Yesterday we caught a R.A.T. and immediately affixed sensors and probes to monitor its performance on the GR rat wheel. Upon completing out grueling series of cheese retrieval maze challenges, we played some games. The R.A.T.m performs well as a reduced size mobile mouse for laptops, tablets, phones and devices in between. It’s button layout is more suited for RTS, and RPG players where a firm demanding grip is not mandatory for twitch response. Yet the R.A.T.m is hampered by intermittent reception and response time issues.
Today it’s time to see what the country mouse cousin has to offer eager mobile gamers. The M.O.U.S 9 is another portable Bluetooth enable solution from MadCatz GameSmart line of peripherals. It serves up 10 programmable button, Bluetooth 4.0 and gaming grade 6400DPI Twin Eye laser sensor–just like the R.A.T.m. But this one is meant to be a companion to mobile gamers who feed their need with more action oriented titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Battlefield 3, Borderlands, Far Cry 3 and the like. Surprisingly the M.O.U.S. 9 has retained the same style and design of it’s more fully functioning older sibling in the R.A.T. 9.
It’s true. The form factor and styling remain the same. But the M.O.U.S 9 has lost nearly half its weight. The intent of this mouse, is to offer gamers and general purpose computer users, all the comfort and convenience of the R.A.T. 9 without the complexity and versatility required by more diehard gamers. So the weight system, comfort adjustment tool and thus comfort adjustments themselves have been removed–mostly. You can still slide the palm rest back and forth like the R.A.T.m. Regardless, the M.O.U.S 9 benefits immensely thanks to these omissions. The lighter M.O.U.S 9 is much easier to wield. Moreoever, on the R.A.T. 9, I found the screws would become loose after a while, thereby neutering any comfort adjustment made. All that is shed with the lighter and simpler M.O.U.S. 9
The M.O.U.S. 9 installs just like the R.A.T.m. Remove the Bluetooth dongle from underneath the M.O.U.S. 9 and plug it into your computer, laptop, tablet…etc. Then download the drivers and the software (2-sperate installs). Install them and you’re good to go. Customizing your new M.O.U.S. 9 is easier than ever. Just drag and drop the function you would like set for each button over to its corresponding icon within the software utilities. Again there are 10 programmable buttons in all, which includes the secondary thumb wheel. That can be used as another scrolling option or outfitted with 2 completely different functions. You can also record macros, save them and drag them over to your desired button.
For me and my larger hams and also my dislike for HAT switches, the M.O.U.S. 9 is the better mouse. It’s more comfortable, much larger and the HAT switch is replaced with a “Precision button” among the “Forward” and “Back” thumb buttons. Hold this down to slow your DPI down to a crawl so my better line up head shots with more precision. It’s a handy tool in first-person shooters, one we’ve seen used on a few other mice like the Corsair M60. It’s also fabulous to use in Photoshop and other media editing software where fine movement can assist in image editing.
Yet for all the M.O.U.S. 9 offers, it’s still held from greatness by similar intermittent receptions issues. I can’t seem to recreate the problem consistently. It’s just finicky and jumpy for seemingly no reason. But only intermittently. I hope this can patched out. I would hate to see such a marvelous mouse get owned by a bug.
Bottom Line: The R.A.T.m may have been one of the best mobile mice we’ve tested. But the M.O.U.S. 9 is better in nearly every way. It enjoys the same lasting battery life. But it’s bigger, more comfortableand I personally prefer its precision targeting button over the 4-way HAT switch on the R.A.T.m. But pray to gaming gods that bug fixe emerges for the intermittent reception issues from which both mice suffer.
- Great performance for mobile gamers
- Solid battery life
- Great versatility
- Easy and expansive software suite
- Larger and more comfortable than R.A.T.m
- Brief moments of lag from reception interference
You can buy the MadCatz M.O.U.S. 9 GameSmart mouse is available at Amazon for $129.99.