The original Ratpadz was my mouse pad of choice for the better of the last two years. It was a solid pad, extremely durable, well priced, and provided an impressive surface area which was key back in my gaming heydays.
For those of you who don't know, was designed and marketed by fame. You can find out a little of the history on their site, but long story short, they needed mouse pads, and when a company they relied on weren't able to come through, Kyle went ahead and got the job done himself. The end result was a solid, textured mouse pad that was very well received by the enthusiast community, including those of us right here at VL.
The overall design of the RatpadzGS hasn't changed much from the original. Not including the beveled edges, the surface area measures 295 x 239 mm. It's still a solid molded piece of plastic, though a grid-like makes up the rear of the mouse pad. The original Ratpadz was solid through and through, so this may be a cost saving measure, however, the new GS is about 3.5 ounces lighter now. I wouldn't count on this weight loss saving you in shipping charges, but if you order a few hundred, then maybe so. Nonetheless, the RatpadzGS is still extremely durable, and it will take a lot of stress to break it.
The first picture (left) above shows the beveled areas of the GS and original. The RatpadzGS actually has a slightly larger mouse surface because the bevel is slightly smaller on the GS.
The new surface is a little different from the old pad. The surface is still "bumpy" which actually results in a faster and smoother surface for mice. The logo is done with a mirror finish, and is said to last longer through wear and tear than before.
One of the problems with the original Ratpadz was some Logitech optical mice had tracking problems with the pad. The new surface addresses this problem, and we experienced no problems with the Logitech MX700, MouseMan+ and MS Intellimouse v3.0. The surface also seems to be less abusive for mouse feet, as I had a problem with the original Ratpadz where the mouse feet would wear down rather quickly.
There's no easy way to test a mouse pad other than saying it works. Ratpadz makes a few claims about why to get a RatpadzGS, so I figure we'll prove/disprove their claims as an end user. My point of reference is a generic Dell mouse pad.
1. Quite simply no gamer should be without a RatpadzGS" as it is the one of the most accurate mousing surfaces in the world. We all know that serious gaming is about accuracy. Without it, you will lose...again...and again...and again. Stop losing and hand your opponent back his head, on a RatpadzGS" of course. Do not think that our RatpadzGS" is only at home on the 3D battlefield. We have many CAD and graphics professionals around the world that swear by them and would not be caught dead without their RatpadzGS".
My game of choice is Quake 3: Arena, and simply put, for a fast action game, the RatpadzGS delivers. The surface is indeed fast, and tracking strafing in Q3 was very easy. This is not the case with the Dell pad, and given it's smaller size, "falling off" the pad happened often.
I also play Return to Castle Wolfenstein online, and the fast-paced shootouts went well. Sniping was something I struggled with the first few weeks, as my mouse tended to "overglide" the mark. I managed to adjust to this after awhile though.
2. Think that desktop 2D mousing cannot be made any better? Think again. We have many customers that are not gamers, CAD engineers, or artists. Yes, a RatpadzGS" can make your desktop experience that much more enjoyable.
I dabble a lot in Photoshop, nothing is more frustrating than applying the airbrush tool, and having an inconsistent mouse surface drag on my mouse. This has yet to happen to me with the GS, and it is definitely a mouse pad I recommend to digital artists.
3. Just when you think it could not get any better, there is one hidden talent that the RatpadzGS" has, that so many others do not. The thing is huge. So big you will want to make sure you have room for it. The RatpadzGS" measures in at just over 11.55 inches wide and 9.3 inches top to bottom. This ensures that you can focus on the screen and not your mouse.
Well, there may be larger mouse pads on the market, but I have no complaints about the size of the GS.
If you're in the market for a new mouse pad, the RatpadzGS is the only mouse pad I'd even consider purchasing. Up until the GS, I was still using the original Ratpadz. I decided to order myself a GS since I had some spare cash, and as a BUYER, I am very satisfied with my purchase.
That being said, I will say if you're still using the original Ratpadz, I don't really see any reason to get the RatpadzGS. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret the purchase, but if you're not experiencing any mouse issues, there's no reason to make the change.
Then again, if you're still using a vanilla mouse pad, I suggest dumping that and grabbing a RatpadzGS. It may seem unreasonable to pay 15$ for a mouse pad but I guarantee you won't regret it.
Pros: Big, fast surface. Extremely durable, and comfortable. Good pricing.
Bottom Line: Forget about the gimmicky mouse pads. If you want a pad to get the job done, the RatpadzGS is the way to go. It's near indestructible, and totally suitable for gamers and non-gamers alike.
If you have any comments, be sure to hit us up in our forums.