Hard or cloth, it’s a problem that faces gamers looking for a new mouse pad. Fortunately, there are some manaufacturers that give you the best of both worlds. Rantopads is one of them, with their Rantopad P4 they aim to please both camps.
None, site in German and Google translate isn’t very helpful…
Not an old processor
Much like the Rantopad Mammoth, the P4 is packaged in a shiny yellow card box. There is an oddly shaped window on the front so you can see what the pad looks like before you buy it.
Once the pad is out of the box, you can see its awkward shape. There is a small Rantopad logo tacked on the side at an angle on one of the lower ‘horns’. The corners are curved, with two projections at the bottom which should frame your wrist when in use.
The pad itself is flexible allowing it to be used on less than perfect desks, but the top of the pad is plastic. This is also bendy which is a major downfall. Like a piece of paper, this top plastic layer can be creased and can’t be returned to its original flat shape. If you are planning to travel with this pad, make sure you keep it flat, otherwise you’ll end up with a crinkled playing surface.
The back of the pad is covered with grooves which are cut out of a hard rubber back. This firmly sticks the pad to your desk. Even when trying it was difficult to move it. Hopefully this means that it won’t go astray when gaming.
The top of the pad is a very smooth plastic. It has very tiny grooves which allow your mouse to differentiate between two parts of the pad and hence accurate reproduce your movement on screen. The surface is much smoother than the usual type you find on full hard pads rather than this hybrid.
Thickness wise, it’s about 3mm thick and it measures 300x250mm which is quite small but should be enough for anyone with a high sensitivity mouse.
To test the Rantopad P4, I’ll be using a huge array of mice to fully review the gaming surface. Some are not pictured, but I’ll be using a generic optical mouse, a Razer Deathadder, a Razer Krait, a Saitek GM3200, a MSI StarMouse, an Ideazon Reaper and a very retro rollerball mouse.
These mice are a mixture between infra-red, laser, optical and rollerball which means that every base is covered.
By using our tracking test, explained in more detail here, I was able to get a comparable result of how well the pad tracks.
As you can see, perfection. Thumbs up to Rantopad on the playing surface.
Unlike a solid pad, there is no harsh grinding sound when you move your mouse across the surface. Instead, there is a hushed rubbing noise that is far from distracting.
The pad has amazing glide, and tapping my Deathadder would cause it to travel a few inches of its own accord on the slick surface. This should help when trying to target certain objects at speed (e.g. FPS).
After powering up Battlefield 2142 I was ready to test the pads ability to kick ass. Eveyr single movement was seen on screen, no negative acceleration, no cursor jumping, no tracking issues; 100% accuracy and fun. It was genuinely entertaining to be able to flick around, pick off several targets, all at high speed without any tracking or accuracy issues. Very nice to use.
In Windows, the effect of the mouse pad is less noticeable. In Windows you generally only see the bad points of a pad (poor tracking, jumping cursor etc.) rather than the good sides. The mouse did glide well and I have no complaints.
Unfortunately, like every other hard pad I’ve tested, sweat becomes an issue. If you are like me and seem only to sweat from the wrist you’ll realise what I’m on about. Soon the bottom of the pad was moist and the hard edge of the plastic top began rubbing against my wrist. This pad isn’t really cut out for long-term usage (>2 hours), but until that time elapses, you’ll be happy with the pin-point accurate tracking.
Using a mouse with a low DPI was nearly impossible, not only because of the size, but the odd shape. I found several times that I was trying to use parts of the pad that weren’t there as they had been removed to make the pad look as it does. If you choose higher DPI’s you can skip past that last point.
Switching to the ancient rollerball there were still no problems, and it worked fine on the surface. Rantopad’s ‘Compatible with all mice’ point was obviously not just marketing spiel.
Rantopads P4 is a great little product, for the small asking price of £7; you’ll have a fantastically accurate pad
The problem is, the downsides that the P4 has affect the pads lifespan (creasing of the surface will eventually get to a point where the pad is unusable) and maximum amount of time you can use the pad for (sweat). Treat it with care and be sensible with gaming time, and you’ll be very happy with the Rantopad P4.
|Great playing surface||Creases|
|Perfect tracking||Odd shape and small size|
I’d like to thank Rantopads for providing us with the mouse mat.
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