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Input Devices Games Hardware

Gaming Mouse Changes Shape For a Custom Fit 156

crookedvulture writes "Most of us spend a considerable amount of time with a mouse in our hand, but finding the right fit can be tricky. Mad Catz subsidiary Cyborg Gaming attempts to solve that problem with its adjustable Rat 7 mouse, which changes its size and shape to accommodate different hands. This review takes a closer look at the Rat's customization options, its myriad of programmable buttons, and an interesting scroll wheel for your thumb. Despite looking like a torture device, the Rat is said to be very comfortable for gaming and even better for general desktop use." Just look at the pictures. This is truly a wacky device. I want one.
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Gaming Mouse Changes Shape For a Custom Fit

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  • Setup (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iONiUM ( 530420 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:17PM (#33814792) Journal

    Judging by the pictures, it looks like you have to manually set the "length" of the mouse. When I read the description, I was picturing an amorphous blob that transformed to your grip.

    I want the blob. Maybe I'll just wrap silly putty around my standard crappy mouse.

    • I don't remember the product, but there used to be some kind of ergonomic something that came custom. When you "bought" it at the store or via mailorder, you were actually given the kit that molds to your shape. I want to say it was some kind of orthopedic something. It came with some kind of resin that you mixed, and then put your feet onto, and let it harden. Then you sent this negative mold back to the company, and they would injection mold or use some other process to make their product that fit the con
      • Um, I think I’ve heard of that... and I’m pretty sure that was a home-made dildo kit.

        I’d say it was for the girlfriend, but none of us has a girlfriend...

        • Yeah, i'd heard of that product, too, and was trying to avoid alluding to that one. I remember hearing about some kind of insole or glove or something that used the same concept.
          • It's reasonably common in several pro-sports and especially in footwear. Professional ice-skaters and hockey players will certainly have injection mold based skates, and I'm guessing many athletes even get custom molded shoes.

      • As a cyclist and a nerd, I ogle at shoes with heat moldable carbon fiber soles, etc, which would be a cool idea for this. I'd love to see a CF mouse - just not the pricetag. Also the logistics of popping a mouse in an oven might pose a slight problem...
        • Better just to screw the cleats directly to the bone, don't you think?

          • Stiffer soles make for better power transfer, it's an efficiency thing. Then again your idea WOULD be super light and some people get a serious hard on for super low stack height.
      • by EdZ ( 755139 )
        There are numerous companies that produce custom-fit In Ear Monitors. While you can take ear canal impressions at home if you're adventurous (and have someone to help you pour the resin in), they recommend you visit an Audiologist (and usually give you a coupon for a free impression).
    • I put a lot of duct tape on mine.

      But I still want Rat 7.

    • Yeah, I was thinking a mouse made of memory foam like those beds or pillows. It actually seems like it’d be really comfortable and less trouble to mess with than trying to adjust this.

    • That's what I was thinking too actually. Nanotechnology applied to a mouse to reshape/mold based on the size and curves of your hand. The way it is now, if more than one person uses the computer, each would have to re-adjust it to suit their personal preference.

    • Best feature of this mouse appears to be the cord. I love all the razer mice I've used but with friends we've lost at least 3 to frayed cords. There's probably another issue there but honestly that detail really pleases me. As for the mouse as a whole ... I'll have to try it to pass judgment, until then it looks absolutely ridiculous.
    • by blair1q ( 305137 )

      Have a few more donuts and that silly putty will be built-in.

    • by vlm ( 69642 )

      When I read the description, I was picturing an amorphous blob that transformed to your grip.

      Smear mouse with sugru, place hand in plastic bag, grip mouse, peel off bag. Personally I use a trackball. Three of them, actually, along with three monitors and one kvm switched keyboard. Well, I guess thats more of a "K" switch than a kvm...

      Sugru is, as near as I can tell, carefully marketed epoxy putty. You could probably use generic epoxy putty if you wanted. []

  • looks like one of those shoe sizing machines they used when we were kids....

    • by srussia ( 884021 )

      looks like one of those shoe sizing machines they used when we were kids....

      Exactly. How much would it really cost to measure you on something like this and tailor a bespoke mouse?

  • by bbtom ( 581232 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:17PM (#33814806) Homepage Journal

    1. Get article from TFA.
    2. Breed it with the OpenOffice Mouse [].
    3. ???
    4. Profit, I guess. Or just stare at the combined ugliness.

    • by bbtom ( 581232 )

      1. Write Slashdot comments while working and make mistake.
      2. Notice afterwards.
      3. Get annoyed.

      "Get mouse from TFA" of course.

