In my quest to hoard as many PC peripherals as I possibly can, I have been led to some pretty amazing devices. One of my favorite things to review are new gaming mouses (mice?), and the latest one I received is one of the coolest looking ones I’ve had the pleasure of using.
 
MCB43715_mous9_MB.01Behold, the Mad Catz M.O.U.S.9. It looks like a Transformer, doesn’t it? It has a lovely build, feels great, and even though I tend to prefer my mice to be a little heavier, the M.O.U.S.9 gave me no issues whatsoever. Everything glided along smoothly.
 
I have used many gaming mice where there are buttons and button’s worth of…buttons, and usually all that happens is that I end up accidentally hitting extra buttons when I don’t mean to. With the M.O.U.S.9, the buttons are actually spread out and positioned in such a manner that accidental presses aren’t an issue; yet, you’re never forced to stretch and reach too far in order to access them. It’s hard to describe the layout, so you’ll have to refer to the images to see what I am talking about.
 
The main features of the M.O.U.S.9 include:
 
– Track on Glass Avago 8020 sensor
– Bluetooth Smart technology; connect direct to your device, or via USB nano-dongle
– 10 metre wireless range
– 120Hz polling/ 8ms response rate, when connected with dongle.
– Powered by 1 x AA battery for up to 1 year battery life depending on use.
– Ultra smooth PTFE feet
– Extendable palm rest with 0mm, 5mm, 10mm and 15mm options
– Size: Length – 105 mm (min) 125 mm (max) x Width – 65 mm x Height – 38 mm
– Weight: 138 g (with battery)
– 10 programmable buttons
– Travel pouch
– Blue LED for connection and battery status
– 1 locked DPI level of 990 (not user adjustable)
 
MCB43715_mous9_gr_002Since my PC does not come with built-in bluetooth, I had to use the included dongle. There was a pretty noticeable difference in performance depending on where I plugged the dongle in; the front of my computer offered no issues. The back of my computer resulted in a stuttery experience. I would imagine the range would be better since it is advertised as having 10 meters of range, so I would have to suspect this is due to interference with other wireless signals, of which there are a LOT of in my office. Either way, once I found the best location to set the dongle, we were off and running.
 
The M.O.U.S.9 uses a versatile laser sensor that allows you to use virtually any surface, including glass. While I did not get a chance to try out glass, I did use the mouse on wood, fabric, leather, granite, tile, my suede couch, and my leg (with pants on, of course). Every surface worked swimmingly.
 
The M.O.U.S.9 offers a fantastic gaming experience. Not only are you free from wires which gives you a great deal of freedom to move around wherever you like, but there are also a few features that make switching between different gaming situations a breeze. One of the games I tested with this mouse was Battlefield 3. With the polling rate and sensitivity jacked way up and grenades mapped to one of the side buttons, I never had to take my eyes off the screen. I was able to whip about with great speed and accuracy, and when it came to sniping missions where pinpoint accuracy was needed, I simply held down the Precision Control button on the left side of the mouse to slow my mouse movements down to a crawl.
 
The Precision Control button is a lifesaver, and not only in gaming. You can set how sensitive the movement is via the Mad Catz M.O.U.S.9 software, and anytime you click and hold the button down, the sensitivity modifier is applied. Obviously this comes in handy in gaming, such as the sniping missions or any other situation where you need to be accurate. In daily use, it also works like a charm. It works especially well in Photoshop, where small movements are usually widely used (such as drawing around an object). I like to mess around with Photshopping humorous images for the members of my parenting group on a pretty regular basis; take my word for it when I say that the Precision Control has saved me a ton of time.
 
One of the cooler features of the M.O.U.S.9, and honestly the one feature I really was not expecting, is the Instant View button located directly below the scroll wheel. One click of that button, and your desktop pans out to show every window and application that you have open. Ubuntu users will instantly recognize this feature, as it more than resembles the Workspaces that the popular Linux OS uses. The only weird thing I noticed is that if you use a multi-monitor setup (I use three), the Instant View mashed all three of your screens into one, which can look weird if you use three wallpapers. It’s not a big deal, and actually looked kinda cool, if I’m honest.
 
MCB43715_mous9_mb_004Rounding out the features of the M.O.U.S.9 is the inclusion of Bluetooth 4.0 BLE ( a new, power-efficient version of bluetooth), a horizontal scroll wheel, GameSmart technology (which connects to mobile devices and PCs with quick and easy setup), and a my single favorite feature; the adjustable palm rest and thumb rest (non-adjustable). It seems silly to fawn over these comfort options, but long sessions of gaming and other mouse use require a comfy mouse, and with these options, your hand will be comfortable.
 
With any high-end gaming mouse, you come to expect a certain degree of freedom when it comes to customization, and the M.O.U.S.9 does not disappoint. Using the included software, users can enjoy a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows you to configure any of the 10 buttons to suit your needs (the LMB and RMB are not configurable). I have copy and paste mapped to my side buttons, and my browser’s “back” mapped to the wing button. Talk about convenience.
 
For all this and a nice carrying pouch, the M.O.U.S.9 is 100% worth the fairly steep $129.99 price tag. While the light weight might throw off those who prefer a heavier mouse at first, don’t be fooled into thinking this is some cheap, dollar store knockoff. Someone who uses their computer simply to surf the web and check some e-mail every now and then will most likely not find any use for a mouse like this. That’s fine; this mouse was not made for that demographic. Those who work from their computers daily and hardcore gamers who sink hours into WoW, on the other hand, may want to give the M.O.U.S.9 a serious look. It gives you an incredibly comfortable experience, a ton of customization options, and some nice quirks here and there to make life just a little bit easier. Oh, and did I mentioned how utterly cool it looks?