[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Gamers with big hands are often forgotten by the companies that make gaming-grade peripherals. Thinking about these players, Func, a California-based company that had been dormant for a while, is releasing the MS-3, a big mouse with a large palm-grip design that features twelve programmable functions and 5,670 dpi of resolution. We tested it along with the new Surface 1030 XL mousepad, also from Func. We will first introduce the products and then we will see how they fared.

Mouse MS-3Figure 1: The Func MS-3 Mouse

The MS-3 has a wide rubberized body, with rests for the thumb, ring finger, and the pinkie. It is all-black and features illumination on the wheel, with three small LEDs (that indicate the current sensitivity setting) located on the left border, and on the Instant Aim button (right in the middle of the thumb niche). Beside the Instant Aim button, the thumb niche houses the traditional back/forward navigation buttons, and another one on the base that mutes audio. Below the wheel, there are two buttons to change the dpi settings. On the right upper corner, there is one more button, this one dedicated to changing the user profiles. All these functions can be reprogrammed.

Mouse MS-3Figure 2: Left side view

Mouse MS-3Figure 3: Right side view

Mouse MS-3Figure 4: Wheel detail and buttons

[nextpage title=”Introduction (Cont’d)”]

There is no weight adjustment system on the underside, only four Teflon feet to ensure better sliding. Right on the middle, the user finds the Avago UGS 9500 sensor that reaches 5,670 dpi of resolution. A cloth-wrapped 6’5” cable comes out of the tip of the mouse and ends on a gold-plated USB connector.

Mouse MS-3Figure 5: Underside view

Mouse MS-3Figure 6: Cable and USB connector

We also received the XL model of the Superface 1030 mousepad. It features two sliding surfaces – one more rugged, made for precision, and a glossy one, for faster responses. To change surfaces, we just had to lift the rugged one to reveal the glossy surface underneath it; it acts like a cover of sorts. The underside has nine rubber feet to make sure it stays undisturbed on the table.

Mouse MS-3Figure 7: Surface 1030 XL, rugged surface

Mouse MS-3Figure 8: Surface 1030 XL, glossy surface

Mouse MS-3Figure 9: Surface 1030 XL, underside view

[nextpage title=”Main Characteristics”]

The MS-3 has twelve programmable functions done by an application with an elegant and clean interface, a welcome departure from the reigning “radical” designs on the market. The user can create three profiles (associated with games or work applications) that are stored on the 512 kiB internal memory, which means it is possible to trade computers without losing the preferences. The new functions can be associated to nine buttons and to three functions on the scroll wheel.

Mouse MS-3Figure 10: Button programming

The user can choose either the same color or two different ones among 16.8 million options to illuminate the wheel and the Instant Button. The colored lights can also be turned off, or be made to pulse.

Mouse MS-3Figure 11: Color selection

There is also a macro editor in the software that is able to record up to ten commands in one macro. The internal memory can store a total of sixty macros available to all user profiles.

Mouse MS-3Figure 12: Macro recording

The resolution can be set on three levels up to the maximum of 5,670 dpi. The MS-3 comes with default settings of 450, 900, and 1,800 dpi from the factory, all easily adjustable among the user profiles. It is also possible to alter the X- and Y-axis sensitivity; the pointer speed; and the lift off distance.

The MS-3 also features the Instant Aim function located on the central button on the thumb niche. Once this button is pressed, it automatically changes the resolution in the middle of the game, then it quickly resets to the older setting as it is released. It is a useful feature for those moments when the player needs an immediate change of pace, such as a precise shot with a sniper rifle or responding to a surprise attack from an enemy.

[nextpage title=”Playing with the MS-3 on the Surface 1030 XL”]

The MS-3 is excellent for big-handed players and favors the palm grip style of play. However, we found it surprisingly good with a claw grip style, thanks to the rests for the ring finger and pinkie that ended up helping the mouse to be more maneuverable with the fingertips.

The button distribution around the thumb is great and prevents accidental clicking. The audio mute button, which we programmed to plant claymore mines on Battlefield 3, is very well positioned. However, we found the profile button, located on the upper right corner, too far away to be easily reached. But that’s the beauty of the MS-3: with so many options, the right-handed user is bound to find a button that suits his or her needs.

Mouse MS-3Figure 13: Illuminated mouse

In comparison to models that have already broken the barrier of 6,000 dpi of resolution, the MS-3’s upper limit of 5,670 dpi is very acceptable. As always, we suggest a lower resolution for a more accurate aim, and a higher resolution to select multiple units or enemies when playing RTS or MMORPGs. The MS-3 gave a better response on the glossy side of the Surface 1030 XL; it felt quicker and more agile despite its big size. With nine rubber feet, the mousepad took a beating but never let go of the table. The rounded edges didn’t hurt our wrist like other mousepads do.

Programming the MS-3 is a nice experience due to the simplicity and elegance of the interface. It is nice to see a clear design in contrast with the “dark and edgy” vibe with these kinds of applications. In macro recording, however, the user cannot edit delays between keystrokes, and if he or she makes a mistake, they have to start over again.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

The main specifications for the Func MS-3 mouse include:

  • Gaming-grade mouse
  • Right-handed design
  • Connector: gold-plated USB
  • Assignable functions: Twelve
  • Tracking resolution: Up to 5,670 dpi selectable on three levels
  • Polling rate: adjustable up to 1 kHz
  • Memory: 512 kiB
  • Approximate size: 4.99 x 3.97 x 1.69 inches (127 x 69 x 42.3 mm)
  • Weight: 4.5 oz (127 g)
  • Cable: 6.5 feet (2 m)
  • More information: https://www.func.net
  • Average price in the U.S.*: USD 79.99

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

The main specifications for the Func Surface 1030 XL mousepad include:

  • Surface material: Polycarbonate
  • Size: 14 x 11 x 0.16 inches (360 x 280 x 4 mm)
  • Weight: 0.93 lbs (422 g)
  • More information: https://www.func.net
  • Average price in the U.S.*: USD 39.99

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Users with big hands will love the MS-3. It is very comfortable because it supports the whole hand, and the weight is so well-distributed that it doesn’t need a weight adjustment system. Buttons are well-located around the thumb area. Func struck gold with a clear design for the interface of the configuration software, but macro recording is limited to the basics. The Surface 1030 XL complements the mouse by offering two options of sliding surfaces that will cater to the user’s gaming style and will fit the resolution set for the mouse.

Strong Points

  • Suited for big-handed players
  • Twelve programmable functions
  • Excellent button placement
  • Comfortable rest for the whole band
  • Clean and simple configuration software
  • Instant Aim feature for emergency resolution changes
  • Beautiful illumination
  • Ingenious solution of having two different surfaces on the same mousepad
  • Mousepad has rounded borders

Weak Points

  • Small-handed users might find it clunky
  • Only basic macro recording features