Mad Catz R.A.T. TE Gaming Mouse
Mad Catz has introduced a new mouse to their R.A.T. gaming mouse lineup that features a new suffix and with a new set of features to boot. The R.A.T. TE, labeled as a Tournament Edition gaming mouse, is designed to be the swiftest R.A.T. mouse while retaining most of the characteristics of the namesake.
The R.A.T. TE retains the same plated modular appearance as the other R.A.T. mice, but with some features that make it special in its own way. Three mouse profiles can be created in the control software called Mad Catz A.P.P. and are identified by colored LED indicator lights on the mouse. The metal base found in all other R.A.T. mice has been replaced with plastic to substantially reduce weight. An updated laser sensor is featured with superior lift-off tracking compared to other gaming mice. In addition, this is also the first R.A.T. mouse that has blue and black as the color theme. Returning R.A.T. features include one adjustable lengthwise piece, programmable mouse macro buttons, and toggleable DPI including a Precision Aim mode. The R.A.T. TE is available now at Amazon for $74.20 shipped.
Mad Catz R.A.T. TE Gaming Mouse Features:
- Adjustable Lift-off Height
- True 8200 DPI laser sensor
- Remap programmable buttons and create custom macros
- Precision aim mode – on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment steadies your aim
- Adjustable lightweight construction
Mad Catz R.A.T. TE Gaming Mouse Specifications:
- DPI Levels: 4
- DPI Range: 100-8200 dpi (in 25 dpi steps)
- Acceleration: 50G
- Polling Rate: Dynamic up to 1000Hz
- Tracking Speed: Up to 6m/sec (240ips)
- Lift-off Height: 0.2 – 1mm
- Programmable Controls: 9
- Profile Modes: 3
- Weight: 90g without cable
- Always On: Yes
- “Slick” PTFE Feet: Yes
- Gold-plated Connector: Yes
- LED Colors: Red, Blue, Purple for each mode
- 2-year warranty
For a gaming mouse package, the box is small measuring 6.25 along the longest side. Sliding off the card sleeve and removing the box lid reveals the R.A.T. TE mouse wrapped in a plastic bag and cradled in a paper mold.
The R.A.T. TE comes with a Multilanguage Quick Start Guide, warranty information, and a sheet of Mad Catz stickers. The Mad Catz A.P.P. mouse customization software must be downloaded from Mad Catz website in order to modify the button, lift-off, sensitivity, and profile settings.
On the next page, we'll take a look around the mouse and give comments on the design including what's new over previous R.A.T. mice. It's certainly worth taking a look especially if the mouse's funny appearance has your curiosity piqued.
Looking around the R.A.T. TE
The R.A.T. TE is an average sized gaming mouse at 4.25 x 3.45 x 1.5 in (LxWXH) / 10.8 x 8.8 x 3.8 cm. The rear adjustable plate can lengthen the mouse an additional 15 mm. A non-adjustable thumb rest on the left side of the mouse extends the width of the mouse which would otherwise measure around 2.75 inches.
This is also one of the lightest mouse we have ever used. It took little effort picking up the mouse off the table top and was lifting-off unintentionally at the end of every swipe until I got used to how little the R.A.T. TE weighed.
The R.A.T. TE has a 6 ft (1.8 m) long braided cable that terminates at a gold plated USB plug. A cable tie is included to manage the cable length. Also visible is a sticker covering the laser sensor.
Two big things that differentiate the R.A.T. TE from other Mad Catz R.A.T. mice are on the underside. First, the base is an opaque blue lightweight plastic in contrast to metal. Second, an entirely new laser sensor is built into the mouse capable of up to 8200 DPI and lift-off tracking.
In the image below, the M.O.U.S. 9 is placed to the right of the R.A.T. TE. What should be apparent is that the R.A.T. TE lacks a horizontal scroll wheel, with only two other Mad Catz mice lacking such – the R.A.T. 3 and R.A.T. M. What's not obvious is the choice of surface coating. Most of the R.A.T. TE is covered in a rubberized matte finish and some, but not all of the blue stripes around the mouse are glossy plastic.
The R.A.T. TE has a decently boxy profile with a low height that suits itself well for those who hold their mice with a claw grip.
The R.A.T. TE has two LED indicator zones. The one visible in the below image indicates DPI level and uses red LEDs. Up to four DPI steps can be set in the mouse settings software for each profile.
There are three thumb buttons with the circular button acting as Precision Aim by default which drops the DPI to a defined level while held.
The rubber textured scroll wheel is not tiltable like the one used on the Mad Catz M.O.U.S. 9, but the button next to it in between the primary mouse buttons does. By default, the tilting buttons change DPI level. As for what the RAPIDFIRE button does – it's just the left mouse button like on any other computer mouse. It's also the only button that can't be customized over its default function in the customization software.
