Lightweight gaming mice often have many holes in the case. The motto is: The less material is used, the lighter the mouse is. In gaming – especially in the competitive field – speed, little friction on the mouse pad and agile handling are important. In order to achieve this, manufacturers are constantly coming up with new ideas. Micro-Star International, as the Taiwanese manufacturer is called in full, has also taken on the segment and released the MSI GM41 Lightweight.
So far, MSI has mainly been about a lot of RGB, design and typical gaming looks – not only when it comes to mice. The fact that the manufacturer now also dedicates itself to lightweight peripherals alongside SteelSeries, Logitech and Glorious PC is a step in a new direction for the Taiwanese company.
We had the MSI GM41 Lightweight sent to us to test it extensively. We looked at the weight, but also the switches, the material and even the cable. Because MSI didn’t use just any cable for the GM41.
|Ergonomics||Symmetrical (thumb keys but only on the left side)|
|Sensor type||Optical sensor|
|CPI||Up to 16,000 CPI|
|Number of keys||6|
|Switch||Mechanical OMRON switches (for 60 million clicks)|
|Weight||65 g (with cable 186 g)|
|Dimensions||130.1 x 67 x 38.3 mm|
|Length / material of the cable||2 m / fabric jacket|
|Connection||USB Type-A 2.0 (gold-plated connector)|
|Compatibility||Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7|
Packaging: plain but chic
On the outside, the GM41 Lightweight has been given a plain black and white packaging. Only MSI’s red dragon logo on the mouse illustration stands out. Haptically and visually, the box looks good at first glance.
Opening the box only reveals the mouse with cable and a manual. Further accessories have been omitted. On the other hand, the question arises what else a mouse with this purpose needs. Answer: Nothing!
Now that the good piece is unpacked, we can devote ourselves to thorough testing. The packaging has already received an A – but of course says little about the mouse.
Appearance: Plain, like its packaging
The overall case of the GM41 Lightweight is reminiscent of a typical mouse shape as it has been found in offices or at home in gray for decades. Edges are beveled here and there, but nothing is reminiscent of the otherwise elaborately designed gaming mice from MSI. The whole focus during the development was actually on a light weight.
The black or dark gray makes the mouse look very classy. As icing on the cake, the illuminated MSI logo makes itself felt. Otherwise, each grip gets grip from rubberized sides, which the manufacturer calls diamond-shaped anti-slip grips. The pattern doesn’t remind us of diamonds, but it’s certainly eye-catching and you definitely get grip. To use the mouse, however, either the Palm or Claw grip is recommended. The GM41 is a bit too long for the fingertip grip.
A conspicuous feature that is rather unusual in the lightweight segment; after all, it’s all about being as economical as possible with the material. Nevertheless, the new MSI mouse only weighs 65 grams, which means it can easily compete with like-minded devices at eye level. If the mouse had been made shorter, it could have been only 60 grams or less. One thing is certain: The MSI GM41 Lightweight feels great in the hand and glides cleanly over the mouse pad thanks to Teflon stickers on the underside.
Only plastic and rubber are used – both of which guarantee a light weight. The latter is also found in the same pattern around the mouse wheel as on the side of the mouse. While the GM41 can’t be compared to a Aerox 3 from SteelSeries in terms of build, it still makes a robust impression and looks very high-quality.
Regarding the appearance, the installed materials and the workmanship, we can attest the Taiwanese a good job.
Cable: Two meters, nothing behind
We were less enthusiastic about the two meter long cable. With the titling “FriXionFree” on the part of MSI, great expectations had arisen in us. For this, the company has spoofed the English word “Friction”, which translates to “friction-free” from the whole word. But unfortunately, hardly anything was frictionless during the tests.
Instead of a flexible cable that, by its very nature, does little to move itself with each mouse movement, the opposite was true. The stiff fabric-covered cable caused the bulk of it that was on the desk to be pushed back and forth with every movement. This, of course, creates friction and slows the mouse down – albeit minimally. However, this is a faux pas in FPS games where every millisecond counts.
MSI should upgrade at this point in the next featherweight generation and manufacture its cable according to the name. Thus, there is a less satisfactory grade for the cable.
Switches: High-quality tactile switches from Japan
Installed in the MSI GM41 Lightweight are switches from the Japanese manufacturer Omron. They are tactile in nature and thus make every click perceptible – ideal for competitive gaming. MSI relies on Omron for absolute reliability; it’s not for nothing that other big names like Razer or Sharkoon also rely on the switches from the Japanese.
The tactile switches installed in the GM41 are designed for up to 60 million clicks. This puts it in the midfield on the market: between 50 and 100 million clicks is all within the range.
Sensor: The finest Aim is provided
An optical sensor with up to 16,000 CPI provides the necessary conditions for a good Aim on the MSI GM41 Lightweight. The preset levels of 400, 800, 1,600, 3,200 and 6,400 can be changed via a switch on the back of the mouse. A somewhat impractical placement of the switch, but you don’t change the CPI number too often anyway.
Moreover, with 400 IPS, the GM41 doesn’t need to hide. Even the equally expensive Aerox 3 from SteelSeries has less on offer. In combination with the CPI, you are definitely well armed with the sensor in any first-person shooter. Besides, you can rely on this one just because of the manufacturer. PixArt is an experienced expert in durable and reliable mouse sensors.
Extras: RGB only, that’s all it needs
As expected, the GM41 Lightweight does not have many features. Only RGB gives the MSI mouse a visual highlight. The logo on the upper shell is individually illuminated. Colors, effects, their speed and brightness can be changed via hotkeys, which always work in combination with the CPI switch. We remember: this was placed on the back by MSI. Thus, awkward handling is pre-programmed here as well.
Since the colors and effects are changed more often than the CPI setting, the manufacturer should also think about a second edition at this point. There is theoretically still enough space on the mouse surface.
Software: Configurable in the Dragon Center
Finally, what we can point out positively is the fact that the GM41 Lightweight can be customized in the Dragon Center, MSI’s software. Apart from the RGB settings, CPI, macros and the key assignment can be configured in the way that suits you best.
The Dragon Center interface is clearly arranged and easy to use. In addition, the settings of other MSI products can be combined or matched.
However, we also encountered some problems while using it. For example, the manufacturer’s website for the Dragon Center still offered an old version, which our mouse did not recognize. Furthermore, the Dragon Center includes a Game Mode, which unfortunately has the opposite effect. With Game Mode enabled, our processor was limited to 0.79 GHz after starting games. Even uninstalling Dragon Center did not change this, only after we disabled Game Mode did everything run smoothly again.
If we were in school and the teacher had to give a grade for MSI’s work, it would certainly be a 2. In any case, we can state that the workmanship, the materials used, the design as well as the sensor and button switches are rated well by us. However, the cable and the software are not as good. MSI should take another look at this and optimize both with a view to a 2nd generation.
The majority of the editors liked the GM41 Lightweight’s closed case better than the perforated ones, which are usually used in the lightweight class. Nevertheless, MSI’s mouse only weighs 65 grams, which is hardly more than the weight of the record holders in the segment. The nevertheless good and robust workmanship is impressive. As said, the bottom line is that the MSI GM41 Lightweight is a 2.