The R.A.T. series of mice by Mad Catz have the looks of a stealth fighter, and look like they’d be incredibly uncomfortable to hold. In stark contrast to the smooth lines of your typical mouse, R.A.T. mice are all edges and corners, but the design belies the fact that they’re incredibly ergonomic and adjustable. Having used a R.A.T. 6 for years, I was excited to hear that Mad Catz was coming out of bankruptcy swinging, and releasing a new series of R.A.T. mice under new management, one of which is the Mad Catz Pro S3
The Mad Catz Pro S3 is one of the company’s mid-tier models, which offers some of the customization and features of higher-end models at a modest price. You won’t find the adjustability of the Pro X3, but it does have enough flexibility that users with any size of hand should be able to find a comfortable setting.
Mad Catz Pro S3 Specs:
- Sensor: PIXART PMW3330
- DPI Range: Up to 7200
- USB Report Rate: Up to 2500HZ
- Tracking Speed: Up to 3.8M/S / 150”/S
- Acceleration: 30G
- Frame Rate: 8,000
- Button Life: Up to 50M clicks
- Programmable Buttons: 8
- Weight: 80G without cable
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Pro S3 is that it’s light and has a smaller profile than your standard gaming mouse. Since the palm rest adjusts out, this isn’t too much of an issue. However, it lacks any weight customization, so if you want something a bit more substantial, then you might not find the S3 to your tastes.
The mouse glides smoothly across pretty much any bare, flat surface thanks to Mad Catz’s Pro Slide Technology. You can use any mousepad, or even your bare desk, and not worry about friction slowing you down.
One of the key parts of the R.A.T. design I like is the thumb rest on the left side. This lets you just rest your thumb on the mouse instead of tucking and holding it on the side. However, it’s also a bit of a double-edged sword. The mouse is heavily geared towards right-handed users, and since there’s no left-handed variation or customization, southpaws won’t get the ergonomic benefits of the S3.
The S3 has eight programmable buttons: right click, left click, wheel click, DPI toggle, and four buttons on the left side. They’re each positioned in standard locations, but I do have to point out that one of the eight buttons is kind of a pain to activate.
The bottom left side pair of buttons aren’t designed in a very logical manner. They’re configured in a way that one is easy to activate as it has a raised edge that is easy to feel. The button closest to the end of the mouse is pretty much flush with the mouse frame. I didn’t even know a button was there when I first started reviewing the mouse. It’s hard to consistently use this button because you have to squash your thumb into it to activate it. There’s no tactile indicator for the button either, so you’re forced to squish your thumb around and hope you hit it.
Fortunately, the rest of the buttons are designed well and give a satisfying click when pressed. The mouse wheel is oversized and feels great as well. Since it’s a little larger than your typical wheel, it’s easier to activate the middle mouse click without accidentally scrolling at the same time as well.
If you’re into RGB, the S3 has you covered here. You can set a wide array of effects and options via the Mad Catz software, and it’s one of the cheaper mice we’ve seen with full RGB capabilities. You can also save four profiles to the mouse via the software, and you can select which one you want to use via a button on the bottom of the mouse.
All in all the Mad Catz Pro S3 is a good entry point if you’re in the market for a mouse and looking for something different, but don’t want to spend too much money on a gamble. It’s not a design that’s for everyone, you’ll likely love it or hate it, but if you give it a chance, you’ll find it’s one of the more ergonomic designs available. At $60.99 the Pro S3 is a good value, and offers a unique take on mouse design.
GR reviewed the S3 Pro based on a hardware sample provided by Mad Catz.