Fnatic Gear Flick Mouse & Rush Keyboard Review
It was only a matter of time until the top eSports teams went from endorsing computer tech to making their own. London-based FNATIC, which includes players from all around the world, has released a new keyboard and mouse set informed by the needs of its elite team. These tools are meant to deliver precision and speed, let’s see how they stack up with the competition.
FNATIC didn’t start from zero with these designs. The team acquired Func Gaming and is building a new line of products that features some existing designs. They sent us the Flick G1 gaming mouse, the Rush G1 keyboard and the Boost G1 mouse mat, their first releases from the rechristened Fnatic Gear.
The Rush G1 keyboard is a familiar product, based on the Func KB-460. Nothing appears to have changed apart from the software, which is disappointing because we would expect an eSports brand to deliver a tenkeyless model. It’s a basic board with simple design, customizable with Cherry MX Red, Blue or Brown switches and has two USB ports on the back. It features a red backlight on the keys and underplate for a consistent red undertone. The LEDs have adjustable brightness and a built-in breathing mode.
The Rush G1 comes with a detachable wrist rest, which has a comfortable rubberized matte coating that feels good on the skin but easily picks up fingerprints. It’s not bulky at all, and detaches from the board—although the attachment mechanism itself is a little finicky. Media controls are built into the function keys, and there is a special Fnatic mode that disables the Windows key for gaming.
The keyboard switches work well, with linear activation. It’s a 45g key, which is light, and the lack of a tactile bump and a super-fast rebound mean it should be quicker for gaming. It’s also surprisingly quiet for a mechanical board.
The Boost G1 mouse pad is a different story. It is thin, and while the top surface is fine for tracking the bottom is very slippery. Our reviewer prefers a more stable mat, such as the aluminium pads available from InWin or even a simple fabric mat, and this mousepad just doesn’t have enough grip. Nobody wants to be messing with their mousepad when money is on the line, so it’s doubtful the Boost G1 would live up to the standards demanded by FNATIC players.
Keyboards and mouse pads, however, are much more straightforward designs than a mouse, let alone one aimed at the exacting specifications of pro gamers. And with the Flick G1, Fnatic Gear has managed to upstage their other products.
The 90g mouse is light and feels almost invisible, allowing you to flick and slide with ease. The shape is comfortable, with all the curves and angles in the right spots. The ambidextrous body allows left-hand operation, although but the side buttons are only on the left. The rubberized coating feels good and all the buttons are in their natural spots.
The primary left and right clicks use Omron switches and are more resistant than the Logitech G502 or the Mionix Castor, though it was easy to adjust to heavier actuations. The scroll wheel is a little muddy—scroll steps are defined but rotation could use less restriction. The middle click is light enough to press in-game and the round button behind is well in reach for DPI or profile changes, which are indicated on the side LEDs. There’s no acceleration, no prediction, the default lift off distance could be shorter if you move and lift your mouse a lot and overall this is a sensor you can trust.
On the software side of things, Fnatic Gear does not have a driver hub so you need to download the drivers separately. The mouse customization is very basic, offering 3 DPI steps, double click speed and polling rate but no lift-off distance adjustment—strange, because it’s not a sensor limitation. That’s a disappointment because the mouse becomes unpredictable when you place it back down on the surface. The Flick G1 has onboard memory for profiles and lighting settings, a nice touch. The keyboard drivers are similarly simple, and give you a chance to create profiles with macros on any key on the keyboard.
The Fnatic Gear peripherals are entering a very competitive arena. The Rush G1 keyboard actually dates back roughly three years, and is too expensive at $129 when compared with the many similar MX cherry boards available for under $100. Yet the Flick G1 gaming mouse is great, especially at $49. There’s definitely potential in the Fnatic Gear lineup, and we’re interested to see what comes next.
|Latest Reviews in Peripherals|