I am going to be really honest with you here. Up until this past January while I was at CES, I had never heard of FUNC, or even had an inclination that they even existed. In a meeting I had this year it was brought to my attention that someone wanted to buy them out and had done so, and was planning to release some new peripherals into the market. Looking over to their web page, I sort of figured out why I hadn't really been aware of FUNC. Even though they had established the company in 1999, it seems that they had a short run of four products from 2000 to 2005, and nothing from them since. Back then they were into providing mouse surfaces for people who knew that the desk top was not the best solution for a mouse to track on. They also offered Liquid, which was a product you applied to mice feet or any hard surfaced pad. It seems like they were on track, just maybe a bit ahead of their time.
Now with new owners and a good financial backing, FUNC can once again lift itself from the ashes of yesteryear, and try to breathe new life into the company. With this fresh start comes some new products, and we get to take a look at two of the three current offerings. One of which is an Avago ADNS 9500 laser sensor based mouse that comes equipped with Omron switches. The second product we get to see is a mouse pad that is a hard surface, and is reversible to offer a variety of textures to use, fitting your specific needs. We'll see if this pair can keep up with the flood of contenders that we have seen up to now. I really can't see a rehash of old tech making it in this market.
As you continue reading, we will be looking at the FUNC MS-3 gaming mouse and the Surface 1030 L mouse pad. As I said, there is the second best in the line of laser sensors and quality switches with the mouse, but there are plenty of things that also come with the MS-3. Things like full support for your whole hand, customizable LED lighting and intuitive software. The Surface on the other hand is of course more basic in what it offers, but don't let that fool you, there still are a few things that would sway you to buy this over any other foam solution on the market.
I say we just dig right in and see what FUNC and these two new products are all about.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
For once I get a specifications chart that is as descriptive as I like to be about the components. Even if you have no idea what any of this means, you still know what to look for in Google without having to peel the mouse apart to find out. The MS-3 uses the WT6573 from Weltrend as the microprocessor and offers 512 kb of onboard flash. The Avago ADNS laser sensor (A9500) can track 5.1m/sec of speed at 30 g acceleration. This mouse also offers a range of DPI from 90 to 5670 and offers adjustable polling rates. The mouse is also pretty light weight at only 127 grams, but is one of the largest mice I have ever tested.
Things you won't find in the chart are things like the software package, the aesthetics and support of the MS-3, and there is no mention of the functionality that this mouse offers over the basic mice. The software will allow you to use three profiles, set most of the functions of the mouse, adjust the coloration of the LED lighting, record basic Macros, as well as offering you a support link right out of the software window. The looks of the MS-3 are much like others with the use of flat rubberized coatings that we have seen many times, even the parts that illuminate are pretty usual. What is a bit off the wall is the full hand support that the MS-3 brings. There are grooves and form fitting parts that take your whole hand and fully support it with this design. Then you have the fact that above the usual button offerings, the MS-3 brings a mute button, a pair of DPI selection buttons, a profile button, and an Instant Aim button that is much like a "sniper" button an any other mouse.
On this side of the pond, what I am finding is that there is only one location currently offering the MS-3. While I am sure the shelf is stocked to the top, Newegg is the only place I can find to buy this. With a price of $79.99, they are asking top dollar, and you do still need to add $5 for shipping. There are a lot of mice on the market that are a lot cheaper, but to compare mice up front, we are looking at ones like the Theron, Level 10M, Kone, Sensei, and even the Mionix option we saw not too long ago. This is a pretty stiff group to compete against. What is really going to sting a bit is when you go to look at the Surface 1030 L to complete the kit, with a $35 base price and another $5 to ship it, it makes this completed kit you are about to see cost in the range of $120.
You can see where I am going here. Most users won't spend $40 on a mouse, or more than $10 on the pad, but then again many TweakTown readers aren't average buyers.
FUNC keeps things very sleek and simple in their packaging. With an all-white background and orange and black text, you get the company make just above the "Functionality. Perfected." tag line. After that you get the name of the mouse, the MS-3 and that it is a mouse intended for gaming.
As you flip the lid on the box to get a look at the mouse, the back of the front panel offers the company history, specs and features of the product, and on the right talks about how you have to perfect the basics before you go adding options to any product, and this is how FUNC designs things.
The reason why we opened the lid in the first place was to get a look at the MS-3 as you would in any store setting. Even though it is under some protective plastic, you can see the MS-3 is in its entirety and just how large it really is.
On the side, all you get is the slanted F logo for FUNC and the name of the mouse with the tag line under it.
On the back you get the logo and all that jazz at the top, but around the image of the MS-3 there are five features presented to you. These are the "in-range" nature of the button layout, the high quality of the components, the ergonomic design and grip surface, the customization of the lighting, and the instant Aim button.
