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Mad Catz R.A.T TE Gaming Mouse Review
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Mad Catz R.A.T TE Gaming Mouse Review

Postby FoOKaa! » Wed 10 Sep, 2014 21:40

Play3r.net Review source: http://www.play3r.net/reviews/gaming/ma ... se-review/

Introduction

Manufacturer: Mad Catz
Model: R.A.T TE
Price: £52 @ ebuyer

Mad Catz was formed in 1989, from the outset they were focused on the gaming industry. The gaming industry has been growing rapidly for the last two decades and Mad Catz has grown with it. Today they release products under various brands, with their TRITTON audio products, Saitek simulation accessories and of course the core Mad Catz brand itself.

Mad Catz state a focus on competitive gaming and it shows, they are one of the most popular fight stick brands and the TRITTON headset is something which has become widely seen in console E-sports especially. Also, a few years ago they released the polarizing RAT series of mice, which have since become immensely popular.

That brings us onto the subject of this review. Today we have in for testing the latest mouse in the RAT series, the R.A.T TE. This new addition to the range is pitched as a stripped out high performance option aimed directly at Esports players going to LANs/Competitions. So, does the R.A.T TE offer that competitive edge that we all crave or is it just a gimmick?

Let’s find out, starting with what Mad Catz have to say about the R.A.T TE…

In 2014, Mad Catz set out to create a gaming mouse specifically targeted towards the LAN event gamer – consumers who regularly travel to live tournaments where the very highest standards of competitive performance are tested.

Specifications, as you would expect, are bleeding edge, but more importantly, akin to removing superfluous weight and features from a sports car, R.A.T.TE is streamlined and nimble. The overall design directly focuses on the single purpose of improving performance within key PC eSports titles.

As with other R.A.T. products, ergonomics are a given, although refreshed cosmetics impart an up-to-date feel to the Tournament Edition.

The TE weighs in at just 90g, that’s 40 g lighter than the R.A.T.7. As a result, breakout force is reduced to make fast swiping and twitch movements almost effortless.

Finally before we begin lets take a look at some specifications…

DPI Levels: 4
DPI Range: 100 – 8200 (in 25 DPI increments)
Acceleration: 50G
Polling Rate: Dynamic up to 1000Hz
Tracking Speed: Up to 6m/sec (240ips)
Lift-off Height: 0.2mm – 1mm
Programmable Controls: 9
Profile Modes: 3
Weight: 90g (without cable)
Always On: Yes
“Slick” PTFE Feet: Yes
Gold-plated Connector: Yes
L.E.D. Colors for each Mode: Red, Blue, Purple

Packaging

Starting at the front...

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As we can see the TE comes in quite a compact box, around the outside of the box itself is a paper sleeve which is what we see here. In the top left we have talk of the mouse’s precision sensor, lightweight construction and the adjustment features. Moving to the right we have the Mad Catz logo, and taking centre stage we have a picture of the mouse itself. Towards the bottom on the left we find out about the 8200DPI laser sensor and in the bottom right we have our model name.

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Moving on to the side and we can see it is mainly adorned with our specifications, which are all in the introduction so I wont go over them again.

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At the rear we have talk of some of the main features of the mouse, such as programmable buttons, on the fly sensitivity adjustment and also the adjustable nature of the mouse.

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Sliding off the paper sleeve we can see the box itself, which is a simplified version of the exterior.

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Splitting the box into its two halves gives us our first look at the mouse. It is securely tucked in there so shouldn’t get damaged in transit, and its also nice to see a lack of clear plastic inside as it means you can get at the mouse right away.

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Finally for the packaging we can see our contents, which is the mouse in its cardboard shell and a quick start guide.

The TE’s packaging is a good effort from Mad Catz in my opinion, no cheap plastic moldings and no twist ties mean you can get the mouse out easily without damaging the packaging.

Now lets move on and get a good look at the mouse itself…

Closer Look

Time to take a closer look at the R.A.T TE.

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As you can see the TE closely resembles most of the R.A.T range, albeit with some subtle styling differences. The matte finish looks very nice and its soft to the touch but still fairly grippy. I really like the black and blue look, it looks a lot more clean next to some of the glossy R.A.T mice which look a bit cheap in my opinion. You can also see the wires inside are coated in blue clear plastic, and it looks really cool in my opinion and fits in well with the Sci-Fi style aesthetic.

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Zooming in towards the top left of the mouse button the first thing that pops out is the ‘rapid fire’ motif on the left mouse button which is a reference to the highly responsive OMRON switches used in the TE. To the left of this we can also see the MODE button, which when the mouse is powered on glows red, blue and purple corresponding to which profile you are using. We can also see the large rubberized scroll wheel and below that the on the fly DPI switch.

