There is just no mistaking a Mad Catz gaming mouse. Just like their wacky console field controllers that have been as soon as the only purview of youthful brothers and sisters the world over earlier than they went bankrupt in March 2017, you solely have to take one have a look at their newly resurrected RAT series, such because the Pro S3 right here, to understand that, yep, that is positively a Mad Catz gaming mouse.
With its many plastic wings and angular RGB lighting, Mad Catz’s new top-end clicker seems extra like some form of cyberpunk scarab beetle than a toothy, razor-clawed rodent in the event you ask me, but when we put apart its enduring crimes in opposition to design for a second, you’ll discover a surprisingly versatile mouse with a fairly respectable characteristic set, together with an adjustable palm relaxation, eight programmable buttons and a 7200 DPI Pixart PMW3330 sensor. But is the Pro S3 a real gaming rat king or is it nothing greater than a puny little dormouse? Let’s discover out.
It’s actually extra dormouse than rat with regards to general measurement, as even my tiny palms discovered its default dimensions to be a bit on the small aspect. It’s far too titchy to maintain an arched claw grip for any size of time, I reckon, and adopting a extra laidback fingertip grip or all-encompassing palm grip typically felt like I used to be smothering the Pro S3 quite than resting on it comfortably.
As a consequence, I’d think about that bigger handed people will nearly actually have to make use of the Pro S3’s adjustable palm relaxation in an effort to discover a snug resting place. This could be pushed again into three additional positions as much as 12mm away from the primary chassis, however you may as well tilt it plus or minus 15 levels aspect to aspect to offer it a fair steeper angle relying on the form and measurement of your hand.
You need to take away the palm relaxation solely in an effort to make use of its tilt characteristic – making an attempt to do it in situ will nearly actually end in some snapped and damaged plastic, judging from my very own hesitant experiments – however in principle it does supply a welcome quantity of flexibility that even height-adjustable gaming mice just like the HP Omen Reactor wrestle to match.
I say ‘in theory’ as a result of a part of me additionally wonders whether or not the lean operate is definitely only a approach of masking the Pro S3’s inherently dangerous design. For instance, in the event you prolong the palm relaxation with none tilt concerned, the sharp bit on the left shortly begins digging into that fleshy bit between your thumb and forefinger. Tilt it to the precise, nevertheless, and that pointy bit is now a lot nearer to the bottom, making it much less of an irritant in opposition to your palm. Admittedly, the decrease left nook then took over as being the primary supply of discomfort for me in its newly tilted place, however it quite makes you surprise why they only didn’t sculpt a extra snug palm relaxation within the first place – particularly when transferring it out and in appears like such a fragile train within the first place.
Indeed, with so many bits and items on this mouse, from its raised fundamental clicker buttons to its flared aspect panels, the entire thing doesn’t actually really feel significantly sturdy within the hand. It doesn’t assist the Pro S3 weighs simply 80g, both, which is fairly mild as gaming mice go (and isn’t sufficient to forestall it from tipping upwards in the event you put an excessive amount of weight on its prolonged palm relaxation, I would add), and I used to be continually apprehensive about breaking it or sending one thing flying if I used to be too heavy-handed with it.
I’d additionally argue that saying it has eight programmable buttons is just a little little bit of a stretch, too, as you’ll discover three of them are literally situated on the scroll wheel. Now, I admire it’s fairly regular to have no less than one operate assigned to the scroll wheel, particularly in the event you can press it down like a traditional button, however I’m simply undecided how sensible it’s to assign separate keyboard and desktop shortcuts or your individual macro instructions to the scrolling up and down actions.
Certainly not for normal desktop duties, that’s for certain, as that places your complete scrolling side of it out of motion, and whereas there’s arguably potential for taking part in games, I’d quite not have the faff of switching mouse profile (of which there are 4 to select from by way of a tiny button on the stomach of the mouse) and remembering what each does each time I need to play one thing.
Still, I admire Mad Catz’s so-called Precision Aim button on the left hand aspect (the lengthy one with the white circle on it), which slows your DPI proper all the way down to a pace of your selecting on the fly for higher management over these sniper scope headshots, for instance – though you possibly can technically assign it to any button you want if that’s too exhausting to succeed in. There’s additionally a central DPI button that provides you 4 completely different speeds to select from, starting from a dead-slow 50 DPI all the best way as much as 7200 DPI (though once more, this may be re-assigned to any button you like), plus two extra aspect buttons that provide ahead and again net browsing features by default however can be modified to no matter takes your fancy by Mad Catz’s software program.
Overall, although, there are a lot less complicated, extra snug, and to not point out better-looking gaming mice accessible for a similar form of cash ($65 in the US, with UK costs TBC) that get you kind of precisely the identical characteristic set because the RAT Pro S3. The Logitech G502 Hero, as an example, has come down in worth since I first reviewed it to £64 / $68, or a fair cheaper £56 / $55 in the event you go for the marginally older however identically designed G502 Proteus Spectrum mannequin. Both variations get you a similar form of on-the-fly DPI management, further weights to make the mouse heavier, seven correct programmable buttons (or 11 in whole in the event you depend the scroll wheel and fundamental clickers) and a usually way more sturdy and crowd pleasing design than Mad Catz’s RAT.
If you’re within the US, there’s additionally the much more versatile Razer Naga Trinity to take into consideration as properly, which affords a a lot wider vary of controls and customisation choices for only a fraction extra at $75. Thanks to its interchangeable aspect panels, it’s primarily three mice in a single, which is superb worth given the worth, and the primary motive why it’s nonetheless our best gaming mouse suggestion for these seeking to spend between $60-100.