Cyborg isn’t exactly known for its subtlety. The weird, slapped-on construction, broken and split without a trace (or grace) for seam and finish makes the R.A.T mices a hot mess in pictures. But as we found out in our reviews of the R.A.T 3 and R.A.T 5, that’s far from the truth. They are just as comfortable as the leaders in the segment, and offers truly world class performance with style and form that garners ‘wows’ from almost everyone I showcased the device too.
Today we take a look at the eldest brother in the popular mice series, the R.A.T 9, which features 5600 DPI sensor, 2.4GHz of wireless connectivity and a penchant for customization.
The R.A.T 9 looks pretty much exactly like its younger siblings. The senseless construction of different pieces makes it look like someone ripped it off the Terminator (which is not exactly a good thing in case ‘he’s back’ for it). The mouse features two side kickers, a Precision Aim Mode button and an additional scroll wheel near the thumb rest – much similar to the R.A.T 5. The only difference is the extra slot besides the weights on the right for the wireless battery.
One of the specialties of the R.A.T 9 is its ability to transform itself. Cyborg has included enough tools to completely change the size, shape and the feel of the mouse. For one, you can adjust the palm rest in length if you require a little more push on your palm. However, I noticed that the palm rest rattles a bit when it’s adjusted elsewhere from its default position, but is a minor annoyance. Cyborg packs in two additional palm rests – one with a rubberize top and the other similar to the default one. It’s an interesting choice to include two similar palm rests than a different pattern. The company understands that the look of the palm rest is going to be utterly destroyed over time and users can simply choose to replace it once that happens. But, hey, we would have liked a different material pattern anyway. We are suckers for such things.
By adjusting a screw on the mouse, you can also move the entire thumb rest assembly up or down, greatly increasing the placement of the side kickers and the Precision Aim button. Also, of course, you can bulk up the mouse or put it on a diet by adding or removing steel weights. All you need to do is wrench out the holder from underneath the mouse, add the desired amount of weights and screw it back in. While I am happy with the default weight of the device, as would be most of the users I am sure, it surely is a boon for pro-gamers which this mouse also targets.
The R.A.T 9’s wireless station is another great design choice. No, not for its actual form and factor, though it does look a bit cute. The wireless station can dock your weights and charge the device’s battery cartridges. Yes, cartridges.
There are two of them. It’s sheer genius – when you run out of juice, you can simply and quickly change it for another cartridge. It takes no more than 10 seconds to replace it. The mouse does not have to be switched off and no wires need to be pulled – you can do it on the fly. It’s an awesome solution to the traditional method where you would have to lug the entire device to get it charged. With this can you have 24/7 uninterrupted gameplay. Brilliant.
Okay, enough gushing over the aesthetics of the mouse, let’s get to the performance bit. In mytwo hours of Call of Duty: Black Ops game time, the mouse never faltered even for a bit. The comfortable grip and the top quality sensor kicked in to provide extreme precision in getting my fix of headshots and knifes.
The side buttons, again, I felt were hard to reach though the adjustable thumb rest did ease the problem a bit. The much touted Precision Aim Mode button worked well. It slows the sensitivity all the way down, instantly, which should greatly help snipers. The feature also works in Windows, which should help Photoshoppers and painters when the need be. However, I found the button too hard to press and even harder to keep it held. Maybe it needs time to get used to but the button is too resistive. It should have been soft, like the side buttons, so it would be easier to press and hold. The button is small and made of hard plastic and it doesn’t exactly fit in my large thumb. Also, it hurts as well.
Due to the hard to reach side buttons, I found myself using the additional scroll wheel instead. It works wonderfully well and is customizable like any button on the mouse. Turning it anti-clockwise to register the button press requires additional effort, but overall the inclusion of a seemingly useless extra mouse wheel came of great use and works really well as extra buttons.
The Cyborg R.A.T 9 is a fantastic mouse. The Customization runs deep, and the top quality construction, whacky form factor and world class performance makes it a must for any serious gamer out there. At $129.99, it is a bit steep but the entire package more than makes up for it. If you do not have the budget for it, I suggest you save up than settle for anything less. Highly recommended.