|Mad Catz Cyborg RAT 9 Wireless Gaming Mouse|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 22 November 2010|
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Closer Look: Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. 9
The Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. 9 comes in a box as edgy as the mouse within.
The angled front flap of the box is magnetically secured (making the Velcro fasteners ASUS uses on its Republic of Gamers motherboards seem cheap) and opens to reveal the mouse within, showing the detailed technical features of the mouse on the inside of the flap.
Once you finish unpacking the box, you'll find the mouse, the USB receiver/charger, two color-coded batteries for the mouse, a driver CD, and a metal box with extra mouse parts and weights. What you won't find is much in the way of documentation: a multi-language fold-out single page stuffed inside the CD sleeve is all you get. There is no documentation on the CD.
The mouse itself is likely the most visually impressive piece of hardware you'll ever have sitting next to your keyboard. Its broken, angular shape conjures visions of Stealth bombers, or advanced weapons prototypes.
The R.A.T. 9's angular aspect is in stark contrast to the smooth, organic shape of most modern mice. It looks as if it would be uncomfortable, but the mouse's adjustability and the rubberized coating that covers the entire surface of the mouse make it surprisingly nice to hold. The ridged cylinder above the thumb rest is a separate scroll wheel, operated by your thumb.
The R.A.T. 9 is functionally identical to Mad Catz' R.A.T. 7 mouse, which we reviewed here. The difference is that it's wireless. Thus, instead of a USB cable connecting the mouse to your computer, there's a (nicely sleeved) USB cable connecting a radio receiver to the computer. The receiver is rather large (especially compared to Logitech's minuscule "Unifying receiver"), but serves to charge the mouse battery as well as providing storage space for extra mouse weights (the knurled cylinder at the top of the receiver is the weight container). Two LEDs on the receiver show the mouse connection (left LED) and battery charge state (right LED). The batteries are color-coded, one with red markings and the other with gray markings, so you can keep track of them.
In the next section, I'll take a detailed look at this device.