Mad Catz R.A.T. M Review

Mad Catz R.A.T. M

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Mad Catz R.A.T M Review – Introduction

Mad Catz made a splash with their R.A.T. series of highly-customizable gaming mice years ago, and the line has continued with several new models and even a wireless version of this monster peripheral. A new version of the R.A.T. is out; a smaller, wireless subspecies intended for gaming on the go. We spent some time with the R.A.T. M and here are our thoughts.

Customizability

The R.A.T. series of gaming mice are known for their customizability, and the increasing complexity of their features. The full-sized R.A.Ts have things like an extra scroll wheel placed under the thumb, a Precision Aim button for changing the resolution on the fly, and panels that expand or contract for a custom fit.

It still retains the vast assemblage of extra buttons and sticks that a gaming mouse should have

The new R.A.T. M retains many of the features from its larger cousins, but the second scroll wheel is gone, and it doesn’t have quite as many option for adjusting the fit. The thumb rest isn’t movable as with the other R.A.Ts, and the removable weights found on some other versions of the R.A.T. are gone too. The latter is actually a good thing for a mouse that’s intended to be portable. Nonetheless, the R.A.T. M still has a good heft to it and feels like a sturdy device.

Like its larger counterparts, the R.A.T. M has a sliding grip that extends out the bottom to make it longer. When fully extended the mouse is a little over four inches long, and when retracted it’s about three and a half. While this helps make it more functional gamers with average sized hands, it’s still too small for people with large hands.

Buttons and More Buttons

It still retains the vast assemblage of extra buttons and sticks that a gaming mouse should have; aside from the basic M1, M2, and scroll wheel, it also has a second button next to the index finger. This button is very large, and can be programmed to serve as whatever key the player wants. It’s useful for common actions like reloading or for games that have a dedicated grenade button. By the thumb there’s a joystick which is Clickable so that up to five commands can keyed to it. Above this are the standard M4 and M5 buttons.

 

To help make all of these buttons more manageable, the R.A.T. M comes with its own software package. This not only allows users to program the buttons individually, but it also has a series of downloadable profiles for common games. Aside from games there are also profiles for common productivity software and web browsing.

Functional for gamers with average sized hands, it's still too small for people with large hands

One very nifty feature is a small tab right at the base of the scroll wheel. This is positioned so that it can be easily tapped with the middle finger. It’s there to switch between resolutions. The R.A.T. M has a maximum resolution of 6400 DPI, but players can program it to lower resolution if they like, then switch between them with this tab. In practice this means that players can quickly change between the one setting when engaging in frantic action, but then switch to the another resolution when interacting with menus, or using precise aim. It’s also useful for gamers who use their gaming mouse as an everyday mouse.

The R.A.T. M uses bluetooth to connect, and it has a USB dongle as well as a direct connection for devices that don’t have USB ports (Or any to spare). There’s a compartment in the bottom of the mouse that holds the USB dongle (Which is about the size of a thumbnail). It runs on two AAA batteries with a purported battery life of up to a year. Our test has used the R.A.T. M as a primary mouse for several weeks and already seen the pack-in batteries decline by about 25%. This could just be a reflection on the quality of the batteries included, though. The R.A.T. M has an off switch to save battery power, but it also goes into a sort of sleep mode when unused to save battery life. The Mad Catz software also displays the battery life so users know where they stand.

Mad Catz R.A.T M Review – Conclusion

The R.A.T. M’s major failing is its size. It’s intended to be portable and it certainly is but gamers with larger than average mitts will find it to be too dainty. However players with dainty hands should find the R.A.T. M to be a welcomed addition to the line up of gaming mice. Regardless of size it’s still an intricate yet practical gaming accessory that runs a little cheaper than most of the other items in the R.A.T. series. 

Positives

  • Complex functionality in a small size
  • Has most of the distinct features of the larger R.A.T. mice
  • Has software profiles for non-gaming apps

Negatives

  • Very small
 

Article By

Charles Battersby is a playwright, actor, theater critic and video game journalist. He founded the U.S. Department of Electronic Entertainment (www.DoEE.us) and also runs www.TheaterForNerds.com. Learn more at: www.CharlesBattersby.com

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