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Review Canyon GM-20 Puncher - Budget King and Clawgripper's Dream

SCHUMI4EVER

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What if I told you that you could have all the fancy features of the top expensive gaming mice but unlike their price it would only cost you around half a grand (in ZAR)? But first a bit of story time.

In 2019 a revolution in mice started with manufacturers making lighter and lighter mice which was usually achieved through making the shell full of holes. Every major manufacturer by now has a mouse or 3 following this design principle and some even managed to achieve these lighter mice without the holes. This revolution has also now filtered down to the cheap no-name brands so today we will be looking at a mouse from a manufacturer you would have never considered but probably should, especially if you find yourself in a situation where every buck saved counts.



What we will be looking at today is the Puncher GM-20 from Canyon, a mouse which I consider to be an absolute dream for anyone using a claw or hybrid-claw grip. Don't get me wrong, finger and palm grips also work of course, it's not like you have to hold the mouse as if you were just electrocuted exclusively, but hybrid-claw is where it really shines.
Now usually when I review something I like making a list of the the things I like, the things I don't and all the neutral stuff but that is not going to work for this mouse. Unfortunately being so cheap some quality concessions have inevitably been made and therefore every pro comes with a con but also conversely every con comes with a pro.


First let us get the biggest con out of the way straight away and the most likely reason why you will decide against picking this mouse up. That would be the mouse wheel, it is a cheap loud rachety sometimes even squeaky son-of-a-gun. It's one of those that doesn't have "4D" movement but yet the hole is big and the wheel loose enough that you can actually push it to the right in 4D movement style, not that it does anything of course.
Scrolling down, so toward the DPI button, we are still in the terriotory of loud but just about acceptable ratchet wheel noise most of the time, when scrolling rapidly up however it becomes the clacketiest cheapest sounding wheel ever, likely due to that extra space I mentioned. It is not all bad news however because the actual wheel itself is a really nice place for my finger to be, nicer than I find it to be on many many mice with some nicely definded but soft rubber "steps" for you to rest your finger on. The actual stepping of the wheel is also clearly defined but at the same time the wheel does not excessively resist movement like some other wheels do, and beyond producing that cheap noise rapid scrolling is no problem. When wearing headphones or in an otherwise noisy environment the sound of the wheel pretty much goes away. I also find the height of the wheel to be just right, not so low it harder to scroll and not so high it becomes hard to click.
Another nice touch is that the wheel's LED serves as your DPI indicator, it will flash the colour of the set DPI, which is a feature I really like. Unfortunately this means however that the wheel is unlikely to conform to your RGB colour scheme as it does not form part of the mouse's RGB setting. That wheel LED also stays on regardless of what the RGB setting is so this is not a mouse you can set to be completely devoid of illumination.
Overall I'm happy with the wheel in the end, I just know this will be a point of contention for many so I am putting it out there front and center.


Next let us talk about the number one reason why you should pick this mouse up and that is the sensor. Now usually sensors are so good these days that they are a neutral item barely still worth considering or mentioning unless you get a flagship mouse using an older lesser sensor which would be classified as a major bummer. What you find here however is basically the reverse of that which is that a no-name manufacturer is using the venerable PixArt 3360, it is in fact the cheapest mouse I know of that uses this sensor. That fact says two things about this mouse, first that you absolutely need to consider this mouse if you are really concerned about budget, and secondly that perhaps this mouse isn't just a cheap trash product and that Canyon may actually know what they are doing. That second point is something that will become more and more apparent as this review progresses.


The time has come to talk about shape, although first we should perhaps talk about my grip style so you can better understand why I am so fond of it. I am a hybrid-claw using wrist-aimer and this mouse in my eyes has a fantastic shape. Now if those sound like foreign terms to you let me try to explain that to you. So basically my usual grip for any mouse is like a more relaxed claw, where the hybrid and wrist-aiming parts come in is that I aim not by moving my entire arm but instead articulating the mouse between my thumb and ring fingers as well as moving my wrist side to side. So for instance if I needed to aim up I would articulate the mouse forward between those fingers which means the fingers on top would extend to more of a finger-grip position. Likewise if need to aim down the thumb and ring-finger bring the mouse back into my palm forcing the fingers on top into a more aggressive claw stance. Basically what you want for this type of grip is for your thumb and ring-finger to be able to get a really nice purchase on the sides and for the mouse itself to sport a shorter more hourglass shape. This mouse absolutely delivers on the prior and gets the latter right too, both a lot better what I would consider to be its direct competitors and also most other ambidextrous-shaped mice.

This is achieved by moving away from RocketJumpNinja's all important "safe" shape and having more of a recess on the sides for your thumb and ring-finger to grip into. This mouse goes even further with the mouse actually being slightly smaller toward the bottom offering just a little more space for the finger to tuck in. This results in a slightly odd-looking footprint at the bottom but it is nothing worth worrying about, it is certainly not as harsh looking as it would appear. Back to the sides where there is an additional aid for grip thanks to an armada of little plastic nodules unlike the smooth and sometimes slippy side of other mice. Now you would think these little nodules made from cheap plastic would either be harsh or wear away in no time and so far neither is true and they are perfectly comfy. Of course the mold-injected rubber used on the Razer Viper is a lot nicer but that is market-leading and literally no one else measures up to that, not even Razer's other mice. It could be a lot worse though, you could get the cheap stuck-on rubber sides Steelseries used on their Rival 600 and 650 mice, rubber which then loosens and becomes frankly disgusting with glue leaking out the sides. No, none of that nonsense, I absolutely love the sides of this mouse.
Unfortunately the sides aren't all 100% because this is also where you you will find the side buttons, the next likely point of failure on this mouse. I am likely going to insert an image the of the side buttons where you can see the LED light of the mouse-wheel shining through around the button if I can get it on camera. That button looks easy to accidentally push right into the body and break entirely. At the same time however this also means the side buttons are really light to articulate, no moving mouse here when clicking them, and in addition they have a pleasant click to them. They are also easy to find right above that little thumb recesses.



