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REVIEW: Fnatic Gaming Peripheral Ecosystem

What's in a gaming ecosystem?

Poorna Shankar Posted:
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

In PC gaming, there are few peripherals more important than a keyboard and mouse. In fact, beyond these two vital peripherals, I have rarely given extra thought to a wider “ecosystem” surrounding them. Today, we’ll be looking at not just the keyboard and mouse, but the peripherals around it comprising this ecosystem. This is our review of the Fnatic PC peripheral ecosystem, featuring the Streak RGB keyboard, Clutch 2 Signature Edition mouse, mouse bungee, and Dash XD XL mouse mat.

I’ll break up this review into several parts, giving each peripheral its own section in which to analyze and critique what I like and dislike about them. Let’s begin by looking at the Streak RGB keyboard.

Keyboard – Streak RGB

The technical specifications for the Streak RGB are incredibly light, and aren’t readily listed on the site. I find this disappointing. Such information should be readily available to the consumer. However, according to the user guide, it boasts:

  • Price: $99.99 at time of writing (marked down from $129.99)
  • Size: 440 x 141 x 36m
  • With Palm Rest: 440 x 192 x 36m
  • MCU: NXP
  • Memory: 8 MB
  • Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
  • Cable: 2.2m USB
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • USB passthrough
  • RGB backlit keys
  • Programmable buttons
  • Included adjustable wrist rest

The model I received contained Red Silent switches:

  • Quieter (than Red) linear smooth travel
  • 9mm pre travel / 3.7mm total travel
  • Guaranteed 50 million operations
  • 45g Force

Overall build quality is quite solid, with little flex. While it isn’t as compact as a 10-keyless, it still nevertheless felt compact on my desk. The volume wheel as well as dedicated mute switch are both welcome. This is a sturdy keyboard.

Attaching the wrist rest to the keyboard was incredibly simple and straightforward. The wrist rest is adjustable, utilizing an aluminum plate with magnets to move and snap the new position in place. The pad is soft but supportive. As someone who won’t even consider keyboards without wrist rests, I was very pleased by the comfort and adjustability of the included wrist rest.

The Streak RGB contains programmable keys which can be programmed using the button marked with the Fnatic logo. I don’t really use macros, but I found the functionality adequate. Additionally, that same button can be used to toggle “competition mode.” Using the accompanying software, you can enable/disable your desired keys for competition mode.

fnatic competition mode

Speaking of the software, it’s not as robust as other software like Corsair’s iCue, but it’s far more straightforward and far less cumbersome. You have options to adjust your lighting pattern, speed, and color. While you cannot create layers of lighting like iCue, the functionality provided will get the job done for those who simply want RGB and the ability to adjust it.

fnatic lighting

How does the Streak RGB perform? Well, it depends. For day to day activities such as typing, I found the Red Silent switches to provide more resistance than I’d like. I’m a fast typist, and I like having almost zero resistance. This is why I type most articles on my laptop.

For gaming testing, I used the Switch RGB for the two games I’m playing most at this time: Valorant and Death Stranding (review in progress, by the way). During Death Stranding, I found the Streak RGB to be just fine during use. However, I strongly suspect that this is down to the relatively low-key, chilled nature of the game. Death Stranding doesn’t require sudden movements or instant reaction, therefore I found the Red Silent switches to be just fine.

Fnatic  Streak RGB keyboard

However, the Red Silent switches of the Streak RGB proved to be a real hindrance for me in Valorant. Going back to my preference of little resistance and extremely short actuations, the Streak RGB caused me to miss crouches, strafes, and spike plants far too often during critical times in-game. I felt like I had to really press down, and when I did, I simply wasn’t confident that my key press was registered due to the inherently soft and mushy feel of the Red Silent switches.

