Hardware

Geek Gifts 2010: Cyborg R.A.T. 7 gaming mouse

The Cyborg R.A.T. 7 is the prototypical gaming mouse designed to be mechanically adjustable to fit any hand and any game playing style.

For hardcore PC gamers, the mouse is a very important part of the overall gaming experience. There is a thriving niche market for specially designed gaming mice, and none is more impressive than the Cyborg R.A.T. 7. With a futuristic design that includes a built-in tool for mechanically adjusting the shape of the R.A.T. 7, this is a gaming mouse that will make any geeky gamer drool.

Previously reviewed 2010 Geek Gift Guide products can be found on this special focus page.

Specifications

  • Product: Cyborg R.A.T. 7
  • Company: Mad Catz Interactive Asia Limited
  • Operating System: Windows XP, Vista, 7
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0
  • DPI range: 25-5600dpi (in 25dpi steps)
  • Acceleration: 50G
  • Polling Rate: Dynamic up to 1000Hz
  • Tracking Speed: Up to 6m/sec
  • Cost: Around $80 ($78.99 on Amazon)
  • Photos: Cyborg R.A.T. 7 gaming mouse

What I like

  • Construction: The R.A.T. 7 framework is titanium metal, and it feels like it. The parts fit together flawlessly. You can tell that this is one mouse that is engineered to be solid and durable, which is perfect because gamers tend to drive their mice hard.
  • Laser DPI: The R.A.T. 7 has a very high maximum dots per inch (DPI) rating, making it extremely responsive to the user's slightest movement. However, I found that the highest DPI settings were actually too responsive for me, but that was okay because I could easily step the DPI down to a more manageable level.
  • Configurable: The Cyborg R.A.T. 7 niche is that it can be mechanically modified to configure to a user's unique requirements. By moving and/or removing various pieces, a user can configure the thumb buttons, palm guard, and pinky rest to their most comfortable position. See the Photo Gallery for a visual explanation.

What I don't like

  • Buttons: I am a mouse buttons gamer - that is to say, I want as many configurable mouse buttons as I can get. So, while you can figure the R.A.T. so that the buttons are where you want them, you do not get more than two thumb buttons, right and left main buttons, and a middle wheel button. By contrast, my old Logitech MX518 gaming mouse has eight configurable buttons.
  • Price: The Cyborg R.A.T. 7 has come down in price since it first came to market, and you can get one for around $80, but I think that is still too much by about $20.

Geek bottom line

The Cyborg R.A.T. 7 is a very good, well-made, superbly engineered gaming mouse. And, while the novelty of being able to make physical adjustments is pretty cool, it is not the most important feature. The ability to set a response level that matches your game playing style is what separates this mouse from others. It is also one of the few gaming mice on the market that have, what they call in the car selling business, a head-turning quotient.

Geek gift rating (out of 5)

  • Fun factor: ****
  • Geek factor: *****
  • Value: **
  • Overall: ****

Want more reviews of tech gadgets and gizmos? Download the PDF of TechRepublic's Geek Gift Guide 2010.

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About

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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