|Mad Catz Call of Duty: Black Ops Stealth Mouse|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Friday, 03 December 2010|
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Cyborg Detailed Features
There are many features on the Black Ops Stealth Mouse that make the mouse more comfortable to use and easier to fit to your gaming preference. Probably the most lauded feature of the Black Ops Stealth Mouse is the precision aim button.
This little red button is located on the thumb pad positioned low for activation by the thumb tip. When holding the precision aim button the mouse sensitivity is decreased to give you more accuracy when needed...especially for those zoomed-in sniper shots. The amount of sensitivity change can be customized from zero 0-100% using the included software. I really like the precision aim button, but for me it is in a bad location. I use a modified palm grip optimized for activating the forward and back buttons while browsing or gaming. This puts the pad of my thumb under the forward button and the knuckle of my thumb under the back button. This requires a stretch to get my thumb-tip to hold the precision aim. It would be much more convenient if the precision aim button were a few millimeters towards the back of the mouse.
The next most notable feature of the Stealth Mouse is the adjustable palm rest. It can be moved in or out with a range of between a one-half and three-quarters of an inch. According to Mad Catz this allows the palm rest to adjust for different grip styles (palm, claw, flat, hybrid, or whatever). Since I always optimize around the forward and back buttons the adjustable palm made it very easy to put my thumb in a comfortable position and adjust the palm to keep it there. Because I have large hands, on other mice I have to teach my palm to rest in an unnatural position. With the rest fully extended I noticed that the front end of the mouse lifts up too easily. In order to avoid this I adjusted the weights to be located closer to the center of the mouse.
The forward and back buttons on the Stealth Mouse are slightly unconventional. They're long, skinny and located high up on the thumb rest. Right behind these two buttons is the very unique thumb scroll-wheel. It behaves just like a normal scroll wheel, but by default doesn't work for side-scrolling. In fact, side-scrolling is non-standard such that there is no standard method used by all applications. It's just as well because side-scrolling is terribly inconvenient to use with a full-out palm grip since the hand covers the wheel. In my grip there is enough space under my index finger for my thumb to activate the wheel. At best it is a secondary input.
One last thought on the thumb buttons. They have a strong spring which requires slightly more force than most mice I've used. I really like this for two reasons. One, it keeps you from accidentally clicking a button while going for the thumb-wheel. Two, it is much easier to click only the button intended. Too often on my Diamondback or Inferno (where the buttons have light springs) I go for one and accidentally get both. But I'm a button masher, so you might not have this issue.
Model CD74371200A1 uses a weighting mechanism similar to previous R.A.T. models. Five weights at six grams each provide a 30 gram range. Without the weights the Stealth Mouse is very light and speedy. Including all the weights adds some mass for stabilizing accuracy, but the mouse is still quite fast. Some users may desire even more weight. Without the spring there is room on the pole for probably three more weights.
If any weights are not being used the Stealth Mouse comes with a plastic carrying case for the extras. Although I like a light mouse I use all 30 grams.
Possibly the most unique addition to the Stealth Mouse is a Call of Duty: Black Ops dog tag USB drive. In most pictures it looks like some chinsy piece of plastic. It's actually made from metal with excellent construction. The drive interface slides out of the bottom with a USB 2.0 interface. The drive is pre-loaded with the driver software and a code for a Call of Duty: Black Ops mini guide by Bradygames. My main complaint is that the drive is only 1 GB.Now that we've seen the hardware let's take a look at the software from that USB drive.