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We tend to think of some PC components as having a longer shelf life than others. A video card gets out of date faster than a motherboard, which gets out of date faster than an optical drive, for instance. Some people think that a mouse falls way down at the bottom of that list, somewhere between a power supply and the screwdriver you use to put the whole thing together, but those people have got it all wrong.
Eeny, Meeny, Miny Mouse
Your mouse has a huge effect on how effectively you use your computer, and mouse technology evolves every year. Last year’s killer feature becomes this year’s baseline. Performance that was once top-of-the-line starts to make an appearance in the bargain bin. So if you’re still using the same crusty old mouse from half a decade ago, or if you’ve never made the jump to a true gaming mouse in the first place, you owe it to yourself to take a look at what’s on the market right now.
To help you out, we’ve rounded up six premium gaming mice spanning multiple price points and niches and put them to the test in an attempt to find the best gaming mouse. Each one has been rated based on its features, build quality, performance, and software support. Some of these mice are among the best we’ve ever tested, so read on and find out how you’re going to control your next PC.
Is it time to cut the cord?
A lot of gamers still have the idea that a true gaming mouse can’t be wireless—that wireless mice lag and are unreliable and will totally wreck your K/D in Call of Duty. Fortunately, that idea has been proven wrong repeatedly recently, as multiple companies have released high-quality wireless gaming mice. With the G602, Logitech has pounded another nail in that myth’s coffin.
The G602 is a wireless mouse with a solid, all-purpose set of features. It has plenty of buttons, including a bank of six bindable keys accessible to your thumb, which allows it to work fairly well for MMO or FPS gameplay.
It’s long, with a high-arched design that will work best for those who prefer a full-palm grip, and the construction is top-notch. A rubber pad on the palm makes the mouse easy to hold on to, and the textured plastic around the sides of the mouse feels very durable.
The G602 isn’t rechargeable, but it is designed for extreme longevity. Logitech claims that in gaming mode, a single set of two AA batteries will last for 250 hours. During our testing, we weren’t able to make a dent in the battery meter, so we’re not inclined to disagree.
In order to provide longer battery life, Logitech went with an optical sensor. We found the tracking to be quite good, though the maximum 2,500 dpi and 500Hz polling rate might be too low for some gamers. Logitech’s software is usually solid, and the G602 is no exception.
The Logitech G602 features plenty of thumb buttons.
If you’re looking for a wireless-only mouse with plenty of features for any type of gaming, you won’t be disappointed by the G602.
A super-small mouse with some full-size problems
You’ve got to hand it to Mad Catz—the company is not afraid to try new things with its peripherals. This derring-do was apparent with the über-customizable R.A.T. 7, which was truly innovative. With the R.A.T. M, Mad Catz tried something new again. This time, however, it didn’t work out so well.
The R.A.T. M is a gaming mouse designed for portable gaming. It’s wireless, powered by two AAA batteries, and absolutely tiny, so you can throw it in your laptop bag. It can be used as a Bluetooth mouse, though it also comes with a low-profile USB dongle that stows away under the mouse when not in use. As is usually the case, we found the USB mode to be more dependable than Bluetooth. A laser sensor provides great tracking on nearly any surface.
Unfortunately, for all its portable conveniences, the R.A.T. M just isn’t comfortable to use. The palm rest on the mouse extends, increasing the overall length, but even at its very longest, the mouse is still quite small, leaving your hand in a cramp-inducing extreme arc. Worse, the palm rest doesn’t lock into place, so during the course of normal use it would almost constantly get shoved back into its shortest setting, rendering the mouse incredibly uncomfortable to use for more than a short while. There are plenty of buttons on the R.A.T. M, but most of them are quite difficult to hit, due again to the mouse’s small size.
With the R.A.T. M’s palm rest extended, the mouse is almost big enough to comfortably use.
A portable mouse is always going to be a compromise, but at $130 MSRP, the R.A.T. M asks too much, and offers too little.
Mad Catz R.A.T. M
Click the next page to read about the TT ESports Theron and Roccat Kone Pure.