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Review: Mad Catz M.O.U.S.9

by Parm Mann on 3 May 2013, 14:00 3.0

Tags: Mad Catz (NYSEAMEX:MCZ)

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What Looks Like a Gaming Mouse, But Isn't?

The Mad Catz M.O.U.S.9 isn't your average pointing device. The ostentatious aesthetics, based on the company's R.A.T. gaming mouse, give the M.O.U.S.9 an unmistakable identity, but don't let the appearance act as a stereotype. According to the manufacturer, this here mouse has been "simplified for everyday use," and while it will happily double as a gaming peripheral, its primary purpose is to bring "elegance and comfort to commonplace tasks" such as using Microsoft Office.

In other words, this is a mouse for the rebels in suit and tie. And at £99.99, it's a hefty investment, particularly when you consider that the all-singing, all-dancing R.A.T.9 is available for less if you shop around.

...as far as technical capability is concerned, this isn't the most advanced mouse on the market.

Yet despite the similar aesthetics, it's worth reiterating that the R.A.T. and the M.O.U.S. are two different rodents entirely. The former favours maximum in-game performance through an adjustable 6,400 DPI sensor, removable weights and 18 programmable commands. The everyday M.O.U.S., meanwhile, does away with many of those high-end features in favour of a specification better suited to the office worker.

Reining it in is the name of the game, so Mad Catz has switched to a fixed 990 DPI laser. That isn't a lot by today's standards, but the decision to use an Avago 8020 sensor was made because of its ability to track on glass. The mouse's 125Hz polling rate and 0.8m/sec tracking speed aren't anything to write home about, and as far as technical capability is concerned, this isn't the most advanced mouse on the market.

Justifying the £100 price tag is going to be easier said than done, and Mad Catz is hoping that versatility will prove to be the key selling point. The laser tracked with varying levels of success on every surface we've tried - including glass, wood, my sofa and my denim jeans - and though you may experience the occasional stutter in the trickiest environments, we found the mouse perfectly usable on just about any surface.

...though you may experience the occasional stutter in the trickiest environments, we found the mouse perfectly usable on just about any surface.

Stepping up the versatility argument another notch, Mad Catz has equipped the M.O.U.S.9 with integrated Bluetooth Smart, a latest-generation, power-efficient wireless technology. This allows the mouse to pair with Bluetooth Smart Ready devices without the need for dongles, and in theory enables the user to "seamlessly connect to PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones and laptops in a matter of minutes."

Mad Catz is pitching the mouse as the one peripheral for all your devices, but there is a catch; Bluetooth Smart Ready devices are few and far between, and the M.O.U.S.9 isn't backward compatible with earlier Bluetooth standards. We couldn't pair it with any of our existing laptops or Ultrabooks, and had to instead resort to Mad Catz's integrated backup - a 2.4GHz wireless dongle that's stowed neatly in the base of the unit. The USB nano dongle is suitably small and works perfectly well, but if you're eyeing up this mouse specifically for its Bluetooth capability, be sure to check that your other devices are Smart Ready before taking the plunge.