We’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with Mad Catz. They’re probably the most well-known 3rd-party video game accessory manufacturer on the planet, and that’s good and bad.
On the one hand, 3rd-party products are almost never as good as the official ones, but on the other hand, they tend to be cheaper and offer different features. Luckily, Mad Catz has managed to produce more useful products than not, and this trend is continuing onward and upward with their two new GameSmart-branded computer mice.
Both the R.A.T.M and M.O.U.S.9 are Bluetooth-enabled pointing devices, each with its own use.
The R.A.T.M is the company’s mobile offering while the M.O.U.S.9 is aimed at more traditional desktop users. Both devices come in an absolutely stellar looking jewel-moulded case. The case is made of a very rigid plastic that has a very quality feel to it. It sets the stage for the quality product you’re about to pull out of it.
There’s a surprising number of things to say about these two mice, especially considering they’re, well, computer mice.
Beginning with the smaller sibling, the R.A.T.M is made of glossy black plastic set atop a metal baseplate (glossy red, glossy white, and matte black options are also available). The plate gives the mouse some needed weight, but just enough to make it feel adequate rather than too much so as to weigh it down in your bag. You are meant to travel with it, after all.
There are a total of 10 programmable buttons on the R.A.T.M, making it ideal for true on-the-go gaming sessions. The included software makes it very easy to choose which button does what, though it would have been awesome if the software was a bit more user-friendly. To be honest, though, that’s neither here nor there, and since we’re not the hardcore-type to really play around with those controls much, it didn’t bother us at all.
The R.A.T.M features a remarkable 6400 dpi sensor that Mad Catz says will track on almost any surface. That’s especially awesome considering the slick pads on the bottom of the mouse are designed to glide smoothly on anything, making it ideal to use anywhere.
While the R.A.T.M is certainly a small mouse, it features an palm rest that extends to four different positions, and a rest for your thumb, assuming you’re right-handed (don’t bother trying to use either mouse if you’re a lefty). While the extension might help the long-handed sort, we actually found it to make the mouse a bit too cumbersome, though we suppose extra options are never a bad thing.
Considering the R.A.T.M is such a small mouse, Mad Catz didn’t skip any of the luxuries you might expect they would in a mobile offering. The build quality is excellent, battery life is quoted as up to a year, and the metal elements are more than welcome (and kind of a requirement for a product over $100).
The R.A.T.M works with Mac or PC and comes with a Bluetooth nano-dongle that hides away in the base of the mouse for easy traveling.
We find it hard not recommending the R.A.T.M to anyone who needs a supremely-built portable gaming-centric mouse. With that said, there are other options on the market for the more budget-conscious consumer, but if you’re looking for the best of the best, the R.A.T.M is probably your only choice.