Recently we tested the Ratpadz XT model, and it unfortunately received one of the lowest marks this site has ever given. Hopefully Ratpadz other model, the GS, will get a much better reception.
The GS has been around for years and while fulfilling a low-price niche in the performance mouse pad market it has remained true to its Ratpadz roots. A light weight hard plastic body delivers little resistance while providing solid accuracy and tracking. 9 points of contact on the back keep it grounded.
As with the XT, the GS doesn’t come in any packaging as all you need is the pad. All of the work that packaging normally does – entice the buyer, tell you about the product, make it look cool – is already done by the Ratpadz website. When you buy the pad, you get JUST that which can only be a good thing in regards to cost.
The GS is the same size as the XT but isn’t a solid lump of plastic. Instead its injection moulded ABS and is substantially less heavy and feels a little flimsy. However, this pad doesn’t suffer from the postage bends and gets to you in perfect shape.
Taking a spy at the edges, you can see that they are bevelled much like the GS’s more expensive brother. This time, there are no milling marks and the finish is a lot more pleasant. The rear of the pad is covered with strengthening struts which ensure the pads rigidity. Where these struts cross, there are rubber feet which are well and truly stuck into place; you aren’t gonna lose one of these easily.
There is a wrist friendly semi-circular cutaway at the bottom of the pad to ensure your hours of gaming aren’t going to end with aches and pains. Looking on the front of the pad, you can see the GS logo which is shiny silver, and looks a little tacky as a result. You’ll find a better looking product in your local Post Office’s toy selection.
Quick copy and paste: The surface is the standard hard pad style 3D bumpy pattern which allows your optical mouse to differentiate between two points and accurately recreate the movement of your mouse on-screen. However – as I have gone into many times before – this means that the surface can never be as smooth as a cloth pad and you will get noise when you move the mouse over the pad.
The surface of the GS is very much different to the XT. While the pattern may be the same, as there are different moulding techniques involved in making these pads. It doesn’t feel like the same oiled finish like the XT, but it is still smooth; well as smooth as a hard pad can be…
To test the Ratpadz GS I’ll be using a MSI StarMouse (laser), an Ideazon Reaper (optical), a Razer Deathadder (infra-red optical), a Saitek GM3200 (laser 3200dpi) and a generic optical mouse.
It was nice to see that the pad lay perfectly flat on my desk, rather than having to play quality control manager first like with the XT.
The feet on the bottom of the pad can’t be faulted. Not once – even when purposely trying – did the pad move.
After the disappointment of the XT, I have to say that I treated this pad with a little prejudice. I was biased towards the low marks, so this pad had to be something special to change my mind.
General Windows usage wasn’t a problem. All was well until I used my PC without my headphones. As the underside of the pad is hollow the scrapping sound of the mouse on the top surface becomes amplified and really begins to annoy you. This can be fixed by using the pad on a cloth pad; go figure.
I ran our new mouse test, which is outlined in detail in our glossary here.
With a Razer Deathadder
With a generic optical mouse
The GS performed well nigh perfectly with the Deathadder and the optical mouse tracking was a lot better, but still far from good.
In game the accuracy was noticeably better than the XT and this pad didn’t end up airborne but I was still longing to get back to using a cloth pad.
While the XT was shunned, the Ratpadz GS gets a slightly better reception. A cheaper price, reasonable surface, easily transported are a few points I can think of, which is three times as good as the XT.
While I can far from recommend this pad, it’s an improvement of sorts. If you are looking for a hard pad, check out the SteelPad S&S, but if you are on a shoestring budget, the Ratpadz GS is a viable option.
|Durable||Not the best tracking|
I’d like to thank Ratpadz for providing us with the mousepad.
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