MadCatz have garnered a lot of attention over the years with their transforming gaming peripherals as a very different approach to the normal research of ergonomics, and they’re looking to bring that shape to form a more portable asset.
Rather than over-analyzing the shape of the average body and bone structure to weave into a £60 input device, they throw you a fancy looking bit of hardware and then throw you more bits of the same hardware to tweak the original into a beast that fits your hands best. It’s a concept that earned them a lot of trust, but it’s also not one that comes back fully in their newest mouse – one that’s essentially designed for those who have grown accustomed to their own MadCatz mouse modified or not.
The MadCatz M.O.U.S.9 is the companies latest offering, and also the latest addition of their hardware fleet to drop the branding of their other peripherals like ‘Cyborg’, ‘Tritton’ and the other household names invisibly tied to the MadCatz corporation.
Seemingly aimed towards those who have used one of the MadCatz R.A.T. mice before – like R.A.T 5 or MMO7 – the M.O.U.S.9. is a wireless clicker designed around the shiny new Bluetooth 4.0 technology – a term that means you’re getting a good year of juice in this thing from a single AA battery.
Being a wireless mouse, that’s a tagline that’s already going to be pushing a few elite PC gamers back in their seats – and that’s fair enough. The M.O.U.S.9. isn’t designed as a gaming mouse, but instead as a way for R.A.T. users to have a mouse that feels familiar to them while on the go without having to unplug and wrap up their current mouse from their rigs. You’ll still be finding most of the same features you’d find on your preferred R.A.T. mouse, albeit with a few sacrifices being made to the MadCatz gods to give make it a little more enticing to those in need of a wireless input device.
Sporting the same dashing looks as the previous mice in the R.A.T. range, the M.O.U.S.9 is just as comfortable to grab and hold as it’s predecessors – and why wouldn’t it be? But those accustomed to the removable weights of the other options may see the decision to omit the feature for the use of a battery compartment as a bit of a turn-off.
With the mouse stripped of it’s ability to put on – and shed – weight for the joy of the user, you’re also likely to detest the fact that the M.O.U.S.9 doesn’t feature the same removable wings and attachable rests to cater for those who adjust their R.A.T. mouse away from the default set. While the palm-rest may still carry the feature, it’s to a small degree. It can still shifted back to make for a longer device, but cannot be switched with the textured or more extruded plates seen in say – the M.M.O.7 – something which may repel those who came looking for a more portable version of their familiar setup.
While the M.O.U.S.9 is marketed highly on it’s laser tracking functionality to play nicely with the numerous surface types encountered in certain set-ups, I found the cursor to be noticeably more jittery on the same pad as a standard-issue HP bluetooth mouse, and even found the cursor unable to track on the glass of my corner desk’s glass panels. It’s even more worrying when your brand-spanking new mouse can tilt on the desk like an uneven TV remote.
A precision button situates itself on the left side wing alongside the default Back/Forward thumb buttons with a second horizontal scroll wheel placing itself just above the thumb rest. Two buttons within perfect reach of your main mouse button fingers also act as whatever you assign them too from the Profile software. In it’s default state, the M.O.U.S.9 is decent enough to be of use in shooters and for general computer use – and easily capable to be switched into a useful tool for the application power user who’s away from their professional work-space - but those accustomed to mice who’s buttons reach the double digits, the M.O.U.S.9 isn’t going to appeal.
While the M.O.U.S.9 seems to be designed for those who’s hands have already been converted to the R.A.T. way of life, this device may still be of some relevance if they’re often lugging their own outside – but for anyone who’s seriously in need of a wireless clicker, the M.O.U.S.9 lets its comfort and battery life down with its disappointing sensor and seemingly borked underbody.
Value: 3/5 - With a potential year of use from a single AA battery, it’s just a shame the Bluetooth 4.0 system bars it from legacy devices without a USB port.
Aesthetics: 4/5 - Visually very pleasing. The coated black matt paint and ridged body still looks amazing.
Practicality: 3/5 - Very easy to bring along for a ride and squeeze a few commands into the buttons. The sensor issues are a huge blow, however.
Ergonomics: 4/5 - The R.A.T series is often comfy enough with their default layouts, but ridding the option to customize fully is a let-down.
Final Score – 3.5/5