    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

      OpenOffice Mouse: You watched it... You can't UNWATCH it!

    • I think it reallys really cool actually. Very mechanical looking.

    • Odd, I like the industrial look. Like a steampunk mouse built out of modern materials, and the steampunk elements are actually functionally important to the device. It's not exactly the sleek modern look we've become accustomed to, but it is futuristic in it's own way.

  • by zerobeat ( 628744 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:19PM (#33814840) Homepage
    This mouse is so configurable, yet can't be used naturally by left handers. This is fail for 10% of the population.
    • by IndustrialComplex ( 975015 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:28PM (#33815000)

      This mouse is so configurable, yet can't be used naturally by left handers. This is fail for 10% of the population.

      This mouse IS very configurable, but it isn't THAT configurable. It sucks being a minority. Trust me, I know. I'm colorblind. At least you can still use your right hand.

      I get to wonder if an option is greyed out, or green and nothing can fix that short of altering my genetic code. My only advantage is that you can usually compensate for that via software. Hardware is going to be designed for 90-95% of the population, and it shouldn't be a surprise if in the announcement of a new product, it doesn't cover that last 5-10%.

      I've worked in an office where we used the mice with our left hands, it took a few days to get used to, but after a while you didn't notice it at all. So the people who CAN'T adapt are probably only 2% of the population.

      • nothing can fix that short of altering my genetic code.

        To be fair, you don't need to change all of your genetic code, just the code in the cells that make up retina. Nothing a little gene therapy [] can't take care of in a decade or so.

      • I'll bite: Why did the office members use their mice with their left hands?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I'll bite: Why did the office members use their mice with their left hands?

          3-4 person branch office. The VP of that branch was left handed, and computers were shared. The secretary found it was easier to just learn how to use her left hand than to move the mouse to the right side, swap the buttons in software, and then set it back to normal when she was done with the computer.

          ie: The right handed people adapted to the left handed mice. It's why I pointed out that it isn't THAT big of a deal, only a min

        • Right hand was busy. Do I really need to say why around here?
        • I'll bite: Why did the office members use their mice with their left hands?

          They might have a peripheral such as a production scanner on the right hand side. I was in that situation, and I quickly learned flipping the book with my right hand and cropping the scanned image with my left.

          I'm very close to ambidextrous and don't really care which side the mouse is on or whether the buttons are switched, I just adapt as needed. It's handy when you're the go-to-guy for all kinds of issues with workstations. A colleague of mine absolutely can't do it, I have no idea if this can be learned

      • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

        Would you mind answering a question for me? Why don't color blind people keep a color filter in their pocket for just such cases? Based on your example I assume you are red-green color blind. So in that case, couldn't you hold a red filter up to your eye? If the control turns black, it was green. If it stays the same, it was red or gray.

        I'm not advocating that people should not consider color blindness in their system designs or anything insensitive. I'm just curious if this hack would help.

        • It's not like that. It's different for everyone really, and it isn't so much as an all or nothing thing. it's a bit hard to describe.

        • I was actually going to ask the same thing but red-green colourblind people should still be able to tell the difference between green and gray, so I assumed he was fully colourblind (or at least some weird sort of colourblind) and figured he’d be the wrong person to ask anyway.

      • Can't adapt, or is sick of the 19th century attitude that expects you to conform to an uncomfortable and unnatural way of usage?
    • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:28PM (#33815002) Homepage

      There target market is people with souls.

    • It's sensible really. It's a niche product so you're only going to sell so many of them. Manufacturing and tooling costs will dictate that only one version be made. And given how it's supposed to fit the form of your hand, you can't really make it mirrored to be used with either hand.

      And I know personally, even though I'm left handed I use the mouse with my right hand. If you're gaming you're probably using both hands, and if you're doing something simple like browsing the web, either hand should do.

    • This is fail for 10% of the population.

      Marketing a product to 90% of population might work out better for them than going through a lot of extra expense to get an extra 10%. What's wrong with that?
    • Damn no good whinny lefties.
    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      yup, nice design, but like most other premium mouses, they will never get my money, I dont need extra buttons and wheels under my pinky


    • Somehow I don't think they are under any illusion that they're going to get 100% of the population using this mouse.
    • This mouse is so configurable, yet can't be used naturally by left handers. This is fail for 10% of the population.

      No most left handers still use right-handed mouses. There's a good reason: CTRL-C and CTRL-V are common operations when using a mouse to highlight. Using a mouse doesn't require a lot of coordination unless you need very fine control. I can't do the most basic life tasks with my offhand but I still can use a mouse in either hand.

