If you haven't heard of Mad Catz, you'd do well to head over to your favourite search engine and check out the manufacturer's previous work. This is simply because of the fact that Mad Catz products have always been known for having very distinct designs, and over the years the company has created a variety of different styles for various uses. Imagine for a second that you're 11 years old. You just saw Transformers for the first time. All of a sudden, a company comes by your house to ask you to design gaming peripherals. Yeah, that about sums up the brand.
We've tried Mat Catz's 30th Anniversary Edition R.A.T. 8 gaming mouse, where the only aspect that differs from the standard 8+ is the colour, which, like the name suggests, is limited. The standard mouse sells for about £60 to £70, which isn't too bad. However, as we've seen, the limited edition colour can be found for $120 on Amazon, which is quite pricey for a colour change.
The chassis of the mouse is rather rigid, lightweight and fits well in the hand. The fact that you can adjust and replace parts of the mouse's overall design also makes it easier than ever to customise it to fit your paw.
In the box, you'll find various pamphlets and instructions, but the stars of the show are, of course, the extra components and side grips that come with the mouse along with its beautiful packaging. Sure, it's probably not ideal for the environment, but the presentation is beautiful. As for the mouse itself, it uses a Pixard PMW3389 sensor that can handle tracking of 400 inches per second and offers a DPI of 16,000. There are 11 programmable buttons on the right-hand built mouse and both the chassis and the cable are of high quality.
The support for the little finger and the palm is adjustable. Not by a ton, but enough to make the perfect fit possible to achieve. It's quite brilliant, but not something new or groundbreaking on Mad Catz's part.
The contacts inside the mouse are Omron switches and there are four onboard profiles in the Flux software program. It's not phenomenal or on par with similar software from the likes of Razer, Logitech or Steelseries, but it's certainly functional.
Best of all, however, is the fact that Mad Catz has managed to fit a sniper/precision button onto the product. In addition, the mouse has a dedicated side-scroll wheel on the side. It's of a decent size and has a great grip and we really enjoy it. The side buttons are a bit on the lighter side, but one has to save a few grams somewhere.
The design may seem a little confusing as one has to adjust screws around the mouse rather than switching parts out with a click, but we found this to be rather enjoyable and loved the versatility it offered. There's also a built-in Torx screwdriver in the chassis that adds weight and makes it easy to alter it on the go.
Versatility and customisability is its whole raison d'être. The length of the mouse can be adjusted, as can the position of the thumb rest, which is nice for those who usually have a hard time finding a mouse to fit their hand. The R.A.T. 8+ also has an adjustable weight system that's not as nifty as Logitech's counterpart but still works. The skeleton of the mouse and the many springs and screws naturally add some weight to the construction as well.
There are two casings to pick from for the palm and two for the little finger, which makes us assume that one can change the thumb's location as one can with the other models. There are three RGB zones, but all are quite discreet.
As expected with a 3389 sensor, the mouse tracks amazingly well and the customisation options will help it sit perfectly and comfortably in the hand of anyone who cares to use it. The shape and design of the mouse make the weight almost unnoticeable and it was only after a while that it dawned on us that this was no 110-gram mouse.
We can't criticise the mouse for its performance as it's a truly solid piece of kit. However, all of the screws and springs that make the mouse customisable increase the weight and it will probably be a bit too heavy for some in its bare state. Although the mouse is fully adjustable, strangely it falls short ergonomically in some places where the plastic is simply a bit too thin.
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