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Up close with Mad Catz's Rat Air, Rat Pro X3, Freq 4 and ES Pro+

Look what the Catz dragged in.

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seanhollister.jpg

Sean Hollister

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1 of 14 Sean Hollister/CNET

Mad Catz Rat Air

Mad Catz has returned from the dead, and we just got our first look at the gaming gear it brought back from the grave.

First up: The Rat Air. You've probably never seen a mouse like this before, and I'm not talking about the sharp corners. 

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Mad Catz Rat Air

Nor do I mean the awesome-looking secondary scroll wheel under your thumb, the adjustable palmrest or the sniper button built into the side, though those are cool too. 

No, I mean the Mad Catz Rat Air is a wireless mouse with no batteries inside. 

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Mad Catz Rat Air

Instead, it's got supercapacitors from Germany, which wirelessly charge from coils built into its included mousepad. They're ready to go the instant you set the mouse down, and they hold 20 seconds worth of energy -- no need to worry about lifting off the pad.

Just know that the unit I demoed at CES didn't seem to have a flawless wireless connection. I definitely had some moments where it had a little jitter. 

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Mad Catz Rat Air

Want to take it to go? Just rip the USB cable out of the mousepad, stick it into the mouse, and you're wired instead of wireless.

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Mad Catz Rat Air

Here's where the wire goes. 

The Rat Air should ship this summer, but we don't have a price yet.

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Mad Catz ES Pro+

Gaming earbuds with a boom mic. A twin-boom mic at that. For gamers who want a more lightweight headset.

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Mad Catz ES Pro+

Here's what they look like on my head. Silicone loops keep them secure, and the boom mic pops right out if you want to use them while walking down the street, too. The ES Pro+ should be available in the spring. There's no pricing for this one yet.

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Mad Catz Rat Pro X3

I'm so glad to see the mouse I once called "the most insane" come back to life. The Rat Pro X3 is one crazy device. Practically every piece of this mouse can be swapped out, including the adjustable palmrest, thumbpad, ring finger rest, the scroll wheel cover, the feet, and the mouse sensor itself.

It comes with most of those parts -- including teflon and ceramic feet -- but you'll need to buy new mouse sensors separately.

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Mad Catz Rat Pro X3

Plus, the scroll wheel itself can rock left or right like an analog joystick with programmable functions. You can adjust its tension to your preference. 

The Rat Pro X3 should arrive this summer. Again, no pricing yet.

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Mad Catz Freq 4

The impressive thing about the Freq 4 headset is how little I thought about it when I wore it to play PUBG. It's surprisingly comfortable on a big head like mine, and lighter than you'd expect from a headset with a prominent metal band. 

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Mad Catz Freq 4

Like most of Mad Catz's new products, it comes in both black and white, as well as a non-light-up, presumably cheaper version called the Freq 2.

The Freq 4 is coming this summer, according to Mad Catz. 

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Mad Catz Rat 6+ and Rat 4+

As before bankruptcy, the new Mad Catz will also sell cheaper lookalike versions of its mice, each with fewer features as you move down the price spectrum. The Rat 6+, for instance, has an adjustable palmrest and secondary thumb scroll wheel. The Rat 4+ has neither.

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Mad Catz Strike 2 and Rat 2+

Mad Catz is bringing back keyboards, too, though not yet with the old angular and modular Strike design. This one's a membrane type.

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Mad Catz Strike 4

The Strike 4, meanwhile, is a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches, doubleshot keys (the letters are physically molded into the keys instead of being printed on top), and all-key anti-ghosting.

That's Mad Catz' new lineup.

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