We gamers are a choosy lot when it comes to gaming mice. We will make-do with the most generic of keyboards, but when it comes to the mouse of choice, we have our arms stacked together. And this could be why most manufacturers have only lightly tried to produce some truly unique designs alas it falls on the wrong side of the gamer brigade. The first and foremost mental tick we make when selecting a mouse is comfort and ergonomics, and only then we venture out to the feature list. Hence, while we have seen some great looking mouse, they essentially look from the same side of the family. They still have the familiar belly, large thumb rest, side buttons, dpi changers, and black finish that Razer has so well made us got used to.
So this is what I envision must have happened at MadCatz HQ when designers sat down to form the Cyborg R.A.T 3.
“Hey, so we have absolutely crazy looking products already, and we are not known for subtly and class either, so how can we make a mouse along those lines?”
“Oh, let’s make it look like a ripped off paw of a robotic dog!”.
“Fine idea, sir. Approved!”
And they did. And it does
look like a robotic dog’s paw. The Cyborg R.A.T 3 (R3T from now, because I am cool) is much wider and quite a bit short than most mice. But it features some of the most unique design I have seen on a mice. It feels as if MadCatz slapped together different pieces of hardware without worrying about seam and fit. Frivolous when they can make it look absolutely whacky without it!
At it works. It’s just the kind of design that will turn heads and get ‘woos’ at gatherings and LAN parties. It also pulls enough string of a gamer’s heart by looking absolutely ‘techie’ and futuristic. It’s a great looking mouse – the angular, robotic incisions, overlapping framework and full thumb rest platform adds up to a striking visual effect. Oh and not mention the dark red wire that passes through it, though I should let you know that it does not
glow, and what a bloody missed opportunity by MadCatz to not have it so. That would have looked incredibly cool.
While I have gushed over the design, I must admit that I had initially wrote it off in mind when I first saw it in flesh. I mean look at it, it does look extremely uncomfortable. But when I hit the smooth, black plastic the cuts and bumps all fell in place under my palm. However, since the the mouse is a bit wide, it did take a while to get to use the new shape. After a few hours of shooting out in Call of Duty: Black Ops, the mouse felt pretty comfortable though the 5th (side) button was slightly bit hard to reach.
The mouse's almost weightless-ness was another aspect that I had to get used to. It's really light, so light in fact that I flicked it off like I would an insect and it slid right off my mouse pad. My Razer Mamba barely moved. I am not sure if its because of this that the sensor felt a bit too fast. It caused me to 'zoom' a bit too much in close combat. After a few tweaks with the DPI levels, and getting more used to the 'size-zero' rat, I did get it a bit tamed and was able to successfully complete levels without dying.
The R.A.T 3 comes at the lower-end of the spectrum so only has three programmable buttons, (side buttons and scroll wheel) that can be set as individual or multiple key presses, and macros with the bundled software. Three of such key sets can be stored in respective ‘modes’ that can be changed on-the-fly by pressing a button the mouse. This presents me with another opportunity to gush over the design. The mode button is illuminated and changes color according to the mode selected (1,2 or 3), however, the mode button cannot be seen unless you tilt the mouse as it is hidden behind the high cut that displays the DPI levels. So, you ask, how do we know which mode we have selected when we can’t see which color it is!? But you can, young lad – the color is reflected on your finger! I was ready to right it off on this bit of seemingly baffling design choice but then it dawned on me. Sheer genius!
In conclusion, while the Cyborg R.A.T 3 is a great looking mouse, with beautiful cuts and striking visual presence, I found its gaming performance average at best, with the sensor running a little faster than usual. For $49.99, the R.A.T 3 is great mouse if you want bragging rights, and do not expect extreme precision for your gaming needs. For those high-end users, it would be interesting to see how the Cyborg R.A.T 7 and Cyborg R.A.T 9 stack up in our reviews.