Mad Catz goal with both these mice was mobility and I’ll have to respect that. The R.A.T. M’s small form should make it clear that it is laptop gaming mouse. The M.O.U.S. 9 was given non-gamer specifications to be used in the workplace though it won’t make your coffee. With no wires thanks to Bluetooth, ridiculously long battery life, and a nice carry pouch, both these mice travel well both on paper and in practice. Take note that the Bluetooth used on both these mice are currently natively compatible with Windows 8 computers with Bluetooth Smart (a.k.a. Bluetooth 4.0) with future compatibility expected on Mac OS X and Android. All other devices must use the included nano dongle.
I have mixed feelings towards the R.A.T. M. As a laptop mouse, it’s very portable and capable of fitting in all sorts of bags and luggage. While the 6400 DPI sensor is excessive on such a mouse, it does grant precision to a fast moving mouse pointer especially if used in a tight space. The small footprint lets the user fit the mouse onto small tables and I’ve taken the R.A.T. M onto tables the size of bar stools, in tea bars, and onto my knee without issue.
However, the R.A.T. M is too small to be a good gaming mouse. Casual gamers playing at a relaxed pace might not be troubled by the mouse’s faults, but it’s bothersome to grip something so small under the pressure of intense action. Even for a claw mouse, I find it uncomfortable to game longer than five minutes. Palming the small mouse is nearly as bad. The adjustable palm rest is alright for filling support for the hand, but with my fingers clicking away at 300 actions-per-minute, that little piece of plastic was wobbling slightly and I was concerned it going to snap under the crush of my tense palm. Additionally, the accessory buttons were close to the level of useless. The wing button was stiff to press and located a bit too far from the left mouse button for one finger to do the work. The 5D button is too small and stiff and completely failed my expectations.
By contrast, I have little to complain about using the M.O.U.S. 9. It ergonomically fills and supports the palm and the sliding palm rest significantly adds flexibility to the mouse’s shape. Claw grip users won’t be left out either thanks to the ergonomically flexible R.A.T. shape the M.O.U.S. 9 is built on. No matter how the mouse is held, it’s difficult to access all the side buttons and sometimes the horizontal scroll wheel, but the M.O.U.S. 9 was just too comfortable for me to care. The two side button locations were perfectly placed for each type of mouse grip and the buttons were not too stiff, but not too soft to accidentally press.
The software was a real breeze to handle. It didn’t take long to figure out and in no time I was dragging-and-dropping commands, assigning profiles, and creating custom macros. The tabs are clearly labeled and the menus are cleanly organized. The only UI improvement I can suggest to Mad Catz is to make the profile management menu more visible.
I do have reservations that prevent me from freely recommending both the R.A.T. M and the M.O.U.S. 9. Both mice perform well even if they look like toys. While the metal base and batteries give some weight to both mice, the plastic pieces look and feel cheap. The 2-year warranty is very generous, but it’s their bad value that really spoils the attraction. The R.A.T. M and M.O.U.S. 9 cost $122.83 and $127.02 respectively on Amazon. There are laptop mice without all the gimmicks that cost much less than the R.A.T. M. The M.O.U.S. 9 has tough competition from the likes of the Logitech Performance Mouse MX which also tracks on glass as well as Mad Catz older R.A.T. gaming mice for gamers who care more about the ergonomics.
Legit Bottom Line: The original R.A.T.s are still the more serious gaming mice, but the R.A.T. M and the M.O.U.S. 9 bring interesting mobility features to diversify Mad Catz offerings.