Mad Catz RAT TE and STRIKE TE Reviews

October 27, 2015 // 7:03 p.m.

Tags: #gaming-mouse #kailh #laser-mouse #mad-catz #mad-catz-rat-te-review #mad-catz-strike-te-review #mechanical-keyboard

Mad Catz R.A.T. TE and S.T.R.I.K.E. TE Reviews

It's been a while since we last looked at a Mad Catz product here at bit-tech and our last real exposure to them was at Gamescom 2014. However, the company recently sent us a selection of its latest peripherals, including the R.A.T. TE mouse and S.T.R.I.K.E. TE keyboard, with the TE in both instances standing for Tournament Edition.

Mad Catz R.A.T. TE Review

Manufacturer: Mad Catz
UK price (as reviewed):
£52.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $49.99 (ex Tax)

The R.A.T. TE (hereafter Rat TE) is designed to be a nimble little rodent, and at 90g it certainly feels light to wield and there are no additional weights supplied. You can clearly see how this low weight is achieved, with a number of cutaway sections in the body. However, this doesn't hinder comfort like you might think, as the areas where you actually make contact with the mouse are generally smooth.

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Even so, the Rat TE doesn't fill your hand as comfortably as something like a Mionix or Razer mouse, but nor is it designed to – it's definitely more suited to a claw or fingertip grip than palm. It can be physically adjusted to suit longer hands using a button on the back to release and slide back the rear section, which is pretty neat, but even then it never satisfies with a palm grim, as the side of your ring finger and the edge of your palm near where the thumb and index finger meet rest awkwardly against the hard edges. Switching to a claw grip is more comfortable and gives you a greater feeling of control. Mad Catz' claim that the Rat TE has contours for your ring and pinky fingers is a bit of a stretch but they did easily find a natural resting place against the side of the mouse.

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The build quality of the mouse is brought into question by the cutaway segments as it leaves other parts of the body feeling unsupported and flexible, especially with the rear section extended. Thankfully, the actual materials used are decent – the soft-touch surfaces are comfortable and smooth but not too slippery, which gives you a good hold of the mouse, and the PTFE feet keep all movements feeling very smooth.

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The main clickers sit atop Omron switches, rated for 5 million cycles. The buttons are detached from the main body and have a very nice, light action, making them easy to click repeatedly fast. Players more used to assuming sniper or vehicular combat roles may want a mouse with a heavier click but we have no complaints here. Similarly, the scroll wheel is also excellent, with a rubberised and textured surface, clearly defined steps and a well-balanced click force; fairly heavy but not excessively so.

While Mad Catz gets these essentials right then, the extra buttons are not as impressive. The DPI controller, for example, is a single large button with two distinct switches underneath. This isn't actually a problem, as a slightly raised section at the back helps you to hit the right part – we never hit DPI down instead of DPI up, for example, and vice versa. The main issue we have with it is that the switches are stiff and a little sticky too, meaning the feedback is not always as clear as you'd like. Luckily, there is an easily visible series of red LEDs along the left side to tell you your current DPI level.

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Worse, however, is the dedicated mode switch, used to flick between the Rat TE's three onboard profiles on-the-fly and located on the inside of the raised area besides the left click button. It is extremely stiff and difficult to press without jolting the sensor off course or altering your hand position significantly. Also, while it has a tri-colour LED used to indicate the current profile, you can't actually see it as it faces away from you.

The thumb zone too, could do with some work. The DPI clutch, known as the Precision Aim button, is generally okay but the two main thumb buttons we found to be too small.
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