The humble mouse mat design has progressed over the years to try and provide users with the optimum mousing surface. Problem is that not everyone wants the same thing, some like fast moving and friction free pads. Others like pads that will grip the mouse feet well and so slow down the mouse movement. Some like to have strange and fetching designs emblazoned all over, and conversely some like there mouse pads to be free of graphical distractions. Luckily there are plenty of pads to choose from, from the lowly generic cloth pad costing you some spare change, to weird and wonderful pads made from foam or rubber or aluminium or even glass. have taken a detour in the Ram R&D and decided to try and get into the mouse pad market with there own design. Dubbed the SlickPad, it's what we have here in the labs today.
A Closer Look
Looking at the pictures you can easily see that it's blue and with the exception of the OCz Logo in the top left corner is unadulterated with other imagery or different shades. This is something I personally like to see from a mouse pad, no graphical distractions. The shape of the pad is quite common with 'performance' mouse surfaces and curves nicely to allow for good wrist movement.
The pad works out to be 11mm high with the feet of the pad taking 3mm of this height, which is nice in that you are not angling your wrist upwards in an awkward position to much; the lower the better. I did find the edges of the pad to be quite rough, and whilst they are obviously smoothed out the nature of the pad being some form of aerated plastic produces a lite sandpaper effect. The overall size is decent enough though I would have liked to have had a bit more room across the width. Overall the pad is big, blue and plastic, though that is not to say it's a bad thing, just that there's not much to say :)
This is a very subjective part of the review but hopefully I'll be able to include enough information to help you make your own minds up. To test the pad I've been using it in both every day normal tasks such as web browsing or just clicking icons etc, as well as an intense few days of non-stop gaming (woe is me). Games of choice have ranged from GTA III to Quake III Arena (Capturestrike CTF and CPMA Duel) to Medal of Honor (specifically the bombed out town full of snipers level). What I've been looking for here is to see the difference in the feel of accuracy both from my own sensory feedback as well as how I felt it affected my gaming. Weapons of Choice here have been the Intellimouse Explorer V3.0 and the Rotokiller RT-220 rotary ball mouse. In comparison I've used a cheap laminated mat (urgh) and the desktop surface itself. The precision was determined in the following ways:
1) Sniping in Medal of Honor
2) Rocket Jumping in Quake III Arena
3) Pixel by Pixel drawing in Photoshop
4) Moving the mouse from lower left of screen to close a window
Anyone who has read any of my other mouse reviews will know I dislike cloth mouse pads, even those that are laminated. I find the size restricting and the surfaces drags too much for my liking. They do grip the desktop nicely but that is about the only good thing I can say about them. Also depending on the design the graphical overlay can sometimes be counter-productive to getting a good track with optical mice.
The desktop has none of the above problems, being spacious and with a bit of polish, slick as well. However it doesn't fare so well with ball mice in that most often they cannot get a decent grip on the surface and you find the tracking stuttery at best.
The OCz SlickPad whilst reducing the real estate afforded by the desktop doesn't hinder the tracking of either ball mice or optical mice in anyway. I would have to say this is what I would call a 'slow' pad in that whilst the surface is quite free flowing it doesn't give you a feeling of frictionless effort. I know that some folks will prefer this but I wouldn't be one of them. Perhaps the name SlickPad is a bit misleading in this respect. Gaming found me having to put more effort and concentration into sniper style shots and often found myself correcting my aim rather than snapping onto a target without thinking about it. Pixel by Pixel drawing was actually quite good as the slow nature of the surface meant that with something as precise as this kind of work, I had to concentrate more which obviously was conducive to making less mistakes. I'm kind of torn over this pad. I can see how some folks would like its gripping and 'slow' nature, but not being one of those kinds, and prefering a frictionless and effortless surface&. I did find it kind of nice to use for everyday tasks but gaming wise I've seen better.
have tried to branch out here and create a 'performance' mouse pad that would appeal to gamers in particular but in my opinion there are better pads out there. Whilst there was nothing particularly wrong with the pad, I found it basic and the SlickPad monicker to be misleading. I thought that in comparison with a polished desktop or a pad like the SteelPad 4S it was too slow for gaming. I know that for some this is what they will look for in a pad, being able to make precise stops with practice but maybe I was just mislead by the name. It isn't slick at all really, especially when compared with other pads on the market. This kind of surface is good in something like a graphics program that requires slow precision, which the SlickPad handles admirably. Overall size was good but it would have been good to see a bit more width to go with the nice length (top to bottom) of the pad. The height was good being only 11mm from the desktop to the surface which would keep wrist strain at a minimum.
When all is said and done it really depends on what you're looking for in a pad, but I would be disappointed to buy this pad for gaming, since I found it to be a hindrance and often found (to my in-game detriment) that I had to correct my aiming due to the slow nature of the pad.
Ed. Note: To be honest, the Slickpad isn't something you'll be able to find very easily. There was a limited number of samples available, and it appears these are more novelty items than anything. We have decided to share our thoughts anyways, in the event OCZ has a change of heart, or if somebody happens to have some of these to sell, at least you won't go in blind.
Good overall size
Performs well in precision and slow movement
Quality of edges could be better
SlickPad name is misleading
Pad is rather slow for gaming
If you looking for a pad that is great for everyday tasks and affords you some extra space then the OCz SlickPad will suit. But for gamers, the SlickPad is a misnomer.
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