I used the mat for a day with a Logitech MX Revolution, for a couple of hours with a generic optical mouse and finally for an hour with a generic ball mouse. To test the mouse I played a little Unreal Tournament 3, did some Photoshop editing of photos and general windows use.
I was a bit concerned that mouse mat reviews are generally a very subject review, and there isn’t really much of a metric that can be provided for the mat, so I went searching for a solution. I managed to find a flash game (which I found at IAmBored) that tested mouse movement and accuracy; among other things. So I ran through the game once with the mat in place then once with no mat using the mouse directly on the wooden desk. Whilst this is by no means a standardised test, it is more accurate and informative I feel than simply my own opinion of the use of the mat.
Using the mat for gaming instantly revealed one brilliant feature, which is the wrist cutaway at the bottom. Whilst this may seem like a pointless addition you find yourself quickly becoming aware that you are nearing the edge of the mouse when you feel the extrusions on the bottom come into contact with your wrist so you’re able to relocate the mouse to the centre of the mat before ever reaching the edge almost instinctively.
The mat performed reasonably well with all of the mice tested on it, being a solid improvement in movement on all of the three but as expected performing particularly well with the MX Revolution laser mouse. The granular yet smooth surface of the mat really does aid in the glide of the mouse over it, though I think the quote of "Ice Hockey is the only area I know where the gliding properties are better" from the packaging might be taking it a bit too far, I really did notice the drag of the desk when switching to it from the mat for the flash game mentioned above. Taking my hand off the mouse, even just a slight flick with it to one side of the mat will send it careering unfettered across to the other side.
Shooting, aiming and almost all other mouse control in gaming was notably better with the Sota than the cloth mouse mat I have been using recently, a Coolermaster CS-X from the Coolermaster Mouse Mat Roundup. The same was true of fiddly accurate work in photoshop and general windows use was smooth and a pleasure with the mat.
The surface does get slightly clammy / sticky with use, and in some cases faster than other hard topped mats that I’ve used, but not to such an extent as to be overly noticeable or to cause an issue. The lower surface provides an excellent grip on the desk. When putting both hands flat against the mat and attempting to slide it away from me my hands slid up the mat every time before I moved the mat at all on the desk, only being able to slide it along the desk if I pushed right at the very edges extremely hard.
The results from the flash game were:
With Roccat Sota
The Roccat Sota packs a reasonably hefty price tag at £20, but anyone looking for a high end mouse mat would probably be ready for this. It’s not overly excessive.