|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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Gaming Hardware Final Thoughts
Anything aimed at a gaming audience is going to come under an intensive amount of scrutiny. When the difference between your insane skills and a headshot lies with the interface of which the mouse facilitates, you expect that it'll do exactly as you've instructed. There's no room for a margin of error, a delay, or even an awkward weight balance - it needs to be perfect.
But, perfection isn't easily defined. A mouse which one gamer claims to be excellent, may be openly mocked by another. It's a matter of personal preference, as well as personal skill. Yes, a gaming mouse may be the difference between a good game and an ok one, but it won't fix an unskilled gamer. A mouse should be chosen for comfort and accuracy, not because of claims of pwnage from a gaming champion.
In the end, a talented gamer is able to do their deeds on the cheapest of hardware. High-end kit makes the process less intensive, and more comfortable. As they say, a good tradesman never blames his tools.
Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. 7 Conclusion
Using the Cyborg R.A.T. 7 was an interesting experience. The innovation that was conjured to produce this device is tremendously impressive. However, like any product brought to our attention, the final recommendation lies with the overall impression of the product.
To put it bluntly, the performance of the R.A.T. 7 leaves a lot to be desired. Despite the 5600 DPI Twin-Eye sensor working very well on a smooth surface, it falls from grace when lifted due to oddities such as tracking delay and erroneous cursor translation. If you're a gamer who lifts their mouse during play, you may want to do some research before parting with your hard earned cash. It'd be interesting to see if these issues can be fixed in a future update, but there's no guarantee, and we can only work with what we've got.
Aesthetics of this quirky peripheral will have people divided. Its soft matte black coating and complex beauty make it a treat to look at - if you're into that kind of thing. The bare-metal bottom can be seen between the gaps of the modular upper components, which gives it an awesome industrial look. If the pictures on the previous pages aren't convincing, it may be worth your while to locate one in a brick-and-mortar store for inspection.
It terms of build quality, the R.A.T. 7 is surprisingly solid. The metal frame and quality plastic parts work well together to produce a solid product. Each component of the mouse fits tightly and rigidly, with no identifiable point of failure. Wearing of the moving parts shouldn't be a problem unless you're doing an insane amount of adjusting. The buttons and scroll wheels feel solid and durable.
Regarding overall functionality, the R.A.T. 7 offers many features which make it attractive. The adjustable pinkie/palm rests, thumb scroll, DPI/mode buttons, and the dedicated precision aim button are handy, as is the software which gives the user a convenient way to micro-manage their new toy. However, the main function of a mouse is to move a cursor, and in this case, to do it with great precision. The seemingly picky surface compatibility of the R.A.T. 7 leads to the frustrating task of finding a suitable tabletop/mousepad, when it should be expected that a device of this caliber work without issue on almost any smooth opaque surface. It's also quite heavy for users who prefer a lighter mouse.
The overall value of the mouse is a little disappointing. Priced for $79.99 at NewEgg, you'd be right to expect a near perfect device. Unfortunately, the tracking issues and exuberant weight make the asking price a bit rich. The visuals scream high-end, but it falls short when it comes down to the nitty gritty.
All in all, the Cyborg R.A.T. 7 is a promising device, which given a few tweaks, could very well be the next 'must have' gaming peripheral. But as it stands, the few shortfalls it has affect the most critical aspects of a gaming mouse - the tracking - and thus, it's difficult to recommend this device.