, the same diamond-patterned grips, and the RGB mystic light option, offering 16.8M colors.
Compared to the GM41, the design has changed from symmetrical to ergonomic but uses the same switches with only a one-milligram difference in weight. Battery life has improved from the GM41, which offers 80 hours. Size and wired connectivity have also changed, for a difference of ten dollars.
But what are we sacrificing? Well, the sensor is the PAW-3370 in the MSI Clutch GM41 wireless/wired mouse, whereas the Clutch GM31 wireless/wired mouse is optioned for the PAW-3311 sensor. In discussing mouse sensors, Pixart — the company that created the sensor for optical mice, including the two in this review — states that the PAW3370 is ideal for "high speed, high resolution, and high accuracy," where the PAW3311 sensor utilizes "low power gaming modes for gaming mouse application." The PAW3370 sensor is ideal for corded gaming and offers a selectable lift detection option of one to two millimeters, but the PAW3311 offers "hi-res, hi-speed motion detection, and acceleration." We receive a faster reaction with less accuracy in a smaller package than the larger mouse. However, I can assure you that through experience, the response for both is quite negligible.
The only other major sacrifice, and it will only affect certain users, is the size. The MSI Clutch GM31 gaming mouse is less than an inch smaller in length, but where you feel the change is in the mouse ergonomics. The more predominant curved feel towards the thumb is much more comfortable, especially for long-use sessions. Also, the GM31 is slightly more lightweight, but it is such a slight difference that I did not notice a difference between switching mice.
The MSI software is the same, where you can control the lighting and effects of the RGBs on the mouse and affect button layouts for certain games and DPI settings.
Speaking of MSI's software, I will be honest about my feelings on this. I dislike the MSI application suite, which I did refer to as "bloatware" in my review of the GM41 Clutch mouse from the company. It feels like most of the software available in the suite can be accessed by the manufacturers and designers of the various components and peripherals on a user's system and can be controlled better by each. Whenever I activated anything out of the Mystic Light and Gaming Gear applications, I ran into conflicts with other applications or games. Is that MSI's fault? No. This happens to everyone, and I cannot fault a company for wanting to allow users an easy and intuitive way in one simple location. However, everyone's system is unique, so as far as the software goes, everyone's experience will be different.
I have the same problems with my AMD-focused monitors and NVIDIA GPU. It just happens. Similar to clothing when it says, "One size fits most." There will always be conflicts with drivers and multiple sources feeding into a singular source.
I did appreciate that MSI replaced the Micro USB port and cable for the mouse and replaced it with a USB Type-C connection. The line is still braided, but that connection ushers it further into standard connections. I rarely used the mouse wirelessly, but it lasted almost one week on a single charge. The reason I used the cable above going wirelessly is interference. Sometimes the mouse would not connect properly, but I have also experienced this with other computer mice and chose to go wired on all my peripherals.
The dongle and charging stand is identical to the MSI Clutch GM41 mouse, but do not use the GM41 charging station with a GM31 mouse as the two are incompatible. The charging time is superfast, clocking in at 90 minutes for 110 hours of use. It will give you enough juice in less time to get you back into your games, but only by 50% of the power.
One difference between my review of the MSI Clutch GM41 wireless/wired gaming mouse and the newer Clutch GM31 mouse is that both have replaced my Logitech G502 Hero gaming mouse. The MSI offers a much smoother feel and the preciseness demanded by games and content creation. The Logitech mouse felt like it was not sliding across surfaces as gently as the MSI brand and would slide more, which I attribute to its bulkiness. I had also removed the weights, and it still was an issue. I sacrificed a lot of unused buttons on the Logitech mouse, which is also a bonus. Too many added clicks on the Logitech mouse hindered the experience nearly 100% of the time.
For features, this has quite a bit when it comes to customizing the RGB. When discussing use, it is much better, in my opinion, compared to the larger GM41, but for weight was practically equal. It has replaced my GM41 for its ergonomics and smaller size.
Is the MSI Clutch GM31 lightweight wireless mouse your new mouse for 2023? If you are looking for a smaller form factor, gaining you more room on your desk for movement, and looking for a very reactive and lightweight mouse. At the same time, gaming and being precise while creating content is a great option, especially when looking at a weighted mouse. I recommend the corded option above the wireless option, so I do not have to charge the mouse between gaming, working, and content creation. The MSI software suite may entice some, but I would only install the bare essentials as the rest tend to conflict depending on your hardware setup.
The new MSI Clutch GM31 Lightweight Wireless Ergonomic Gaming Mouse & Charging Dock offers a smaller package with better ergonomics and a longer charging lifetime with an upgraded charging dock, cable, and internals.
- Smaller size grants more desk space to move the mouse.
- Better ergonomics allow for easy gripping, giving you better control during use.
- Longer use times before having to recharge is an absolute bonus.
- MSI's software is not great all the time.
- The sensors may not please picky mice users.
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