The right side is no different from the left, and again only offers the logo, mouse name and tag line.
To keep the MS-3 safe even if the box it's shipped in took a hit, the inner packaging is built well with cardboard inner packaging. Taking the time to double up the top and the sides makes the entire packaging much stronger and should help keep things from hitting the mouse in the middle. If anything was to get that far, you do have the layer of plastic as a last resort for protection.
FUNC MS-3 Gaming Mouse
On the left of the MS-3 you are given four buttons around the concave section of the side to accept and cradle your thumb. In front of the mouse is the Instant Aim button, under the thumb is a mute button, and above the thumb are the page forward and page back buttons.
The heel of the mouse is made to really have your whole hand on the mouse, and not hanging off the back. The whole design is high in the left center section, and everything slopes to the right toward the finger rests.
The right side offers some pretty defined finger rests. While some mice offer a "tray" or have a bit of a contour, FUNC took it all the way and made separate supports with very defined valleys and supports to make its use effortless.
Looking at the mouse dead in the face, you can see the finger supports are staggered to take into account the shorter length of those fingers. As you can see, all of the top surface of the MS-3 has received the grip coating, and should also make this mouse easy to handle in any situation.
On the front of the mouse, along with the right and left click buttons you also get the profile swap button at the tip of the right click button. Along with the scroll wheel in the middle you have the DPI adjustment buttons just behind it.
The entire bottom surface is made from a very shiny plastic and offers four PTFE feet under the mouse to glide easily on any surface while the eye of the sensor near the front of the mouse keeps track of those movements.
At the end of two meters of black braided cable that has one orange strand weaved into it, there is this USB 2.0 connection that has been gold plated to fight oxidation to deliver constant and uninterrupted connectivity for the microprocessor to talk to the PC.
Inside the MS-3
After removing all of the feet and the screws under them, I had to be careful of the ribbon cable and went ahead and disconnected it so you could see inside of both halves of the MS-3.
Verifying what the specs chart said there sure are Omron switches used inside of this mouse. This will ensure long life and many clicks before these switches would fail.
Again, Omron switches are found for both the left and right click buttons, and then there are lower grade switches used throughout for the rest of the functionality. What strikes me a bit odd is the PCB mounted in the scroll wheel.
Come to find out, after removing the screw and gently lifting the board off the stems, you can see this is just so that there was a place to put the LED that will later illuminate the scroll wheel.
Here we have the control center of the MS-3. With Weltrend chips in place to control things going in and out of the mouse to the PC and vice versa along with the 512kb memory IC.
Here we have the Avago ADNS 9500 laser sensor. Currently the second best offering, only to be outdone by the 9800. Honestly I can appreciate the use of this sensor since I cannot control 8200 DPI anyways - the max of 5670 DPI set with this mouse is plenty for me.
I had to completely remove the PCB to get a look at the mute button since it was soldered to the bottom. You can see the button is more of a long paddle that reaches in to this super thin switch.
With the mouse now back together I powered it up to show the default lighting scheme. The Instant Aim button has a ring that illuminates. It is currently orange like the rest, but can be customized to anything you desire.
The other part of the customizable lighting system is the one found in the scroll wheel that allows the white rings to now be the color of the LED we saw inside of it.
The three orange lines seen here are denoting that I am set to the highest of three DPI levels. These lights will always be orange; no matter how the other two lights are set.
Accessories and Documentation
Slid in behind the cardboard of the inner packaging, you will find the manual and the driver CD. As far as the CD goes, you can just get the software on the FUNC website, but it is the same version on the disc as what they offer there, at the time of writing.
Inside, along with basic instruction of how and where to plug the mouse into the PC, this is probably the most information you will need from the book. This can also be found in the software, but it is handy to have it out the first day to get used to what each of the buttons do.
As far as the software is concerned, it is pretty in-depth, yet simple to navigate. In the basic settings, you can control and set the DPI for each of the three levels and the Instant Aim, as well as changing the X and Y axis independently. You then can change the pointer sensitivity, double click speed, LOD, scroll speed, as well as enabling angle snapping, pointer acceleration and the polling rate.
In the button assignment section you can now control what you want each of the 12 functions and buttons to do. This is their functionality as set from the manufacturer, but there is no reason not to set them as a Macro, or one of the many other preset offerings.
Color setting offers you the ability to slide sliders to the desired color for the orange lit components on the right. Once you set each of the colors, you can also add a pulse, change the saturation and brightness, and even just turn them off if you don't like them on.
The Macro Editor is very basic. On the left you would start by naming the macro next to the record button at the bottom. Once that is done, click record and initiate the steps you want to program, and the top window will show what the actions were. Once done, hit the record button again and hit save. Then the Macro will shift to the right column for later use, when you amass a bunch of them.