      Dvorak is also great on your own computer, but eventually you'll have to use someone else's, so you better be prepared to cope with the standard setup.

  • I don't play video games now, but that mouse looks like a great everyday mouse. The ability to change various distances and sizes would be very helpful in alleviating hand strain. It's a shame it has a cord, but I imagine they are giving us something else to look forward to.

    The only question is build quality and reliability, and of course price.

    I would hope for other colors and better (less robot-y) industrial design, but for a first step, this thing looks good.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There is a cordless version. It's the RAT 9.
    • by Kugala ( 1083127 )

      RAT7 has a cord, RAT9 is wireless.

      The only thing I miss on it is the Logitec N7's freewheeling mode on the scroll wheel to get through large docs (Or more typically deal with incredibly insensitive camera zooming in games).

      That, and that silver wheel just above the thumb? That's a control, it rotates left/right. I have NO idea what to do with it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        That, and that silver wheel just above the thumb? That's a control, it rotates left/right. I have NO idea what to do with it.

        As a casual gamer I might find it convenient for lean if that's possible. In my usual setup (tfgh) I need to move one of my left hand fingers to do that.

    • The second page of the article states that the device shown costs $80, the wireless version is $130, and there are less-configurable models at lower price-points.

      If you spend a lot of time using your mouse (gamers and geeks), it makes sense to spend more money for getting the best-possible comfort and a higher degree of accuracy. Obviously it won't be "worth" $80 to casual computer users or dedicated command-liners, but those aren't the target market.

      • by cgenman ( 325138 )

        High DPI mice start at $50, and are absolutely essential for gaming. This is just a $30 premium for complete physical configurability + extra wheel + sniper mode. That's not bad by gaming standards.

        • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

          Depends on your definition of gaming. This won't help me in Civ 5, WoW, or Starcraft at all compared to much cheaper models. Sniping in an FPS maybe.

        • High DPI mice start at $50, and are absolutely essential for gaming. This is just a $30 premium for complete physical configurability + extra wheel + sniper mode. That's not bad by gaming standards.

          Except for the additional $50 for wireless.... I was so excited about this, but now I'll wait for the movie. $50 for wireless is just gouging.

          It's a cool mouse, and it's neat to have an "indie" hardware product, but it's not that cool if they're charging so much for standard features.

          On the shelf, I see wireless mice only ~$10-$15 above wired. Anyone have an idea what the real price difference in manufacturing wireless vs wired?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by theqmann ( 716953 )
      I've had one of these RAT7 mice for a month or two now, and so far the build quality is very nice. The different pieces screw in with a little hex driver that actually lives in the bottom of the mouse, so you never have to go find it. There's a nice sensitivity rocker button to turn up or down the mouse sensitivity, the main scroll wheel is metal with a nice textured rubber grip band around it. Haven't used the thumb wheel much, and the big red button seems to be able to only be programmed as a modifier
      • There's a nice sensitivity rocker button to turn up or down the mouse sensitivity...

        Ok, that does it, I'm getting one :)
        Too many games doesn't allow me to set the sens *exactly* how I want it, or have ridiculous modifications to sensitivity when you switch to scope. This seems to do away with that problem.

    • I was in the same boat. I was very close to buying a RAT-7 then remembered my Cyborg joystick. It also is very configurable. You can move the hand-rest around, tilt the top forward or back, left or right, adjust the trigger angle, switch it around for lefty or righty, etc. But all those points of adjustment are just future points of failure. I never made a single adjustment after the first day I had it but now the head ratchets back and forth under anything but the lightest touch. And I'm hardly a pow

  • If you want comfort (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:24PM (#33814934) Homepage

    Just go with the classic Kensington Expert Mouse []. Hard to beat.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SIR_Taco ( 467460 )

      You know, I purchased one of these [] made by Kensington a few years ago for $0.75 at a retail store (not a garage sale), new in the box. Only because I thought it was the most ridiculous mouse I have ever seen.

      I had forgot all about it until I read your post..... I'm going to have to go look for it and hook it up for a good laugh

    • by brkello ( 642429 )

      That might be good for comfort, but I want to game. No way can I use that to game as well as even a cheap mouse.

  • ... but I find all mice way too small; instead of holding them in my hand, I have to hold them in kind of a claw-like manner. So one of these will show up on my Christmas list, fo sho.
    • Claw grip is better than palming it anyway
    • Strange. When I use a mouse, it doesn't touch my palm at all. The pad of my palm glides on the desk surface, as does the mouse, which is cradled entirely in my fingers and the pads of my fingers, no 'claw' action at all.