My overall thoughts on the Streak RGB are therefore heavily influenced by such frustration. While the build quality and feature set of the Streak RGB are quite solid, the Red Silent switches genuinely hampered my overall experience. Additionally, the non-marked down price of $129.99 is simply too much for a keyboard such as this. As I’ll reiterate and expand on in the mouse section below, I believe the maximum budget for a mid-range keyboard + mouse should be $150 total. The original $129.99 price is too high here.

Mouse – Clutch 2 Signature Edition

Once again, we’re light on actual technical specifications for the Clutch 2 Signature Edition from the official site. However, some specs are provided on the packaging:

  • Price: $64.99
  • Size: 131.9 x 65.7 x 43.4mm
  • Weight: 97g
  • Sensor: Pixart 3360
  • Resolution: 12000 CPI
  • Increments: 100 CPI/step
  • Speed: 250 IPS (Typ)
  • Acceleration: 50G (max)
  • Frame rate: up to 12000 fps
  • Switches: Omron D2FC-F-K(50M)
  • Polling rate: 1000 Hz
  • MCU: NXP
  • Memory: 8 MB
  • Cable: 2.8m USB
  • Warranty: 2 years

The Clutch 2 Signature Edition is designed around a palm grip. This suits me just fine as this is the only grip I use. To that end, I found the mouse to be quite ergonomic. I never felt cramped or felt hand stress during gameplay or general use. Additionally, the weight of the Clutch 2 Signature Edition is almost perfect for me. If I had to nitpick, it’s a tad light as I prefer slightly heavier mice, but it was honestly just fine.

The Clutch 2 Signature Edition also features two thumb buttons on the side, plus a profile switcher button below the mouse wheel. Starting with the thumb buttons, I found the thumb button closest to me to be just fine to reach. However, the button farther away saw me reach, forcing me to slightly adjust my grip. In tense situations in Valorant, this proved to be a hassle as that button is bound to my communication wheel. The actual actuation of these buttons were great, providing a tactile click and satisfactory feel. In a word, they felt reliable.

To that end, the actual left and right mouse buttons felt decent. In Death Stranding, they were just fine, but in Valorant, I wish the actuation force was lighter. As is the theme here, I prefer low actuation forces, and I found the force required to click the left and right mouse buttons heavier than I’d like.

fnatic clutch 2 signature edition

Let’s talk about the scroll wheel. While the rubberized texture on the wheel gave me confidence to not slip off of it, the actual scrolling feedback and wheel button click were entirely unsatisfactory. The scrolling feels quite mushy, with each scroll step almost blending into the next. I like distinct scroll steps so that I know and feel when the wheel settles – this was not the case here.

Additionally, the wheel button click required far too much force and felt nowhere near as tactile as I prefer. Again, I like strong, tactile clicks – the Clutch 2 Signature Edition’s mouse wheel fell far short for both the scroll and the button. I wish Fnatic simply used the thumb button switches in the scroll wheel. It would have made for a far superior experience in my opinion.

fnatic mouse settings

The software options for the Clutch 2 Signature Edition are, like the Streak RGB keyboard, straightforward. You can adjust DPI, lighting, polling rate, and lift off height. I do appreciate that you can adjust DPI of X and Y axes independently. Honestly, more peripheral providers should allow for this. You can also adjust the mouse key bindings along three profiles which you can switch between using the profile switcher button just below the mouse wheel.

Overall, I was left unimpressed with the Clutch 2 Signature Edition. While the build quality, weight, and thumb buttons were perfectly fine, I really disliked the scroll wheel and positioning of the thumb buttons. These were real disappointments.

Additionally, as I mentioned above, I believe the maximum budget for a mid-range keyboard and mouse should be $150. With the Streak RGB and Clutch 2 Signature Edition, you’re hitting $165. And if you factor in the original non-marked down price of the Streak RGB, this total comes to $195. In my opinion, the Clutch 2 Signature Edition is far too expensive. If you’re spending $65 on this mouse, I’d recommend paying the $15 more for (in my opinion) the superior Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury.