The next logical step I suppose is to look at the body as a whole or more specifically its construction. The plastic used on the mouse feels cheap but it isn't overly slippy or unpleasant to touch. Unfortunately however, at least for some of you, this is a mouse with holes, in fact rather sizable and potentially gaudy looking ones. From a physical perspective I wouldn't say they bother me though as the only point of contact is basically the palm which in my case barely makes contact. In addition I like that they actually tried to give a sort of pattern to them rather than just an endless assortment of hexagons or whatever shape like other manufacturers do. The sort of center hole is actually large enough that if I just need click on something quick I can achieve that just by sticking my middle-finger in there to move the mouse and then obviously clicking with the index finger. Now holes usually mean a body that will compromise and creak when squeezing the mouse, usually harder than day to day operation would ever be but still, however not here. This mouse is solid no matter where I press, the only thing thing that happens is that if squeeze the top and bottom one of the side buttons ends up actuating. This actually puts it above of what I would consider be this mouse's closest competitor, the Cooler Master MM710/711 which is probably one of the creakiest on the market.


Moving on we shall talk about RGB which is not usually a logical step but it is for this mouse. We just talked about the holes, now for most people an additional drawback of holes beyond them not feeling or looking nice is that all the dust and other gunge will fall through and settle on the components inside. Some mice just claim the components will weather the storm, others claim they specially treat them to be more resistant or in Cooler Master's case supposedly even washable. What this mouse however does is something really smart and something I would love to see other manufacturers resorting to holes use, and that is that inside over the components is a small plastic dome which houses the RGB LEDs. This I feels is both a functional and stylish solution. Less stylish is the utterly idiotic exclamation mark Canyon decided to adorn the dome with, as well as the actual strength and complexity of the LEDs. The RGB is basic at best offering a limited selection of patterns which barely show a difference and also lacking in strength which may actually be a pro for some people. Definitely no chance of any Need for Speed Underground 2 style underglow here.


Ok what do we have left? The buttons and feet I suppose. Let's tackle the buttons first although there is not much to say. They are separated as I believe they should be and have super subtle comfort grooves which align perfectly with my fingers. Now I've got fat wide hands so on some mice my middle finger is forced to the side of the right button when I use the wheel but that doesn't happen here which is a major plus for me but likely a non-factor for you. The buttons have a pleasant and light click although I am not sure what switches they are using. They state 10 million clicks but in all my years I have never had the switches wear out on a mouse after use so even if this number is lower than that of competitors I highly doubt this will be an issue, besides competitors have had defects with much higher rated switches failing before their time. No pre or post travel of the buttons to speak of at all either. Between the buttons you will find a slightly diamond shaped DPI button which is easy to hit but I never feel at risk of hitting accidentally due to the raised position of my fingers in hybrid-claw.



Finally we come to the feet. Unfortunately again these aren't the thick white 100% PTFE feet you have come to expect and hope for on mice. They are instead thin standard-looking feet which however state 100% teflon as if it is some sort of feature. And it could well be a feature because the glide does not feel compromised in any way compared to my PTFE-using mice unlike my other teflon-using mice. Despite being small and thin support is adequate due to there being six instead of the usual 2 or 4-foot combination and there is not yet the slightest indication of wear after a month of using them. This means they do seem higher quality than on your random office mouse.



Almost forgot to talk about the cable and here we are talking just pure quality. A really nice flexible cloth cable with that can compete with the best of them with a raised entry point that puts the Razer Viper to shame. In fact that really nicely raise entry point means the final 2cm float above the mouse-pad at all times resulting in an even more wireless feeling than the other flexible cabled mice when paired with a bungie. Gold connector on the USB too with a removable cap as an added show of class.



The software is the software, nothing worth really mentioning. No omissions aside from perhaps no debounce or LOD adjustment and also no fancy features to make it stand out. No need to keep the software running as settings can be saved to the mouse although you might want to as you will produce a voice prompt of the selected DPI level when changing. No crashes, DPI button reassignable, 3 profiles can be saved but I can see no way of moving between them on the mouse so this seems a little pointless. RGB can be turned off but as mentioned not the LED on the mousewheel. And that should be about all that needs to be said there.


As an added bonus the mouse even comes with a free sticker, not a design I would want to stick anywhere but hey, it's a classy touch that even some of the big names don't have.


Ooof, that got lengthy, ok conclusion time. So I would consider this mouse's number one competitors to be the Razer Viper and the Cooler Master MM710/711. The Viper is undoubtedly more quality but it is also pricier and I personally consider its profile to be a little too low for my liking. So then we come to the Cooler Master MM710/711 which is closer in price but despite it having a quieter wheel and being from a more reputable company I feel this mouse from Canyon surpasses it in just about every other way.
This is a mouse you can tell was made on a budget resulting in that noisy wheel and easy to break side buttons but yet also exhibits intelligence with clever design touches like those plastic nodules on the side, the protective internal RGB dome and the DPI indication of the mousewheel LED. In fact it can even boast class-leading quality with that cable, especially its entry point, and how little body flex there is.
What we have here is a mouse that I really like and that has become and will stay on as my daily driver for a long time. That means I will be using it over the likes of the Razer Viper, MM711 and Glorious PGR Model O. As an added bonus there actually is even enough space on top of the mouse that I could consider using a 3-finger style, something I wouldn't want to do on any of my other mice.



From left to right: Canyon Puncher, Cooler Master MM711, Razer Viper, Glorious Model 0

And then just a close-up of the the more direct rivals, so VS the MM711

 
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