Evidently, I have become the unofficial mouse pad reviewer here at VL - from PCX Mods, to RatPadz, to 3M, I've reviewed a decent number of mouse pads. Many companies contest that their mouse pads are the best for gaming, or CAD work, or even just everyday mousing; today I will be reviewing the fUnc sUrface - which has received generous words from PC Gamer Magazine, Gamers Depot, and Planet Hardware (to name a few,) but will this pad's old age (released in 2000) stack up to the new boys in town?
The first thing that I noticed about the fUnc was the tin box that it came in. Before opening the box, I felt a bit of déjà vu - the Quake III Arena tin is quite similar to the one this mouse pad comes in, which I doubt is just a coincidence. Upon opening the tin, I found the walls of the tin neatly lined with thick foam, with an indentation for the mouse pad. After taking it out, I found that the pad itself is not a one-piece blue and orange pad - rather, a blue piece of plastic that serves as the actual mousing surface, and an orange holder that grips to whatever you place the pad on.
This separation is due to the two-sidedness of the blue plastic pad.
The plastic has both a rough side, and a smooth side - for the convenience of the user.
Performance based on the sides will be addressed later in the article. It should also be noted that the blue plastic mousing surface couldn't be creased without significant force applied - and most of the time, the pad would spring back to its flat shape - I have no concerns about transporting it around with me.
Along with the orange rubber gripping and blue pad comes a small black clip. There are six indentations in the rubber gripping which allows you to clip the mouse cord to the pad - thereby stopping the cord from falling down, and forcing you to pull harder when moving the mouse away from where the cord originates.
It must also be noted that the cord clip will not save your mouse from fall damage. With the mice I tested, if the mouse happened to fall, the clip would not support the mouse - the cord falls through the clip, and the mouse drops to the floor. Then again, the clip was not intended to stop a mouse from falling - so I can't quite fault fUnc industries for this… And most mouse pads don't even have built-in clips for mouse cords; I simply would have preferred the clip serve this dual purpose.
The pad has a height of 1/8" and has the dimensions of 10" x 8.5". The orientation of the pad is interchangeable (as is the location of the cord clip,) but you can always turn the pad to meet your individual mousing dimensions.
As always, testing a mouse pad is anything but easy, due to the fact that the "performance tests" cannot be gauged exactly. There are no PC Marks for a mouse pad - you can only spell out the facts, and give your own personal opinion.
Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 (Optical)
Generic Logitech Optical
Kensington PocketMouse (Optical)
Microsoft Intellimouse (Ball mouse)
PCXMods X-Trac Zoom
PCXMods X-Trac Pro
Standard Plastic Pad
All of the aforementioned mice performed well on the sUrface. Not once did I experience any sort of mouse jitter or discrepancies in movement. The same holds true for both the X-Trac Zoom and Pro (although the Zoom did have some trouble with the Kensington Pocketmouse, which occurred quite infrequently.) The tests then rely on two things: ease of mouse movement, and precision.
I found that the fUnc was "slick" enough on both the textured and smooth surface for both ball and optical mice. The fUnc was on-par with the Zoom, and it was much easier to move the mouse on than the Pro or standard plastic pad.
The precision was determined in the following ways:
1) Sniping in Counter Strike
2) Pixel-by-Pixel drawing in The Gimp
3) Moving the mouse from the lower-left of the screen to close a window
I found that the Optical mice all faired the same, that is, the mice were all most precise on the same pads. The XTrac Zoom was first in precision for optical mice, followed closely by the fUnc, and then trailed by the X-Trac Pro. The standard mouse pad was out of it's league.
For ball mice, however (on the rough side) the sUrface was king, followed by the Pro, and the Zoom and standard plastic pad were just about equal.
To sum it all up, the fUnc sUrface is quite the mouse pad. It has appropriate surfaces for both optical and ball mice, won't move around on your desk, and has a nifty mouse cord holder.
Pros: Attractive looks, great for both optical and ball mice, mouse cord holder
Cons: Wasn't as precise as the XTrac Zoom by a smidge.
Bottom Line: For $20 USD, you would expect a good pad. The sUrface does not dissapoint for both optical and ball mouse users.
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