The MODE button located on a wing to the left of the left mouse button by default rotates between the three mouse profiles. A small Mad Catz claw logo on this button lights up in one of three colors – red, blue, and purple to indicate which of the three profiles is active.
The R.A.T. TE can be lengthened in three self-locking increments of 5 mm, extending the mouse by 5 mm, 10 mm, or 15 mm. A latch on the side of the mouse locks the ratchet in place and pressing on it will allow the user to slide the adjustable plate back and forth.
Software: Mad Catz A.P.P.
The R.A.T. TE does not come with Mad Catz's A.P.P. customization software. Instead, the driver and software must be downloaded from the Mad Catz downloads site. Both Windows and Mac software versions are available and Mac users only need to download the software.
The R.A.T. TE customization menu is organized into tabs for navigation. Along the top is PROGRAMMING for assigning and customizing mouse button macros, SETTINGS for changing tracking sensor settings, and SUPPORT for accessing a library and links for help documentation.
The PROGRAMMING submenu is split into a picture of the R.A.T. TE with boxes, pointers, and mode switch to the left and a menu of commands to the right. A number of Windows or Mac system shortcuts can be assigned such as copy and paste or keyboard inputs.
Custom macros can be recorded, saved, and then assigned to a mouse button.
A dropdown above the recreated image of the R.A.T. TE lists three custom profiles. Pressing the arrow tab to the left will bring up a list of profiles which contain their own set of button assignments and macros.
Here we've loaded a suite of preset profiles downloaded from Mad Catz website. To install them, simply drop the .pr0 files into the R.A.T. TE folder within the Mad Catz folder in Documents.
The first of the submenus in SETTINGS is Mouse Response which changes sensor sensitivity. Each of the four DPI banks can be customized even for individual X and Y axes.
DPI Switch toggles whether the tilting button next to the scroll wheel is set for on-the-fly DPI switching or to act as additional mouse macro buttons.
Precision Aim modifies the sensitivity reduction when the Precision Aim button is pressed. The slider is scaled in percentage.
Power Consumption enables sleep states fothe R.A.T. TE and is provided primarily for laptop users in consideration for battery life.
Lift-Off Height changes the height distance the laser sensor should cut-off when lifting. Mad Catz recommends 0.2 mm for smooth or metallic surfaces, 0.35 mm for silcon mats or lightly textured surfaces, and 0.5 mm or greater for cloth mats or heavily textured surfaces.
Sensor Damping modifies compensation for laser sensor tracking errors. Mad Catz suggests using a higher setting for more uneven surfaces.
The SUPPORT tab has links to various help documentation including a tutorial video that has not yet been linked, a programming manual, a quick start guide, software download pages, Mad Catz support, and social media.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Long-time R.A.T. users or those who have paid long attention to Mad Catz or even Cyborg prior to its acquisition might be accustomed to the signature, but unusual appearance of the R.A.T. mice. The design is quite functional that way and the R.A.T. TE is an adapted form of its siblings. Its features place it somewhere as a mash-up of a R.A.T. 3 and a M.O.U.S. 9 with lightweight material construction and an 8200 DPI laser sensor. How little the R.A.T. TE weighs is rather incredible and almost unexpected, on the level of that of cheap hollow plastic mice, though the R.A.T. TE's modular appearance doesn't hide the fact that it is hollow. The low weight is a matter to consider if you are the type of gamer who prefers some degree of heft in a computer mouse.
The R.A.T. TE shares the same ergonomic design as other R.A.T. mice in that it is meant for the claw grip with its low height and boxy shape. This means there isn't a great deal of palm support, but the fingers aren't necessarily forced into places. This leads to a great deal of accessibility all-around, particularly with the thumb buttons which were also the buttons most friendly to macro customization. Speaking of that, we liked the intuitiveness of the A.P.P. mouse customization software interface with its drag and drop tiles and the number of the settings available to modify.
Mad Catz had a clear vision for the R.A.T. TE and we appreciate the identity this mouse strives to achieve. It's decently pricey for a computer mouse costing $74.20 shipped on Amazon which does put the R.A.T. TE at odds with the much much older R.A.T. 7. However, this doesn't change the fact that the R.A.T. TE is a Mad Catz R.A.T. gaming mouse with its own identity. It is meant for someone with a different ergonomic preference with a fancy for the new sporty blue and black color scheme. Not everyone will like the R.A.T. TE, but anyone can use it, figure it out, and have some fun with it and that's enough for us to recommend this mouse.
Legit Bottom Line: The Mad Catz R.A.T. TE gets its point across as a lightweight laser gaming mouse while sporting the signature aggressive R.A.T. design.