|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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CCB437090002/02/1 Detailed Features
Mad Catz' Cyborg R.A.T. 7 and R.A.T. 9 mice are unique in the degree of adjustability they have. And I'm talking about adjusting the size and shape of the mouse itself, rather than tweaking button functions in software (although they can do that, too). The R.A.T. 9 comes with three different palm rests and three different pinkie grips. The palm rests can be described as "normal", "raised" (sits about 3/8" higher than the normal palm rest), and a version with a textured rubber pad. The pinkie panels are "normal", "rubber padded", and "extended"; the last providing a shelf for your ring and little fingers to rest on. A separate plastic cylinder with a screw-on cap serves as a storage area for extra mouse weights, but is kept in the receiver.
In addition to replacing the panels, you can slide the palm rest in and out, and adjust the thumb grip forwards and backwards along the length of the mouse, as well as pivot it in and out. The photo below shows the R.A.T. 9 with its palm rest and thumb grip all the way in (left) and all the way out (right). This top view of the mouse also shows the resolution adjustment button just below the scroll wheel, and the mode change button on the raised area to the left of the left mouse button. The ability to alter the physical size and shape of the mouse is a wonderful innovation and will enable people with almost any size hands to get a perfect fit...as long as they're right-handed.
Mad Catz includes a number of 6-gram circular metal weights with the mouse that slide onto a rod under the palm rest. Using these weights you can significantly change the feel of the mouse. The nut that secures the weights also serves as a hex key that's used to loosen the adjustment screws on the mouse, which you need to do to adjust the thumb grip and replace the pinkie rest. While we're looking at the thumb grip, see that bright red button towards the front of it? That's your Precision Aim, aka "sniper mode" button. It's marked with a little crosshair in case you forget what it's for.
While the R.A.T. 9 is functionally identical to the R.A.T. 7, looking at the bottom of both mice shows some differences. The R.A.T. 9 (on the left) gains an on/off switch just to the left of the laser "eye", and its rectangular battery pack can be seen at the upper left rear of the image. The R.A.T. 7 mouse has a large blank area in the same place; it seems as though Mad Catz designed the R.A.T. mice with a wireless version in mind.
The bottom of the mouse shows the laser sensor and weight stack. While Mad Catz doesn't say, the sensor seems to be the same Phillips PLN2032 "Twin Eye" sensor that's becoming common in high-end gaming mice. This sensor supports extremely high resolution, but some users have reported tracking problems on some surfaces. A marketing phrase on the bottom of the mouse ("CYBORG Dynamic Ergonomics") seems to imply that the mouse shape will change in real time as you use it. Fortunately it does not.
It's not all about hardware, though. The R.A.T. 9 comes with some software to enable you to customize its operations.