Surface 1030 L
Packaging for the mouse pad is the same as it is for the mouse. Plain white in the background, the company name in orange, and the name of the product in black. What this also offers is that it shows there is an L version which we have, as well and an XL version of this pad.
Repeated in three other languages, on the back there is a description of the Surface and why you should have one. That along with the specification of this are found here.
Inside of the lid of the Surface is the same sort of thing we found inside the mouse packaging. They really want people to know how they got started and why.
Under a layer of foam, you will find the Surface 1030 L packed inside of more foam. For this reason they have added the orange pull tab on the left to easily lift the Surface out of the box. There is some paper work, but aside from telling you how to flip the inner surface over, there isn't much to be seen.
The Surface 1030 L is rounded at the top and the bottom to follow the natural swing of your arm, in and arch. There is the FUNC name and product name painted in grey on this 330mm by 260mm area.
The Surface 1030 L comes with this side of it facing up. To make it much simpler this is the rough side of the pad, and as you can see there is an obvious texture to this side. This should make for faster movements, but it can be less accurate.
Sticking your finger through a hole in the back lifts the inner section from the large ring and back of the outer component so that you can easily flip it over. Here you see the other side, or the smooth and more accurate side that may be a bit slower in movement due to more drag on the mouse feet.
Even though this is made of a slick polycarbonate plastic, that doesn't mean it won't stay put. There are eight large feet around the edge and an even larger one to support the middle of the Surface. You can also see the hole at the bottom left to poke the center section out.
These feet just aren't the typical smooth foam you would find on most plastic mouse pads, here FUNC is cutting no corners and uses a textured surface and a soft foam density to allow the Surface to gain good traction on almost everything, including glass table tops.
Just to give you a better idea of the size of the large version, you can see that even with a very large mouse like the MS-3 on the Surface 1030 L, there is plenty of room to navigate the mouse. Since I game normally in the 5000 DPI range, this pad is fine, but if you are a lower DPI gamer, like under 2500, I would suggest the XL version.
At first I was having some isolated issues with the MS-3, but I did eventually resolve them. I left the mouse with all of its default settings intact aside from customizing the LEDs and changing the DPI. In games where I was spraying bullets like L4D2, I didn't have an issue, but I booted up BF3 and the first time I tried to snipe someone, I found a jitter in the tracking that drove me bonkers. Even in things like photo editing, small movement were jerky and almost like the mouse had to catch up at times. What I found will resolve this issue had nothing to do with the USB port or anything I did, it just takes turning on the pointer acceleration to make it all peaches and cream again. Once I got this mystery solved, I really did enjoy my time using the MS-3. Even if it does force your hand a bit more forward on the mouse than I tend to like, with a few days to a week with this mouse it is really easy to get used to, move around, and even pick up since all five of your digits are already on the mouse, grip is not an issue.
After I was able to pin point the performance issue, it is more a subject of feel and the feature set. The software does a really good job of giving you full control, and even with an adjustable LOD, you won't get stuck on the lowest setting like I have found before. Low is about 2mm, medium is around 4mm and high setting will give you around 6mm before the sensor stops tracking. Along with customizable LEDs, customizable button layout, and the Macro control; besides moving by telekinesis, there really isn't anything more to ask of this mouse. I really did enjoy the time I sent using it and much of that is all in the way the mouse cradles your hand and makes your whole hand and this mouse one solid component with very little drag.
Speaking of drag, we need to discuss the Surface 1030 L. This also helps the MS-3 do its thing a little better. As always I tested the MS-3 on various mats along with the one provided, and I will say I had the best experience on the Surface. With the rough side up, you have less points of contact and much less friction on the mouse that allows for fast jerky motions to be very easily done. On the flip side, where the Surface is much smoother, it does make for more friction, and thus slows you down for things like photo editing or graphics design. The Surface 1030 L and the MS-3 are a match made for each other, and I do suggest you pick this up to fully enjoy the MS-3 to its full potential.
Even though I do wish these components were a little cheaper so that more of you would go out and try for yourself, I do feel their pricing is justified. I have other $40 mouse pads, and they did not do as well as the Surface 1030 L did in my testing. Even on the smooth side, there was a definite slickness that cloth mats can't give you. The MS-3 is well appointed and does give you a lot of options, and as compared to the other mice I listed in the intro, I do feel that FUNC did price the mouse correctly for the market. I know $80 for a mouse sounds kind of steep, but if you are serious about gaming, this is sort of the same idea as buying a mechanical keyboard.
Those in the know will spend a bit more to get a product that fits them exactly for their needs, and I think both the MS-3 mouse and Surface 1030 L will deliver on this for a lot of users.
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