|Mad Catz Call of Duty: Black Ops Stealth Mouse|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Friday, 03 December 2010|
Page 7 of 7
Gaming Mouse Final Thoughts
Now that gaming mice have reached a new standard in performance, something new must emerge to distinguish the best from the worst. Like musical instruments the determining factors will be different for each person. By comparing the Call of Duty: Black Ops Stealth Mouse to others in the same class I think that three major features will make that distinction. The first is button purity. I've never seen any statistical studies comparing the error rates or reaction speeds for different button layouts, but I'll bet this makes a huge difference in office and gaming performance. For me, layout is typically what separates one mouse from another. I need buttons that are easy to hit and only click when I want them to. The second factor is ergonomics. The Stealth Mouse makes a step in the right direction with an adjustable palm rest, but there is much more room for innovation. Especially in the office where computer jockeys spend all day using these things it would be nice to have a mouse that not only works well but feels good to use. That third and last factor I think will make a difference in future mice is the software. Until you experience the convenience of not installing drivers and software you don't know what you're missing. Even at that it takes some smart software that will allow users to manage a plethora of advanced features without requiring a degree in computer science.
The laser sensor is an advance over other technologies of the past because it has enabled high resolutions, fast mouse speeds, high acceleration and reliable tracking. But there is still room for improvement. Not all mouse surfaces are compatible with the laser, and the lifting behavior causes enough problems that lots of people are noticing. Addressing these issues will hopefully spur a new, better generation of human input devices.
Mad Catz Black Ops Stealth Mouse Conclusion
Ratings for any given product always depend on the time of the review and the personal experience and preferences of each reviewer. In such a quickly evolving market the prices and value ratings can often change quickly. As such it is always recommended that less emphasis be placed on the actual number ratings as much as the qualitative experience. Additionally, some users have different styles and techniques or notice things that aren't always possible by one person. As such we value your comments about the Mad Catz COD Mouse.
With 5600 DPI and a huge acceleration capacity the Stealth Mouse is a top performer. Model CD74371200A1is a wired mouse and did not suffer from any lag or wireless integrity issues. The Z-Axis issue was present due to the twin laser sensor, but the pros of the laser sensor outweigh the cons so this is a minor ding at most. The buttons performed flawlessly and the thumb wheel is a nice innovation adding two convenient extra buttons. The mode button was extremely difficult to press on the fly and will not work well for live-action scenarios. Finally, the laser doppler technology worked great for every surface I tried from hard and glossy to soft and textured.
The Stealth mouse shares the same form as the Cyborg R.A.T. line and is subject to the same opinions good or bad. The Black Ops face-lifton the mouse and the USB drive make this a collector's item if you're a big fan of the game. I find the blocky shape of the wings and mouse outline to be a little odd, but not bad enough to not use or not like the mouse.
Mad Catz made great choices on the textures and materials for the scroll wheels and shell. The surfaces were very easy to grip, buttons easy to push and the frame is solid, sturdy and light. By default the weights are positioned at the far back of the mouse, but it is a quick fix to put them closer to the center of the mouse. While using the palm rest fully extended this switch was a necessity to keep the front of the mouse from lifting off the mouse pad. In general the springs used in the buttons were nice and sturdy to prevent accidental clicks, but the scroll wheel needed firmer clicks.
A new standard has been set by other gaming mice with internal memory for saving settings and no need for a driver. The Stealth Mouse still requires driver and configuration software which are included on the dog-tag USB drive. The software was at least easy to install and use. The macros allow for a wide range of possibilities and are limited to key presses, mouse clicks, and a small range of application functions. Profiles can be saved to and loaded from hard drive or USB drive, but the default profile must be located on the hard drive. The adjustable palm rest is a step in the right direction for ergonomics and adjustability, hopefully we'll se more in the future.
You can find the COD: Black Ops Stealth Mouse on sale for $91.63 at Amazon or $99.99 at NewEgg, the same as it's wireless cousin the R.A.T. 9. In place of the swappable panels wireless capability you get a wired mouse with a paint job and a 1GB USB drive shaped like a dog tag. At this price point the main competition is specialty and super-high performance products. The performance may merit a higher price, but other mice with slightly less performance can be found for much cheaper. If you're a huge fan of the Cyborg mice and the COD games then the collector's quality of this package may well be worth the money.
+ Precision Aim Button
Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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