|Mad Catz Cyborg RAT-7 Laser Gaming Mouse|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Vito Cassisi - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 03 August 2010|
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Testing & Results
The method for testing the R.A.T. 7 is quite simple - we're just going to use it. Because computer mouses are highly subjective devices, it's difficult to quantitatively analyse it. Thus, the aim is to find the good and bad aspects via everyday usage. Your mileage may vary.
Note: Saitek, another Mad Catz company, offer a little application to remove unwanted cursor effects such as acceleration. The application be found here, and was used during testing.
Weight and Physical Adjustment
Similar to most high-end offerings, the R.A.T. 7 allows the user to add metal weights to adjust handling. Up to 30g of weight can be added in 6g increments. With the bare mouse weighing in at approximately 150g, the added weights bring the total up to 180g. That's one hefty rodent!
The weights are inserted at the rear of the mouse. When the hex key is removed, the spring-loaded weight section is revealed. Adding and removing the weights is simple, and the spring does its job in keeping them still.
With all removable parts detached, the mouse looks as it does below. Notice the increments where the palm rest usually lies. These little slots facilitate the ability to adjust the position of the rest. Directly under this is the metal rod which holds the weights. The hole-ridden metal to the right secures the included pinkie attachments.
Usage Results - Tracking and accuracyThe quality of the R.A.T. 7's Philips Twin-Eye 5600 DPI sensor was tested both in and out of game environments. Through ordinary use, a couple of interesting phenomenon became apparent.
The first involves physically lifting the mouse. Raising the mouse and lowering it again incurs a short delay in responsiveness. When the mouse is placed onto a surface, it will can take up to one second before it’ll respond to movement. Gamers who depend on lifting their mouse to reposition it aren't going to be impressed. Testing revealed that this delay was dependant on the surface used. The worst case was on a Razer eXactMat, followed by a wood veneer desk. The former would delay for close to a second, the latter approximately half a second. On a white melamine desk, the mouse appeared to respond instantly. Furthermore, there’s no known fix for this issue, and the most that could be found on this matter were gamers dissing the quality of ‘Twin-Eye’ lasers.
The second is also lifting related, except it takes effect when the laser is still in range with the surface. Lifting the mouse slowly, then placing it back onto the ground causes the cursor to flick in a south-east direction. This is a known issue, often attributed to devices with ‘Twin-Eye’ lasers.Traction between the R.A.T. 7 and a Razer eXactMat was underwhelming. Although the mouse has a small coefficient of friction compared to the G9, it feels clingy at times, such that moving the mouse at slow speeds would make it difficult to precisely navigate the cursor. This was the case on both the ‘control’ and ‘speed’ surfaces of the eXactMat. On a bare wood veneer desk, the mouse performed well. It’s difficult to tell why the difference between the surfaces was so vast, our suspicions lie with the mouse’s many small PTFE (think Teflon) feet compared to the two larger PTFE feet of the G9. It’s possible that this situation may change after a bit of wear-in.
During gaming, the mouse performs as you’d expect. Playing Just Cause 2 with ‘enhance pointer precision’ disabled in control panel, the accuracy was spot on. It didn’t take long for the weight of the device is become irritating, and at points when the mouse had to be lifted, the aforementioned tracking anomalies wreaked havoc.