Apr 13, 2013 Mufaddal Fakhruddin
Mad Catz M.O.U.S 9 isn’t a true-blue gaming controller. Not quite, or at least it doesn’t appear to be so. The catch line Mad Catz is using is that its made for “everyday computing” and for “commonplace tasks”, placing the M.O.U.S 9 away from its super-powered R.A.T lineup. On paper, the M.O.U.S 9 sounds a like a filtered down, budget gaming mouse meant for the mobile gamer that also makes presentation slides and excel sheets. However,it’s quite pricey at $129.99.
Mad Catz justifies the price tag in a number of ways. The M.O.U.S 9 features Bluetooth 4.0 Smart technology that makes it not only compatible with Windows and Macs, but also smartphones and tablets (that also supports the same, such as the new iPad and Microsoft Surface). It also runs on Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy computing that provides wireless performance on considerably extended battery life – Mad Catz claims the M.O.U.S 9 will run for a whole year on a single AA battery .Which if true, and though we have no means of testing that, is quite impressive.
M.O.U.S 9 will also work on virtually any surface making it extremely easy to setup and use in different places. I have tried the mouse on any surface I could find: wood, glass, plastic, clothes, card-board, and even human skin, and the M.O.U.S 9 has worked with varying degrees of precision.
The M.O.U.S 9 features the same flourish like the R.A.T products. The Transformers look is still extremely appealing, even more so with the black outlines on a Ferrari red casing. It’s definitely a head turner and should prompt queries around work places. The M.O.U.S 9 is meant to be juggled between work and gaming, so it doesn’t quite offer the customization of the R.A.T mices, however you can adjust the palm rest upto a certain degree.
My biggest gripe with the M.O.U.S 9’s design is that it’s all plastic. It’s solidly built and feels great in the hands, but it’s a slippery slope during long sessions of anything – be it work or gaming. I found myself constantly wiping my fingers as I could feel even the slightest bit of sweat. It makes the surface sticky and uneasy quite quickly. The M.O.U.S 9 could have done with rubber grips or at least have them as interchangeable for those that need them.
Otherwise the M.O.U.S 9 is sufficiently ergonomic with all of its 10 buttons easily reachable. Mad Catz encourages to use these buttons for work purposes, so much so that you can download pre-configured profiles for Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office. If you are already accustomed to using your gaming mouse to perform daily tasks, then this shouldn’t be something new.
In those ten buttons, you get an additional scroll wheel and a sniper-trigger. While I have not quite understood the use of an additional scroll wheel, though I am sure many have, the sniper-trigger always comes in handy. It’s a button when held, drastically reduces the DPI to pickup headshots better (or crop and select objects in Photoshop). It’s well implemented in the M.O.U.S 9 as its easy to press and is positioned just under your thumb. It doesn’t make me squeeze the mouse, which has been a problem in just about every mouse I have used that has this, and as a result I have a steady aim throughout transitioning from lower DPI and back to the default.
Speaking of DPI, the M.O.U.S 9 tops it at 990 DPI max.Expectedly, 990 DPI is not enough by any stretch of the imagination. It’s quite alright on smaller screens (like 15″) but anything bigger than that and you will be dragging your mouse all the time. For gaming, in particular, it is absolute suicide and I am not even fond of high-DPI levels. I usually have it on 1400 to 1700 DPI, and even by those standards the M.O.U.S 9 falls considerably short. It’s a Bluetooth 4.0 limitation I suppose, but such low DPI levels is a deal-breaker.
Wireless precision isn’t upto snuff either. Tracking skips every so often, and this on a proper gaming pad with the Bluetooth dongle only a few inches away. This has resulted in many unwarranted closed windows and loss of work, an unacceptable fact on such a premium device.
The M.O.U.S 9 is expensive for what it offers. It’s a future-proof device, Mad Catz says, but do you really see yourself using the M.O.U.S 9 on your smartphone or tablet? Sure, the Bluetooth 4.0 technology is quite nice, and yes, it provides significant battery life, but that comes at the cost of higher DPI levels and precision, essential to any mouse, be it a gaming one or a standard.
Mufaddal Fakhruddin is an editor at Tbreak and sister site, IGN Middle East. He likes puns and poor jokes, and wishes he could do parkour. Follow him on Twitter, it will make him happy.
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