Most people that game have a mousemat, whether it be a frosted glass beauty or a battered old Lara Croft thick foam edition. Some people even decide to go without a mousemat. That was what I was doing until I was kindly sent a package containing Xtrac Pads finest…
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.
First up, a new product that I have never seen before. Whilst you can have the smoothest mouse pad, coupled with the smoothest mouse feet, there will always be friction. Friction is the worst enemy of any mouse owner. This is where InstaGlide steps in. It’s a small package consisting of a plastic outer container, and a grey sponge.
To use the product, you simply run the bottom of the mouse over the sponge and your done. The sponge contains a special lubricant which is non-toxic (although you are advised against eating it…) that makes the mouse glide over your mouse mat.
It is good for a few days before you reapply and it most definitely makes a difference. When used with the Zoom or the RipperXL you can really tell that there is something special about it.
The product itself markets for around $5, and that will last you 6 months. It’s a wise investment for any hard-core gamer.
Just one more point, it’s a good idea to buy mouse feet when you purchase some InstaGlide. I have a old Genius Optical mouse and the Teflon pads have all worn off. Unfortunately I didn’t have any of the Xtrac pads own mouse feet (MadDotz) so I used some third-party stick on feet. They did the trick and really made using the mouse easier.
There is, quite frankly, no other product like this on the market at the moment. I would definitely give this product 10/10.
|Makes a great mouse mat even better||Can’t eat it|
Quite possibly the largest mouse pad in the world! This mouse mat is perfect for Lan parties as it also doubles as a duvet due to its extreme size…
It’s a whooping 14 inches high and 17 3/4 wide! You’ll never have to pick up and re-center your mouse again. Got to love the barrel distortion of my Sony camera…
The RipperXL is a soft mouse mat that can be rolled up into a tube which it is shipped in. Being soft, it shouldn’t perform as well as a hard type mouse pad, but Xtrac pads have carefully designed the coating on the pads surface.
UPDATE: I was sent the OEM version of the packaging, however, the retail packaging is what most people will see; and I have to say its a lot more eye pleasing.
Whilst having a super smooth surface, the stitching is still visable meaning there is a good pattern for optical mice. I tested the pad with my Genius optical mouse, a Razer Copperhead mouse and a generic roller ball. Both of them worked perfectly and accuracy was excellent. Even when the Copperhead was set to maximum DPI there was no jittering of the cursor. When using a rollerball, there was no problems at all and the movement across the pad was very smooth.
After using the mouse pad for a few weeks, the edge of the pad began to fray and to curl up. This is a bit disappointing but I could probably have looked after the mouse pad a little better… For those who are as messy as me; I managed to spill a well-nigh full glass of Coke on it and there is no staining and no degradation in performance.
The RipperXL not only performs brilliantly, it also looks the part too. The whole black colour with the simple pattern down the right hand side terminating with the product name and manufactures logo brings style to the pad.
I have to say that this is the finest mouse mat I have ever used and I would have no hesitation in giving this product a 9/10.
|HUGE||Maybe a little too big for some people|
|Great gaming surface||Frays|
|Easy transportation (rolls up)|
|Works well with InstaGlide|
A slightly smaller mouse mat than the incredible RipperXL. This pad is the hard plastic kind. Its main feature is the fact that it is incredibly thin. This means that it will easily fit underneath your keyboard without it rocking at all. It is thinner than most credit cards.
The surface of the mat is, to be honest, not the most attractive thing that I have ever seen. The idea of the pattern is to make optical mice detect movement better. Again I tested the pad with my Genius Optical, a Razer Copperhead and a generic roller ball. The Copperhead worked fine with the pad and glided over the pad perfectly. The Logitech mouse just kept flickering over the screen and didn’t like the pattern. It should be said thought, my Genius mouse is very picky as to what surface it will work on. It’s a couple of years old now so don’t be too surprised that it doesn’t work.
When using InstaGlide with the pad, your mouse will indeed zoom across the surface. Whilst your hand is trying to keep up with the speed that the mouse is now going at, you’d have thought that the pad would be moving all over the place. Fortunately, Xtrac pads have designed Sure Grip III. Sounds a little gimmicky but it works. It’s a white rubbery surface that clings to anything that you put the mouse on. In fact, it clings too well to dust and general crap found on your desk. Once put down though, its effectively welded to your desk. Thats the back of the mat below:
This mouse mat had difficulties with the roller ball type mouse as the surface is so shiny and smooth that the rubber roller ball doesn’t grip all the well.
Whilst smooth, it doesn’t have as good a surface as the RipperXL, but when you look at the price difference, you know why.
I would definitely give the thumbs up to this product.
|Very nice surface||Doesn’t look too great|
|Very thin||Doesn’t work with retro optical mice|
|Compliments InstaGlide||Little small (well… compared to the RipperXL|