I think most would agree, when it comes to rodents, the cute fluffy kind are much preferred than the bit fat wiry wiskered grey kind. Such is what gaming peripheral purveyor Madcatz has newly forged. The MadCatz R.A.T.m mouse is built from a mold nearly identical to the one used in the now legendary R.A.T. 7 gaming rodent. Yet this time things come in a much smaller stature.
Designed for mobility, he MadCatz R.A.T.m is a tiny thing. Yet it’s got the DNA of its forebears in the looks and performance. Firstly, the R.A.T.m works wireless via Bluetooth. Don’t sweat it if your system doesn’t have baked in Bluetooth support. The R.A.T.m comes with a tiny USB Nano Dongle Bluetooth receive that can be tucked within the mouse when you’re on the go. The kit also comes with a pair AAA batteries, carrying pouch, instruction manual, and some stickers. This new line of GameSmart peripherals is crafted to work with a host of Bluetooth enabled devices, including Smartphones, laptops tablets and crossbreeds in between.
Remove the USB Bluetooth dongle from within the mouse and place it in an available USB port on your laptop or desktop computer. Windows will install the drivers and the mouse will auto-pair for immediate use. The R.A.T.m doesn’t offer as many comfort adjustment options as it’s big bro. But you can move the palm rest back 2-3 inches, so large hands fit more comfortably. There are 10 programmable, which include the 4-way HAT switch style thumb switch. So MMO and general RPG games have much to tweak. The programming software is simple fair but is downloadable from the company website and not included with main kit. It’s a keen utility set that uses a drag-and-drop system for assigning button functions. There’s even support for Windows 8 charms and other customizable features from the new Windows OS.
For a gaming mouse of such reduced size, I was blown away by the comfort. I wouldn’t suggest it as a gaming mainstay. But it gets the job done nicely for gaming on the go, minus a few interference hiccups resulting brief moments of lag. It also makes a great casual gaming device to compliment a home theater or miniPC setup, which seem to be all the rage. The main R.A.T. 9 comes with removable palm wrest for different heights. I would like to see something similar included here. Also the glossy finish is a bit too slippery for a mouse so small. You want every bit of grip and traction you can muster with this one. So choose your color wisely as a matte version is available.
But this is a damn good looking mouse that performs as you may expect. The sensor used is the Twin Eye 6400dpi sensor. It’s one the better offerings from Twin Eye, who are not necessarily my favorite–sometimes plagued with slowed response times. But this version is power-efficient. A pair of AAA batteries are said to last 1-year. I say . Of course the fine print admittedly says this is based on usage. Still the Twin Eye seems to function sufficiently for casual on-the-go gaming. I can play Borderlands 2, FireFall and Warframe just fine. But Counter-Strike: GO, CoD: Black Ops 2 and Battlefield 3 are more punishing to the player with poor precision. So take heed.
Bottom Line: The R.A.T.m is one the best wireless mobile mice I’ve tested. It was its supposed to quite well with multiple comfort options, 10 programmable buttons a competent and power-efficient laser sensor. It needs texture and a it we could get a rechargeable stand with optional tethering option and dual sensor function so we didn’t have to rely on Twin Eye ALL the time. Then MadCatz would have the best wireless gaming mouse the world has ever known. Alas…
- Great performance for mobile gamers
- Solid battery life
- Great versatility
- Easy and expansive software suite
- A bit too small for some and/or prolonged use
- Brief moment of lag from reception interference
You can buy the R.A.T.m GameSmart gaming mouse is available at Amazon for $122.83.
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.