Mouse Bungee + Dash XD XL Mouse Mat

Let’s begin with specs for the Dash XD XL mouse mat:

  • Price: $54.99
  • SURFACE: Hybrid Textured Cloth
  • LARGE: 487 x 372mm
  • XL DESK: 950 X 500mm
  • THICKNESS: 3mm
  • EDGE: Stitched
  • BASE: Natural Rubber

In a word, the Dash XD XL feels sublime. It’s absolutely massive, taking up the majority of usable space on my desk. But I don’t mind this as it guarantees an even surface no matter how I configure my keyboard, mouse, and peripherals across my desk. The Streak RGB felt planted on this mouse mat, while the Clutch 2 Signature Edition glided across it effortlessly. This mouse mat is easily the best I’ve used. My only issue with it is the comparatively higher price as seen in the image below. Some may be fine with paying $55 for a mouse mat, but it’s a tad too rich for my blood.

fnatic dash xd xl prices

The mouse bungee is fairly straightforward as well. Here’s how it’s described by Fnatic:

  • Price: $19.99
  • The bungee elevates cables by 10cm and reduces cable drag by up to 90%
  • Adjustable arm height for varying amounts of cable slack
  • Springy extension to adjust to varying mouse movements
  • Heavyweight + grippy feet ensures your stability for your flickshots
  • Plastic, Nylon
  • 7cm x 5.5cm x 7.1cm - 220g

Like the mouse mat, the mouse bungee feels amazing. More importantly, it simply disappears while in use. A good mouse bungee must elevate your mouse cable to reduce or eliminate cable drag, while not hindering sudden movements. This mouse bungee does exactly that. The mouse bungee grips the mouse mat firmly and remains planted during intense use in Valorant thanks to its heavy base. Additionally, I fully extended the spring arm and felt no resistance during such tense play. The mouse bungee performed perfectly and is a great addition to my setup.

fnatic mouse bungee

Closing Thoughts on the Fnatic Ecosystem

I’m a bit conflicted in my overall thoughts after using the Fnatic ecosystem. On one hand, I really did enjoy the Dash XD XL mouse mat and the mouse bungee. These two peripherals really added to my gaming experience.

However, this was hampered by my frustrations with the Streak RGB keyboard and the Clutch 2 Signature Edition mouse. As I detailed above, I really dislike Silent switches of any kind, and their use in the Red switches of the Streak RGB genuinely disadvantaged me in fast competitive shooters like Valorant.

Additionally, the mouse wheel, left and right mouse buttons, and overall price of the Clutch 2 Signature Edition mouse are deeply unsatisfactory. The unreliable mushy scroll wheel + button coupled with the high price of the mouse result in a product I simply cannot recommend.

Therefore, while I can recommend the mouse bungee and Dash XD XL mouse mat (if you’re fine with the price), I cannot recommend Clutch 2 Signature Edition mouse. Pay the extra $15 and grab yourself the Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury. As for the Streak RGB, if you’re fine with Silent switches, it’s a perfectly adequate keyboard. As for me, I’d have preferred the Reds.

Pros:

  • Mouse bungee is fantastic
  • Mouse mat provides a vast canvas, quick mouse glide, and grippy surface for keyboard and bungee
  • Solid build quality for the Streak RGB, mouse bungee, and Dash XD XL mouse mat
  • Software is straightforward, lightweight, stable, and requires no login

Cons:

  • Red Silent switches legitimately hindered competitive play
  • Mouse scroll wheel lacks tactile feel
  • Clutch 2 Signature Edition price is far too expensive

Disclosure: The Fnatic products discussed were provided by the manufacturer for review.


ShankTheTank

Poorna Shankar

A highly opinionated avid PC gamer, Poorna blindly panics with his friends in various multiplayer games, much to the detriment of his team. Constantly questioning industry practices and a passion for technological progress drive his love for the video game industry. He pulls no punches and tells it like he sees it. He runs a podcast, Gaming The Industry, with fellow writer, Joseph Bradford, discussing industry practices and their effects on consumers.