Testing mouse mats is always a hard task as everyone has a personal preference on what mats they like to use. Some prefer cloth, some hard plastic, others simply a sheet of paper or their desk. Taking this into account, I used the Roccat sense for extended periods for basic windows tasks – web browsing, file navigation etc. – and under gaming conditions. This allowed me to judge the mat’s ability to deal with slow sweeping movements and short, fast bursts.
While performing these tests, I also took into account the comfort and it’s ability to handle different mouse types. In this case, I tested the mat using the following mice:
- Ideazon Reaper Infra-red
- Logitech generic optical
- OEM generic roller ball
The games used for testing were Soldat, and Unreal Tournament 3.
General Windows Usage
For general windows usage, I worked a little on the beginnings of this review – adding pictures requires a fair amount of folder navigation – I also browsed some different websites, and played a browser based RPG. Throughout all these activities, the Roccat Sense didn’t slip up once. It didn’t move, it didn’t make the mouse pointer skip or lag, it was dead on.
Soldat is a 2d shooter with multi layered levels, a large variety of weapons, and an excellent physics engine. It’s at times incredibly fast paced, meaning quick mouse movements are necessary, while some of the single shot weapons require high levels of accuracy. Any problems with these traits caused by the Roccat pad should be apparent during testing.
Fortunately, the Sense proved an almost perfect mat to play this title on. It’s finely woven cloth surface provided that little bit of drag to help decelerate the mouse quickly – allowing for greater accuracy – but it wasn’t too much to cause a noticeable slow down in character movement.
Unreal Tournament 3 is a first person shooter developed by Epic Games and is the follow up to best selling FPS Unreal Tournament 2004. It features the same “unreal” but frantic gameplay that made it’s predecessors some of the best FPSs around in their time.
For Unreal, the results were just as good as the ones achieved playing Soldat. The fast paced gameplay wasn’t slowed at all by the sleek surface of the mat, with the minor cloth drag allowing me perfect control over whichever mouse I was using.
During both Unreal and Soldat testing, no matter how much I flung the mouse around or how hard I pressed when I fired, the Roccat Sense stayed dead still. The rubber backing worked perfectly.
Comfort wise, I was very surprised with the Roccat’s ability. Although cloth mats in general usually prove to be far more comfortable than their plastic or glass brothers, it’s almost always the thicker pads that come up trumps. However, in this case that was proved completely wrong. Even with less than 2mm of cloth and rubber, the Roccat Sense was perfectly comfortable to use throughout the 6 hours of testing. That said, when compared to a much thicker pad, like the Corepad Deskpad, or the Steelpad QCK Heavy, the thicker pads are still more comfortable and definitely more supportive of your wrist.
Now I’ve mentioned in other reviews, specifically the Evo-G mouse mat, that I’m a relatively sweaty gamer (hey, I get tense) and that has proved to be the downfall of some mats, as once my pearls of moisture hit the mat, say goodbye to it’s accuracy. Since the Roccat Sense is a cloth pad, it comes as no surprise to say that it suffered none of these issues. Any moister that was present was duly absorbed into the fabric. Lovely.
As stated in the testing methodology section, I used 3 different types of mice during the testing to see if any were incompatible with the Roccat’s surface. Fortunately, all were capable of operating with no problems at all. I was impressed to see the Roller Ball work well, as many modern mats shun this ancient design; then again, cloth mats were all that was available in the roller ball era, so I shouldn’t be too shocked.
In regards to speed and accuracy, the Reaper mouse was able to take advantage of the high DPI of the Roccat mat due to it’s own sensor being of a high DPI sensitivity; though the optical faired well too.
Prices for the Roccat Sense vary slightly, but average to around £13. This is the kind of price we’ve come to expect from gaming mouse mats, but it might put those off who are used to using their desk, or an odd sheet of paper.