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Here we have the left hand side of the mouse. The first thing you will notice is the precision mode DPI switch which allows you to change the dpi without changing your grip on the mouse. Up and to the left of this is the DPI display light, which glows with up to four red bars according to what DPI setting the mouse is in. Back over to the right of the Precision button we can see our two thumb buttons.

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There is nothing particularly of note on the right hand side of the mouse, but the finger rest is sculpted to fit your unused digits nicely.

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Looking at the underside of the mouse we can see the latch that allows you to extend the palm rest backwards through 5. 10 and 15mm.

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Here we have the palm rest at its full extension, as you can see it increases the size of the mouse significantly which is a cool feature in my opinion.

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Taking a look at the underside we first notice the translucent plastic shell which is an interesting touch. Right in the middle we see our 8200 DPI laser sensor which looks very inconspicuous for such a supposedly high performance bit of kit. Dotted around the edges we can see our super slippery PTFE feet and finally towards the left we can see the free floating scroll wheel, which looks pretty cool I think.

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Finally for our closer look we have the cable and connector. The connector itself is a custom shape with the Mad Catz logo which is a nice touch and the connector is gold plated which is always good to see. Lastly you notice the braided cable, which looks great and is very nicely done.

I really like the aesthetics of the R.A.T TE, it looks more grown up than its siblings but still retains some of the cool futuristic touches in what is an attractive package in my opinion.

Next up we’ll take a good look at the TE’s software and see what kind of options it has…

Software

Time for a look at the software Mad Catz offer for the R.A.T TE.

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Starting off with the button reprogramming and you can see we have a wealth of options here, being able to re program all the buttons (apart from the mode button) is great too. Now for me personally I don’t like to change sensitivity between hip/ads in FPS games so I have programmed the precision button to Z so I can use it for crouch instead as is my preference. As you can see there are so many different options for utilities on the programmable buttons that I don’t doubt anyone could get the mouse set up just so in terms of buttons.

On top of that it has three modes which you can switch on the fly which gives you so much customization, be it between different genres or specific games. I’m really impressed with the amount of care put into this facility by Mad Catz.

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Moving on to the settings menu and our first option is to change the DPI settings. Now I, like most I should imagine, don’t have any use whatsoever for 8200 DPI so its a pretty essential feature to be able to change this. The nice thing here is that with four different stages you can have a good range of DPI settings which again is really handy, combined with the easy to reach on the fly DPI switcher the TE will serve you well regardless of desired sensitivity.

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The next setting is pretty simple, you would want to turn the DPI switch off to re program it to other keys.

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Next up is the Precision Aim Function. As you can see you can change it from 0-100% for plenty of tweaking for those that use it. For me personally I don’t but it is perfect for me as a crouch binding, so all I have to do here is turn it down to 0% which allows me to use it for crouch without altering my sensitivity which is great.

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We have some power saving settings too, which is interesting for laptop users. What this controls is the time it takes the sensor to sleep to save power, with the low, med and high corresponding to longer waiting periods before sleep. When plugged into a desktop the sensor runs at full power all the time.

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Here we have the ability to customize lift off distance, which is an awesome option. I have followed the advice and gone for 0.5mm as I am using a cloth mouse mat, but I don’t like an overly high lift off point.

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Finally there is the ability to enable or disable sensor damping. Its good to have, but equally good to have the option to turn it off. Again I have followed advice and set it to high for my cloth mouse mat. You can also see we have a button to take us right to the windows mouse settings too which is handy.

So, I really like the TE’s software, its really easy to navigate and there is a shed load of customization to be had. I’d say it was a reference that other manufactures should heed in terms of elegance and ease of use.

Moving on to the main attraction, how does the R.A.T TE perform?

Performance

Being firmly pitched at competitive gamers, does the TE offer the performance that demographic expects?

Ergonomics

Ergonomics has got to be one of the most crucial parts of a mouse for me, after all you can have a great sensor but if the mouse doesn’t feel good in hand it doesn’t matter.

Starting with overall shape and I find the TE very comfortable, which surprised me as I have big hands and I am used to the larger Logitech G500. The mouse buttons have a ridge either side which helps with grip and the left mouse button is flanked by the mode button which served as a good stop to prevent my index finger coming off the mouse.

The thumb pad on the left hand side fits my hand well and is a nice rest to reduce friction between your thumb and a cloth mouse mat if you use one.

The right hand side of the mouse is also slightly shaped to fit your fingers and although my little finger still touched the mouse mat it is a comfortable fit, even for my big hands.

