There are several parts of PC that can be considered essential for top performance gaming. Mouse, of course, keyboard, certainly, maybe headset too? However, many people often overlook the importance of the humble mouse mat. Today I will be testing Nova’s Killer mouse mat; lets see if it makes the grade and qualifies as a gamer’s best friend.
A little about Nova
1991- NOVA created the concept of custom printed mousepad for corporate advertising. Today, NOVA has become the european market leader, and its products are distributed worldwide. Still matchless in choice, innovation and quality, the NOVA range of custom mousepads is produced in Savoy (France), the foothills of the french alps.
NOVA owes its success to a team that is extremely dynamic and efficient, creative and technically skilled as well as decicated to great service.
NOVA exports to over 59 countries and operates two subsidiaries in Seoul, South Korea and in Montreal, Canada to cover North America. Thoroughly on going, NOVA’s know-how adapts to the expectations of its customers. Our custom mousepads are only the first of an extensive list of quality products.
- Extreme precision with any kind of mouse
- Saves battery power in cordless mice
- Cleans mouse trackballs automatically
- Sticks perfectly to any desk surface
- Unbreakable under normal use
Bits and Box
The front of the packaging is bright and colourful, mainly because the front is see through plastic and the orange of the Killer shines straight through it. There are also a few feature listings as well as the phrase “Special Gamers”, to let you know what market the mat is aimed at.
The back of the packaging has some multilingual specifcations and features and some Nova contact information.
No extras with this little beauty, so popping open the packaging we can proceed to looking at the Killer itself.
This mat is quite distinctive compared to most mouse mats that tend to be one “matt” colour. This Killer is speckled grey with a bright orance edge and orange text. It is also quite an odd shape, having a quarter circle design with a concave curve to the bottom of it and a flat left hand edge.
The grey, textured speckled surface on the mat is not only deisnged to work with high precision gaming mice, but interestingly it also claims to clean rollerball mice’s balls.
The orange text and edging do look quite cool, and the fact that its a different texture from the rest of the mat means that you’ll know if while gaming you are getting to the edge of the mat.
Nova maks sure to let you know that this mat is part of their “MicrOptic” range:
The back of the Killer is quite different from the rubber backing on most mats you see. The Killer has a foam back which is designed to expand once pressed into the tiny rivulets in your desk. This therefore holds the mat solidly in place making it very hard to move. In fact, after trying several times to make the mat slide with much more pressure than I would use just using my mouse normally, I concluded that without peeling off these mats are almost impossible to move.
With testing for mouse mats I like to try a few different game genres that require different levels of speed and precision to see how the mat performs under different gaming conditions. I also like to test the mat with different mice to see if the mat can perform across the board. The games I used to test the mouse were Company of Heroes, Doom and Battlefield 2142. The reason for the 2 FPS games is that I used the sniper class in BF2142 which obviously requires high levels of precision, whereas doom is a lot more of a “Blast Away” sort of game, requiring more speed. The two different mice I used for this test were the Razer Krait, to test the mats ability to work with high DPI mice, and a generic Logitech opitcal mouse.
Krait: Using the krait on this mat was very enjoyable indeed. It was comfortable and sleek and I had all the speed I could need in Doom and plenty of precision when it was needed in BF2142. In Company of heroes it performed equally well and I had no problems with it all.
Generic Logitech: The mat performed perfectly well in all the tests here, just as the Krait did. It was smooth and fluid, and gave me all the control over my mouse pointer that I needed to make each one of those headshots count. I was even able to gain a combat efficiency pin while using the sniper rifle which is something I had yet to do before this time.
After playing with this mat for around the 30 minutes mark, in all tests, I did notice that because of the material used in this mat, my wrist and palm sweated more than usual. This sweat did not get “Soaked Up” like it would on a cloth mat but stayed on the mat, causing the mouse to jutter slightly when it passed over it. It also made it slightly uncomfortable using the mouse as I had a clammy feeling on my wrist.
The price for the Nova Killer mouse mat will, with most retailers, run you up about £20. This is a pretty acceptable price for a mouse mat of this high calibre, though I would struggle to justify spending more.
This may seem like an odd section in a review about a mouse mat, but it needs to be said, this mat is noisy. Due to the tiny rivulets in the surface designed to help clean mouse balls, and rebound optical and laser signals more accurately, when moving a mouse across it, it can sometimes produce a scratching noise. This noise is by no means grating but it can be slightly annoying when you are playing without headphones, and could be irritating in a working environment.
The Nova Killer is a great mouse mat in almot every respect. It has a fantastic surface for gaming on, giving you all the control over your mouse that you need, while still allowing you to throw the little fella’ around when you need the speed that only a slick surface can provide. My own issues with sweat may stem from my own profound ability to sweat more than most people, however, the surface definately contributed to the outcome.
As with most mouse mats it comes down to personal taste, there are those that like plastic mats, those that like cloth and those that like glass. If you like plastic mats and are in the market for a new one, then the Killer is perfect for you. If you are more aimed towards the other types of mat, the Killer is still a fine choice, but if you suffer from sweaty hands during gameplay like I do, its probably best to stick to cloth.
|Allows accurate gameplay||Contributes to sweaty palms|
|Allows high speed mouse movements|
I’d like to thank our sponsors Meroncourt for providing us with the mousemat.
Discuss this review in our forums