Mousepads are probably one of the last things people think about when it comes to computers. Usually, if someone buys a new PC, they'll probably stick with the foam one that came with their computer. If you buy a computer from a big OEM, you'll likely be lucky enough to get one made out of plastic. Still, these pads do nothing more than to give your mouse a home. They weren't the best performing ones, but they did the job. 3M released textured mousepads to cater people who needed more precision, such as graphic designers. It worked great, as the pits and valleys of the pad allowed the mouse ball to get a better grip and provided the accuracy these individuals needed. Problem with the 3M was it's relatively high cost, and poor durability.
In the last few years, new performance mousepads have entered the scene. is well known, but today, we're going to examine the . Both are similar, in that they're textured surfaces, made of solid plastic and nearly unbreakable.
I've been using the fUNC Surface 1030 for quite awhile now, and although it's a good mousepad, a few things bothered me. For one, the base of the fUNC tends to pop the inserted mousepad out constantly. This can be really annoying when you're in the middle of a frag fest. I tried going back to my Everglide Attack Pad, but it was too small.
I'd list a bunch of specifications for you, but the web write up explains it all:
1. A ratpad brings you killer accuracy on a mousing surface. Make the Ratpadz" Mousing Surface work for you and not the other way around like you are used to. If you are struggling with that old pad, STOP fighting it! This Ultraslick" surface will give you another weapon to use on your way to a higher efficiency at work. Optic mouse? No problema. Heck this thing is even great for graphics or CAD folks.
2. We have shaved down the edge on our surface, so that your hand and wrist rest in a position that does not promote fatigue. Nope, you won't need a chiropractor after Ratpadz" Mousing Surface usage. Comfort supreme baby. No more marks on your wrist that make people ask you questions like, "You been handcuffed or what dude?"
3. The Ratpadz" Mousing Surface also has the most aggressive cut away of any premium surface on the market. That means the arch at the bottom extends the width of the surface so you can use it all. This lets the surface conform to where you want to position yourself, instead of having to have your hand in the "right place". More comfort for us guys that will sit around and work for hours, means happier work hours. What is great is that the long sweep caters well to high sensitivity mousers as well as those guys that need two feet of travel while swinging their mice wildly!
4. That brings us to size. They may tell you size does not matter, but that is a load of BS when it comes to mousing. We have so much acreage, we nicknamed this surface, "The Back 40"! Ok, maybe not that big, but we have enough surface area that you are not going to worry about mousing over the edge when that rail shot is critical. If you do though, it is your fault. :) The ratpad measures a hefty 9-1/2 x 11-1/2 inches.
The Ratpadz" Mousing Surface is made with a special Ultraslick" polymer and can be washed off easily with soapy water or a weak cleaner like Windex or 409. Ratpadz" Mousing Surfaces have a durable construction proven NOT to wear quickly like the weenie mousepads. So go ahead an use it for a coaster, use two mice at once, heck, use it to serve pizza on because the Ratpadz" Mousing Surface can handle the abuse.
What immediately caught my attention was the size of this thing. It's freaking huge! Here's a shot of it compared to the fUNC...
The edges have been improved, according to the specifications. I never tried the first revision of the pad, but I know that despite being cardboard thick, the fUNC got uncomfortable after long usage. Anyone who has those marks on their wrists/palms when resting on the edge of a table knows what I'm talking about. The Ratpadz is also more comfortable since the surface is higher than the 3M and fUNC. Resting my hand on my mouse felt more natural with the Ratpadz. I never thought mouse pads made much difference for ergonomics, but it does.
What I liked about the Everglide was the fast surface. The "bumps" allows your mouse feet to glide smoothly, unlike a regular mousepad or desk. When I switched to the larger fUNC, the mouse seemed slower. This was the case for both surfaces on the fUNC. Although this may not mean anything to the regular consumer, if you're a gamer, you can appreciate the importance of a fast surface. The Ratpadz definently falls under the category of being fast. The surface is "bumpier", or Ultraslick, as they describe it. Here's a side by side comparison with the fUNC "fast" surface...
The surface is more pronounced on the Ratpadz, and the mouse moves around a lot faster than the fUNC's fast surface. I should mention that the fUNC offers a "slower", more sniper friendly side, so you no-skilled campers might want to skip the Ratpadz.
Nah, that was a joke. No-skilled campers can still benefit.
Here's a scanned image of the surface. Bumpy, isn't it? I should mention that the thing is pretty much unbreakable under "normal" circumstances. Our gun laws are pretty strict up north here in Canada, but I did use it to fight off some annoying door-to-door sales people. The pad came out of it unscathed.
One issue I did have with the surface was that it may be too solid and bumpy. After a couple of days, I noticed a film build up where I track my mouse. I thought it was dust, so I tried cleaning it, and it wasn't really coming off. I looked at my Logitech mouse feet, and noticed that it was starting to wear down. This isn't the first time this has happened to me, as it did the same thing on the fUNC and Everglide. It just seemed faster on the Ratpadz, but I wouldn't pin it on the pad just yet, as I've switched to my Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0, and the feet are holding strong. This is just an observation, and by no means did the Logitech stop working after that. A few friends suggested taping the mouse feet to protect it, which sounds like a good idea.
Well, if I sound impressed, it's because I am. I'll lay it out for you. I'm a gamer, and for me, a large, fast surface is essential. Durability is important, because I don't want my mouse pad wearing out or breaking if I'm lugging my stuff to a LAN party. The Ratpadz is at least as fast as the Everglide, but it's a heck of a lot bigger. The surface works great for ball and all optical mice, making compatibility a non-issue.
I'm also someone who works a lot with Photoshop and other design apps. Day to day work requires a precise mouse surface to work on. The surface of the pad allows for precision work, and doesn't stop your mouse from tracking when you're applying an airbrush effect.
For the clumsy folks, it's rock solid, and will hold up well against falls from the desk, or accidentally putting a hot plate of food on it.
Finally, it's priced very competitively, and knowing that, there's no reason why you shouldn't have one of these on your desk.
Oh, I guess I forgot to mention how it performs in gaming. Well, like I said before, you can certainly move and look around well as the surface allows. Not once did I move the mouse off the pad, which is a credit to it's size. Alas, it didn't increase my frag count, but it held up well as I smashed my mouse, out of frustration, up and down on it after getting spawn fragged by some sniping spawn camper... again.
Pros: Big, fast surface. Extremely durable, and comfortable. Good pricing.
Cons: Surface can be abrasive on low quality mouse feet.
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