I did find that the palm rest adjuster was useless to me though, as even at its 5mm setting I found the extra leverage would lift up the front of the mouse and interfere with the sensor, so I kept it as it was and I had no issues with the size of the mouse. Your mileage will vary depending on the type of grip you have though, so it may still be useful for some.

Buttons

This is kind of tied to ergonomics but firstly I want to say that I found the Precision aim button to be superb to reach and using it to crouch was ideal in CSGO.

Secondly the thumb buttons are reasonably good, they are pretty generic in terms of feedback but they are positioned as well as they can be and are still useful in game.

Finally the two mouse buttons are what really shine on the TE, the OMRON switches are superb, the weighting is just right and they have a lovely tactile click to them. They are also rated for 5 million keystrokes, Mad Catz claim they will last five years, and that’s if you play six hours a day, six days a week!

Tracking

Mad Catz speak highly of the 8200 DPI Laser Doppler sensor which is claimed to not only provide zero acceleration and angle snapping, but it also meant to adapt to surfaces dynamically to provide the best possible tracking in all situations.

I’m delighted to say that it’s not all marketing fluff either, the R.A.T TE is the smoothest tracking mouse I have ever used. There really is no discernible snapping which makes minute aim adjustments easier than my G500 ever did.

The lift off adjustment was also a great adjustment as I often find it too high on mouses that don’t allow you to change it. The sensor damping also worked very well in my experience, purists may disparage it but I certainly preferred having it on to disabling it.

I noticed an instant improvement with the TE in CSGO and it only got better as I got used to the shape, I should imagine this mouse would be a real weapon in the hands of highly skilled players.

I really am pleased with the performance of this mouse; it certainly lives up to Mad Catz’s claims.

Time to wrap things up with a conclusion…

Conclusion

So, does the TE live up to the claims of being the perfect tournament weapon? Time for my thoughts after playing a good 10 hours of CSGO with it.



Starting with aesthetics and the R.A.T TE is, I’m sure, no less polarizing in this form then it ever has been before. With that said as a previous R.A.T skeptic I really like the looks of the TE, the matte finish is most welcome compared to its glossy siblings and the black and blue contrast just works in my opinion. The futuristic shape is appealing to me, the angular design means it looks interesting from any angle and it certainly stands out in a crowd of traditional designs.

Moving on to performance and the TE does not disappoint. The tracking is simply flawless and the plentiful customization options allowed me to tweak the mouse ‘just so’. The mouse one and two buttons should be commended on their own too, the feedback from them is fantastic and the weighting is ideal.

Finally, is the TE good value? I would say so yes, compared to the rest of the R.A.T range the stripped out TE seems to be the clear favourite in terms of bang for buck. In the scheme of things also for high end mice I would say the price is very reasonable given the performance, and whilst you can get good mice for less I feel the price is well justified here considering all the performance and features on offer.

This mouse is truly not one to be missed by FPS players, it walks away comfortably with an Editor’s Choice award.

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FoOKaa!
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Re: Mad Catz R.A.T TE Gaming Mouse Review

Postby Juanbreezer » Thu 11 Sep, 2014 11:48

Nice review!
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Re: Mad Catz R.A.T TE Gaming Mouse Review

Postby Bl@de » Fri 12 Sep, 2014 20:41

i got the R.A.T 5... good products tbf
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Re: Mad Catz R.A.T TE Gaming Mouse Review

Postby FoOKaa! » Fri 12 Sep, 2014 22:52

Bl@de wrote:i got the R.A.T 5... good products tbf


Yeah i loved my RAT 7, only prob was the laser weren't as good as some out there but this new one seems to have brought it up to date ...
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Re: Mad Catz R.A.T TE Gaming Mouse Review

Postby Bl@de » Sat 13 Sep, 2014 0:36

I'm not good enough to notice if my laser was not as good... <cryface>

that mouse looks next level though!
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Re: Mad Catz R.A.T TE Gaming Mouse Review

Postby FoOKaa! » Sat 13 Sep, 2014 19:47

Bl@de wrote:I'm not good enough to notice if my laser was not as good... <cryface>

that mouse looks next level though!


Only reason I noticed was I got a new mouse with 8200 dpi and you can really feel the difference in the tracking of it compared to my old RAT that had 6000 something dpi..

Dunno if the DPI is what made the difference or the quality of the laser but this new RAT makes me wanna try it out :D
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Re: Mad Catz R.A.T TE Gaming Mouse Review

Postby Juanbreezer » Sat 13 Sep, 2014 22:48

DPI makes lots of diffrence.. It makes the mouse reacts much better and you can place it more precise.
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