Here today at Verdis Reviews, we have a product that is from a company specialising in one particular accessory – the mouse pad. For many enthusiasts, the mouse mat is not an important decision and they use any product, the cheaper the better. However, should we be taking more care over choosing the perfect mat? In my opinion, the answer is obvious – yes; mouse pads are really key and the wrong one can prove irritating and frustrating as your mouse won’t function as well. Therefore, the product we are reviewing today aims to be the perfect soft surface mat for gaming and also general use – the XTracPads Pro Pad.
Company Background – XTracPads
“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.”
- Whisper quiet cloth surface
- Extremely durable
- Soft and comfortable
- Easy on your mouse feet
- Sure Grip rubber backing
- 8.5″ x 11″ x 1/8″ (216mm x 280mm)
- Sure Grip rubber backing
- Cloth mousing surface
Contents & Packaging
The packaging for the Pro Pad is very simple – a cardboard envelope with a small cut out showing off the hexagonal pattern that adorns the mouse mat.
The front consists of a large image of the mouse mat partially rolled up at one end so as to also display the thickness. Above this is a massive XTracPads logo in bright white lettering.
Finally there are two thick red strips running the length of the front from top to bottom. However, I’m not quite sure what the desired effect is as there is no red on the Pro Pad but they do offer some much needed colour to the front.
The back is nothing special comprising of a list of specifications as well as a couple of awards and a few instructions on cleaning the pad.
Not many accessories as you would expect but there is a small sticker emblazoned with the XTracPads logo.
The Product – XTracPads Pro Pad
Immediately on removing the pad from its packaging, it is evident that that this mouse mat is very flexible indeed. Thus, it’s a great contender for LAN parties as you can just roll it up and transport it without finding that the product has creased or bent.
In terms of size, it’s not the largest and so could prove a problem for gamers using low sensitivity mice that require a large space to move. For the majority though, the size will be adequate and is another bonus for LAN parties in that it doesn’t take up much room – you could probably fit it in your pocket!
The front is very visually attractive with a repeated hexagonal pattern with speckled white interior of the hexagons. The hexagonal styling supposedly increases accuracy.
Undoubtedly, the surface is very smooth and so is a big positive for gamers as the easy glide translates to improved game play.
A black strip on the right breaks up the pattern and allows yet another logo to be displayed at the bottom.
Looking at the back of the Pro Pad, there is a sure grip rubber base which prevents the mouse pad from sliding off whilst in use. Despite the rubber grips not being particularly big, they do their job perfectly holding the mat in place.
The sides don’t to fray much either which is a bonus in durability terms as it shouldn’t fall to bits any time soon.
As with all peripherals and accessories, they are all extremely subjective with different people having their own personal opinions. Therefore, it is advisable to test the peripheral yourself before you buy as people’s opinions vary greatly.
However, to test mouse pads here at Verdis Reviews, we use the product for an extended period of time (incorporating general use and gaming) looking at performance, durability and comfort.
To test the Pro Pad, I used the Logitech Laser Mouse and the following games:
- Far Cry 2
- Battlefield 2
Both of the games, Battlefield 2 and Far Cry 2, are fast paced first person shooters which require quick reflexes and high accuracy – perfect for testing mice and mouse pads. Using the Logitech Laser I was easily able to traverse the mouse pad quickly and effectively without any friction or drag despite the mouse not being intended for gaming.
The size of the mat is a slight problem though because if you are using a low DPI then there isn’t much room to manoeuvre especially when needing to quickly adjust to points all over the screen.
However, overall, I was very pleased with the surface for both the games and was able to play effectively using a high DPI so as to counter the small size.
Using the mouse pad for general purpose was again very comfortable; the soft cloth surface has a very nice texture to touch. Also, note that any sweat produced from extended usage is absorbed stopping it from lying on top and causing a problem.
The mat can be rolled no problem at all and will not crease because this pad has very high flexibility – great for LAN parties.
The Pro Pad is $9.95 which relates to roughly £5 – not very expensive at all for a pad of this quality.
XTracPads’ Pro Pad is very impressive indeed; the soft, smooth surface combined with the high flexibility make it very luring to gamers looking for a compact pad that’s perfect for LAN parties. Moreover, the soft cloth surface allows for perfect accuracy at a low price of £5.
The only problem I can think of is for gamers using low sensitivity mice as due to the small size you don’t have a lot of space to move around on. However, high DPIs allow you to get around this problem.
If you’re a fan of first person shooters and RPGs, then I would strongly advise you to take a look at his fine product.
- Great price point
- Can be rolled (flexible)
- Small Size
Thanks go to XTracPads for providing the mouse pad for review.