The originally Icemat was hailed the world over my gamers and enthusiasts for its sleek looks, gaming prowess, and the all important part of aiding the experienced gamer in making fragging those noobs just that bit easier. Today I have with me the newer, sleeker and sexier looking Icemat 2nd Edition, let’s see how it does when put through its paces.
A little About Icemat
Icemat is a gaming surface and gaming audo equipment production company based in Copenhagen, Denmark. They have a reputation for fantastic mouse mats and their audio equipment is considered top of the range.
The Icemat 2nd Edition
Enjoy the large glass surface of the 2nd edition Icemat. The 2nd edition series, is all about cool looks, and top notch performance.
Dimensions: 250 x 300 mm / 10×12 inch.
A First Look
As soon as I opened the brown cardboard box containing the Icemat I knew I was in for a treat. The Icemat was boxed in a very fetching white box, sporting the Icemat logo, several pictures of the Icemat Itself some information about it.
Inside the box the quality of packaging was much the same, the Icemat itself being sandwiched neatly between two pieces of polystyrene
Also included in the package were several feet pads for your mouse, more on these later.
A Closer Look
Once out of the packaging, the Icemat is little more than stunning. It is the best looking mouse mat I have ever seen. With smooth brushed glass on the top, sporting the fetching Icemat logo underneath. The underside of the mat is black with an almost mirrored finish and several rubber feet to anchor the mat to your desk.
The next thing for me to do was the place the mat on my trusty desk, and begin the testing.
As soon as I placed my hand onto the smooth, cool surface and dragged my mouse across the mat to get started with the testing, the first problem with this mat hit me, somewhat piercingly. My mouse, with its stock rubber soles on scraped across the glass surface, making a horrible noise. It didn’t leave any visible scratched but I would not have wanted to do it for much more. Thinking my review was at an early end, I suddenly remembered the plastic feet that had been provided with the mat. Gleefully I attached them to my mouse’s feet and grabbing hold of the now nicely shoed mouse, I continued the testing.
Or at least, I would have liked to. With the feet placed on top of the stock feet of my mouse I realized that I had raised the mouse too high, and that the optical laser was now not being read on the perfect black surface. Frustrated, I removed the stock feet and replaced the Icemat feet (NB. The sticky residue used to attach the feet was easily transferred from pad to mouse, so be careful removing them). Finally, I could continue the testing.
The first way I tested this mouse mat was for general windows browsing. I spent 5 minutes browsing websites, forums, navigating through windows folders, no problems, mouse flew around smooth as the rear end of a newly born.
The next test, F.E.A.R multiplayer. I opened up the game with high hopes for the Icemat, and as I entered my first server and began fragging, the main problems with this mouse mat became clear. If you are somewhat of an excitable gamer like myself, you may find your hands sweat a little during game play. This is fine on a fabric mouse mat, but on a glass surface that sweat just sits there. Try passing your optical mouse over a somewhat damp glass surface and you will see what happens; it doesn’t read your movement, at all. Needless to say, I left the server relatively quickly due to constant “noob” comments, and from getting constantly stuck in corners, unable to turn around.
I changed mouse, and using the roller ball I had less of a problem, but with a slicker surface due to my hands moisturizing the mat, the roller ball was less responsive than on a conventional mat.
My last test was Command and Conquer Generals, my all time favorite strategy game. The mat performed much better in this game, slower mouse moves, and a less stressful atmosphere for myself being the main contributing factors. I only had slight problems with the optical beam being read later in the game, when the pace had increased enough for me to becoming slightly more agitated.
This is a fantastic mouse mat in many ways. It is one of the sexiest looking mouse mats I have ever seen. Its gorgeous glass finish is a real eye catcher, and its cold glass feel is very nice indeed. It works flawlessly throughout windows applications and surfing around online, however it does have some shortfalls. During high speed and especially high tense games, any fluids shed onto the pad render your mouse almost useless, and the mouse tends to not read and the most inopportune moments. Another problem with the pad I found at the conclusion of the testing was this:
The lovely finish that I had praised earlier was marred by my greasy fingers. Curse you Fear!
In slower games, such as CnC Generals and other RTS games, this mat performs brilliantly, and is flawlessly smooth in allowing your mouse to glide effortlessly over its surface.
All in all, this is a great mouse mat, one for perhaps the casual gamer and general windows user rather than the hardcore gamers, though perhaps the less leaky of the gaming world will find this mat much more easier to use than I.
|Really, really, really ridiculously good looking||Falls short in fast FPS games|
|Smooth||Surface is easily marred by scratches and greasy fingerprints|
|Black||A bit too cold to the touch|
|Flawless glass finish|
|Perfect for Windows applications and web surfing|
I would like to thank Icemat for providing us with their Icemat 2nd Edition for us to review.