M.O.U.S.9 Final Thoughts
Input devices like mice and keyboards are something you’ll use for hours every day, so I think it’s important to really give these review items a workout. I used the Mad Catz M.O.U.S.9 exclusively over a period of several days to see how it performed as a day-to-day mouse, a Photoshop mouse, and a gaming mouse.
First, let’s get the obvious out of the way: if you’re a heavy gamer, there are better mice available, including Mad Catz’ own R.A.T. series. The lower polling rate of the M.O.U.S9 (125 polls per second as opposed to the 1,000 polls per second of most dedicated gaming mice) is something you’ll notice in fast-paced FPS and action games. I use my R.A.T. mouse with the full weight stack, and the M.O.U.S felt almost flimsy in comparison. The non-adjustable 990dpi resolution, on the other hand, wasn’t a limiting factor, at least for me, although it could be a factor in multi-monitor systems.
As a “general applications mouse”, the news is better. Especially for programs like Photoshop, where you might have a number of macros defined, the 10 programmable buttons and the ease of programming make using the mouse a pleasure. Since button profiles switch automatically depending on the program in use, you never have to worry about having the right profile active.
My only complaint is with the Mac software, which has several annoying issues that the Windows version does not: the “Zoom In” and “Zoom Out” functions don’t seem to work, regardless of the mouse button they’re assigned to; and there’s the problem I described above when assigning a profile to an application. Still, these are minor issues and the latter has a workaround. I’m sure Mad Catz will address them in a software update.
The M.O.U.S.9 is one of Mad Catz’ “GameSmart” peripherals. GameSmart devices all use the Bluetooth 4.0 Smart protocol, which Mad Catz says provides “…a simplified setup process, longer battery life, and universal compatibility.” The “simplified setup” is certainly true, since I didn’t have to go through the normal Bluetooth pairing procedure to connect the mouse to either a Mac or a Windows machine. We’ll just have to see about the battery life and universal compatibility.
This is a schizophrenic product. Its price and advertising place it squarely in “gamer” territory– note the “GameSmart” label prominently placed on the front of the package. But it lacks the adjustability, resolution, and polling speed of a true gaming mouse. When perfectly serviceable wireless mice can be had from major vendors like Microsoft and Logitech for a small fraction of the M.O.U.S.9‘s price, you have to wonder how many non-gamers will be willing to pay for it.
Mad Catz Mouse Conclusion
The performance of the M.O.U.S.9 mouse was excellent when considered as a non-gaming mouse. The slower polling rate introduces a slight but noticeable lag in fast-paced action games. The one-year battery life (if achieved) is also excellent.
Appearance is always a subjective issue: I liked the form of the M.O.U.S.9, but I’m not a fan of glossy plastics, so if I were buying this mouse for myself, I’d go for the flat black version.
The construction of the mouse mirrors that of its R.A.T. siblings, with a heavy aluminum base and thick plastics. My R.A.T. 9 works as well today as it did when I got it for review in November of 2010, and I see no reason the M.O.U.S.9 won’t have the same level of durability.
There are mice with more buttons, but the 10 offered by this mouse seems to be a reasonable compromise between “number of actions you can actually remember” and “what does that button do again?” The software is much improved over the version shipped with the R.A.T. 9 I reviewed, and aside from a couple of issues on the Mac side, it works very well.
The value consideration is always the hardest part for high-end products like this. For $127 (Amazon | Newegg), you’re paying anywhere from double to quadruple the price of wireless mice from other major vendors like Logitech. Granted, this mouse does a lot more than most of its competition, but the market segment used to paying this kind of price is gamers, who would be better served by the R.A.T. series of rodents.
+ Battery lasts for a year!
+ Unique shape
+ 10 programmable buttons
+ Intuitive software makes programming the mouse easy
+ Mac and Windows support
+ Configuration-free Bluetooth 4.0
- Very expensive
– Small glitches in Mac software
– Unique shape may not work for everyone
Final Score: 8.95 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
COMMENT QUESTION: Who makes your favorite gaming mouse?