I can haz RAT?

I’ve been using the same mouse for almost a decade. Why? Because I’m left-handed, which means a good mouse is hard to find; they’re all ‘ergonomic’ now, except that they’re anti-ergonomic for the 10-20% of the population who isn’t right-dominant and can just STFU and learn to mouse right-handed. Also, because it was a wireless mouse with instant response in games, because it was really heavy (I hate light mice), because the clicky buttons (all 3 of them) were soft and easy and because I’m resistant to fix something that ain’t broken.

However, it did broke. The rubber covering on the mouse wheel eventually developed cracks and, try though I might to remain loyal, things just weren’t working anymore. It gets annoying to be constantly wheel-clicking when you mean to wheel-scroll. I wonder how much gunge is in there, too, after almost 10 years of near-daily use. Ewww.

I did some research and started out by getting a Razer DeathAdder because it’s one of the few that comes in a left-handed version, but it’s too big for my hand. (Specifically, the left- and right-click buttons are too widely-spaced for short fingers, so beware if you’ve got smaller hands.) So yesterday we trekked into town (instant gratification > cheaper Newegg) and, with some trepidation, I got myself a Cyborg RAT 7, figuring I could return it if it didn’t work for me. I didn’t really expect it to work for me, but I wanted to try it.


It’s a weird-ass mouse. It looks like something out of a computer game, or a normal mouse that’s been assimilated by the Borg collective. But ERMERGERSH! it’s freaking HEAVEN. Despite its rather intimidating and very right-canted appearance, it’s actually easy for me to use left-handed. The thumb-rest has become my pinky-rest and I don’t need a stinkin’ thumb rest, so we’re good there. I can even reach the side-buttons (for a right-handed thumb) with the bottom part of my pinky finger, so they’re not entirely out of play. You can alter the mouse’s weight by adding or removing little round weights underneath, though it’s pretty much perfect for me out of the box. It glides easily, the buttons click easily – perhaps too easily for some, it takes very little pressure – and it looks BADASS.

What more could I want?

Well actually, I could wish the two primary click buttons were interchangeable. What’s with this new trend of not letting people switch the main left- and right-click buttons? Is this another FU to left-handed mousers? (The Death Adder was the same.) Is there some deep and meaningful hardware reason why, with a million other programmable buttons on the damn mouse, the primary buttons can’t be altered? Seriously? I’m already considering removing the RAT-specific driver to see if the basic Windows mouse driver will let me swap those buttons around; I’ll lose some extra functionality, but it might be worth it.

This would be the absolute, never-use-another perfect mouse for me if I could only switch the primary buttons so the left-click is under my index finger and not my middle finger – which is odd, actually, given that I’ve been mousing left-handed with right-handed button configs for over 20 years now. I think it’s because the RAT is that good and that comfortable… and ironically, I can’t.

That aside, I can already recommend this RAT for anyone who wants a rodent that’s on the heavier side. The extra buttons are not intrusive and I haven’t hit any by accident yet – which, as any left-handed mouser will know, is quite a design feat.

Oh, and I also got a keyboard yesterday. It’s mechanical (anyone remember the old IBM keyboards?), sounds like I’m directing a firing squad as I’m typing this, is backlit (enough to be seen from the moon if I turn the brightness up to 100), and is already a million times better for typing than my old keyboard was, even if the keys are a tiny bit smaller. I can’t wait to see how this stacks up the first time I have to type 8,000 words in a day – the old keyboard used to give me meatsack hands at the end of crunch days. I’m told mechanical ones won’t, so we’ll see.


6 thoughts on “I can haz RAT?

  1. They do an mmo version with even more buttony goodness. I use a Roccat Kone+ now which I got a couple of years ago. They do an ambidextrous mouse with extra buttons and adjustable weight etc which might have been up your street. I got a Cyborg a few years back with a magazine subscription. It was good until it got a bit jittery. Turns out I could have fixed it easily with a bit of tissue to stop the lens from moving (as I did with my Apple Magic Mouse). Anyway, enjoy your mouse!

  2. Meatsack hands, that’s pretty funny. Being left handed myself, I’m glad I didn’t become one of those crazy left handed mouse gamers, that’s just nuts!

  3. Interesting. I’m in the market for a new mouse myself – thankfully I don’t mouse left handed (I may or may not be naturally left-dominant, but I was taught to write with my right hand, and that’s what I use on my mouse).

    I have to say that this mouse scared me and fell off of my list early on because some reviews I read online indicated that all the bumps and robot things made for some uncomfortable and/or protruding parts. I have not been able to find any stores that have an open box so I can actually touch the thing and see if it isn’t evil, and unlike many other mouse-manufacturers they do not include a plastic cut-out on the box so you can get at least a rough feel for the shape of the thing.

    (Of course, the cut-out preview isn’t perfect either – Razer’s boxes are so close in size to the mouse that I can’t tell if my palm won’t fit on the mouse because the mouse is too small, or because the angle at which I have to bend my wrist to get my hand onto the cutout thing is too wide.)

    Anyway, interesting to hear a review from a real live person I know… though your opinion is probably useless to me if your hands are so small. πŸ˜›

    1. Actually you can make the mouse longer by pulling out the back bit up to something like 3/4″ (guesstimate). And yes, it does have protrusions, but they’re oddly unintrusive — and I’m using the mouse the wrong way. Held in my right hand it feels even more comfortable.

      One of the reasons I didn’t get it from Newegg is that having bought it locally, I *can* just take it back and say I don’t like it w/o having to pay restocking or whatever (not to bash Newegg – they’re great and I buy most of my stuff from them).

      It’s only been 24 hours but so far I’m mightily impressed with it and I’m really picky, so you might consider giving it a shot. Looking badass isn’t a selling-point for me, but it sure is a plus that it’s good AND looks badass on my desk. πŸ˜‰

      1. I love Newegg too, but the combination of return postage and the restocking fee means that there are certain types of items that it does not make sense to try to return to them. I’ll have to check and see whether any local retailers actually do accept exchanges with no restocking fee. (I can’t blame any business that does, since an open item generally has to be resold at a discount.)

        Mice in particular are so tough to shop for because your hand is such a personal thing. It’s relatively hard to screw up a keyboard, but any given mouse will be someone’s favorite and someone else’s worst mouse ever. I’m sure there was a ton of cool stuff I missed at PAX East last year, but the one thing I’m really kicking myself over was that there were mice all over the place that I could have tried if I’d been thinking that far ahead.

  4. I’ve been on the lookout for a new mouse/keyboard combo for a while, I’ll have to give some serious thought to this combo. Currently I’m using a 5-button Logitech lazer mouse and the G15 keyboard. Great for what I do, but I think I would like an upgrade. I was thinking about getting the G510 keyboard, but no idea about the mouse. Thanks for the insight, I’ll defiantly be checking it out more closely.

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