I have tested many of the Xtrac Pads products, including the Ripper XL and their InstaGlide; both of which I rated highly and for very good reason. And now today I get to test the latest offering from XTrac; their Ripper XXL. Also, I get to look at their best selling pad, the Pro HS.
About Xtrac Pads
Started in March of 2002 by a group of hard-core pc gamers, our mousing surfaces and accessories have won countless awards. We offer an expanding variety of surfaces and optical mouse pad sizes. Not only are our products used in computer gaming, they are equally efficient for many other applications such as digital animation, desktop publishing and more. The medical, military, gaming, art, scientific and aerospace industries all benefit from the high quality, speed and accuracy found in all XTracPads optical mouse pads. XTracPads is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Out of the Box
I received a fairly bland box for posting, which is hiding the treasure trove inside…
After opening the box, I was greeted with showers of expanded polystyrene, a rolled up beast, a standard sized pad and some mouse feet.
The smaller pad, the Pro HS, is basically the same as Zoom pad that I reviewed here. It has the same pad surface, consisting of high quality, low friction plastic with the familiar honeycomb pattern, specially designed for optical and laser mice. The pattern is different in every hexagon meaning that your mouse is never ‘confused’ as to whether it has moved meaning that each movement is reproduced faithfully by your cursor.
The difference between this pad and the Zoom v2 is the logo, and the back. Personally I believe that the Pro HS logo looks slightly better but that’s personal preference.
The back is more like the fabric pads that Xtrac makes and it grips better to uneven surfaces compared to the Zoom, it also results in a more level surface for your mouse.
Unfortunately, it means that the pad can’t fit everywhere like the Zoom used to be able to. I prefer this pad to the Zoom because it feels more substantial and doesn’t bend as easily as the Zoom did.
|Looks great||Not quite as veratile as the Zoom|
|Better than the Zoom :P|
Also in the box were the Xtrac mouse feet. There are essentially strips of ultra low friction plastic material that are self-adhesive meaning that you can stick them easily to your mouse. These come as standard with the Ripper XXL but you can buy them seperately from the Xtrac pads website, or other e-tailor.
You also get instructions, some alcohol wipes to clean your mouse and a sticker. I only noticed recently when the sticker was lying on my desk at night that it glows in the dark :).
It’s nice to see that there were wipes included as pretty much no one supplies any way to really clean the bottom of your mouse before attaching any new feet.
I found that using the strips of tape was actually quite difficult as you have to cut them yourself. Whilst this means that they can fit on any mouse that you have, it means that its really fiddling and looks less professional and clean. I’m glad that I got two strips as I managed to mess up enough to need both…
Here’s the finished article on my Razer Copperhead.
Whilst pre-cut feet are better in my opinion, Xtrac pads have tried to make sure that their product is compatible with any mouse out there; this is one of the few tape products that are wide enough for you to use on the Logitech G4 and G5 and the Razor Copperhead. I think they have gone too far though. The Corepad mouse feet were a better plan in my mind, where they pre-form the feet for a specific mouse.
|Works with any mouse||Looks messy|
|Really slippy||Odd colour|
|Enclosed alcohol wipes|
Continuing the success of the Ripper XL, Xtrac have decided to release a direct competitor of the Corepad Deskpad. Called the Ripper XXL it lives up to its extra ‘X’ in the name and will cover most of your gaming space in high quality mouse real estate.
The logo is pretty much the same as the Ripper XL, but they have done away with the strip of honeycomb detail that used to run vertically on the right-hand side. I like this new logo better and brings a little class to your gaming space.
As you can see, the Ripper XXL is enormous, its even ever-so-slightly bigger than the Corepad Deskpad which a feat in itself. The Deskpad is slightly thicker than the Ripper XXL.
Here are the Ripper XXL (bottom) and the Pro HS (top). Their backing is pretty much the same and they have the same ability to stop the pad moving whilst the mouse is in use.
The surface of the Ripper XXL is actually different from the XL. The XL has a much finer weave in comparison. However, this doesn’t seem to effect accuracy or mouse friction. The Ripper XXL also works great with Xtrac’s own InstaGlide, making their smooth gaming surface even better.
To test this pad, I used a Razer Copperhead, a Genius Optical and a Genius roller-ball mouse. All of them performed excellently on the pad.
Again, Xtrac Pads have managed to produce another two excellent pads. I personally think that the Ripper XL is more useful than the XXL, but the XXL is designed and marketed for a different market niche and in that aspect it works well.
|Awesome gaming experience||Maybe a little too big|