      For reference, my hand is about normal length for a 6' male, but very broad, and I have what may be called "sausage fingers".
  • RAT5 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I actually own a RAT5 (a downgraded version of the RAT7) and I can't say I'm disappointed. It feels great, looks great, and is totally customizable. I would recommend it to most people, if it wasn't for the price.

  • by macraig ( 621737 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [giarc.a.kram]> on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:37PM (#33815180)

    ... dust magnet!

  • Mad Katz... ROLL OUT!
  • I'd be a little concerned about something getting caught in that mouse trap.
  • RAT model 9 (Score:3, Informative)

    by macraig ( 621737 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [giarc.a.kram]> on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:45PM (#33815308)

    The model 9 was reviewed by ARSTechnica [] way back in January. It looks virtually the same to me.

  • by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:46PM (#33815334) Homepage

    All these years there has been so much development in mice, but still we are nowhere near the feel of a real mouse. I mean the warm furry feeling of a live mouse, the little squeaks when you squeeze it just can't be substituted with any shape shifting, high-dpi laser mouse.

  • Biggest thing when getting a mouse is the comfort level. Fitting is part of the comfort but not if it comes at the cost of a jagged surface or things poking you in awkward places.

    Also how is the durability? The more moving parts anything has the more likely it wont last very long.

  • is that a stainless steel RAT?
  • My main computer is used by the entire family. It would get highly annoying to have to adjust it every time I wanted to use it, assuming others adjusted it as well. I'm a Mac user, but I've found the best mouse for my money has always been the Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer. [] It has always had a better contour (at least for right-handers) than any mouse from Apple, Logitech or any other I've tried, all for a much better price. The regular Intellimouse has buttons on both sides making it ambidextrous, but I
  • With all the big metal parts and solid chunks of plastic, that must be the heaviest mouse I've ever seen. The heft probably feels nice in the hand, but it is definitely not ideal for gaming, where mouse inertia is your enemy.

    • Fool!

      You are not a real g4m3r unless your mouse has at least a dozen removable weights to tune its feel!

    • The weight is nice when you are playing at 3000 dpi or better. It prevents inadvertent vibration from spoiling aim or movement. I can play my Rat 7 at a much higher dpi than any other mouse I've owned. Once you get used to the weight, a lighter mouse feels like a balloon, all shape and no mass. The easy dpi shift allows me to sufficiently lower the sensitivity so that my wife can use my computer without having a fit. She never got used to my Logitech G9.

      The main issue to me is that this is really th
  • I have one... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @03:52PM (#33815432)

    I have arthritis in my right hand (thanks to chemo) and in the last six months or so I found that all my Logitech mouse hurt my hand. My fiancée said "we need to get a mouse that doesn't hurt your hand so we can game."

    I picked out the R.A.T. 7, bought it off Amazon and so far it's been a really good mouse. I switched out the palm and pinkie rests, adjusted the size and use it about 6-12 hours a day.

    I really like the long bradded USB cable, they got the details down.

  • ... at the i-series LAN events in the UK.

    I have to say I didn't like it. Even the lowest setting that the rear part of the mouse could be set to was too high, and a few other people who tried it felt the same way. I'll stick with my ROCCAT Kone :)
  • From an industrial design standpoint, I love the mouse. It's not nearly as expensive as I expected either and it seems to have decent reviews on Amazon. I do have concerns about long-term reliability, about the various parts loosening up over time, and cleaning out dust.

    Another issue I see is that despite all the adjustment the mouse seems designed around the palm grip. It would be neat if it's range of adjustment allowed it to transition from a craw grip to palm. I'm also curious to know how much it weighs

  • You just sold me a mouse. And there I was thinking I was inmune to online advertising... ohhh look free emoticons!
  • by Sarusa ( 104047 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:51PM (#33817388)

    Bought one of these when they first came out. It's great - it looks like it would eat your hand, but it's so smooth and comfy, especially the thumb and little finger rests - talk about debauched hedonism.

    Three caveats:
        - Be prepared to spend a couple days tweaking it till it fits perfectly. You can dial it in coarsely pretty fast of course. If you are a compulsive adjuster this mouse may not be for you.
        - If you like to rest the base of your hand (the meaty bit) on the mouse, no go - it supports the front and middle. This is like most mice, but if you're used to one of those big tall Logitech brick mice it may take some getting used to.
        - I still haven't found any use for that horizontal spinner control.

    Pondering getting one for work, even though the DPI doesn't matter so much there.

  • Does it run on Linux?

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost