The Solid pads are plastic coated natural rubber pads intended for all kinds of mice. The surface is very slippery, smooth plastic, providing wonderful mouse glide while the natural rubber base grips most table surfaces satisfactorily. However, on a smooth wooden office table, we found that the pad tended to move slightly when handled forcefully in an intensive gaming situation.
Usability (smoothness, noise, stability): The plastic surface is relatively hard and cold and the edge of the pad is quite sharp – causing slight discomfort if you slide your hand or wrist against it while playing. The pad turned out to be relatively loud in comparison to the fabric mouse pads especially when using non-gaming mice (= mice with regular not-so-slippery feet). But even then, the noise was not something that would bother you or others around you. Out of the three pads, Solid X3 is the least stable and most likely to move on the table during rougher gaming sessions. However, as long as the mouse pad remains still, the control accuracy with our gaming mice remained perfect and the slide characteristics of this pad were superb.
Look and feel: Being a plastic mouse pad, the Solid pads cannot escape the typical downsides of plastic pads: sharp edges and visible damage when it is bent accidentally. Also, you will likely be bothered by even the tiniest amount of dust on the pad and it will make you uncomfortably aware of the fact that you've not dusted your gaming gear in a while. On the positive side, plastic pads are exceedingly easy to clean up and spilled Coke or coffee is not a problem to them.
Smoothness : 8
Noise : 8
Stability : 7.5
Look & Feel : 8
Total : 8
Usability (smoothness, noise, stability): We found that while the thin plastic coating improves the glide qualities of the pad, it also makes the surface feel the roughest of the three pads. This, however, does not translate into a noisy pad, especially with high-quality gaming mice. Although the pad is the thickest of the three, at 4mm, the edge is soft enough not to scrape at your hand or wrist and the coating seems durable enough not to fray away even in hard use – though we only had a little over a week to test this. As far as gaming use is concerned, we were very satisfied with the control accuracy that we achieved with the Seven F-X2 – it served both low-sensitivity and high-sensitivity mouse using needs, although Varg, who is the low-sensitivity gamer, would have appreciated the slightly larger X3 size for his needs.
Look and feel: Given the fabric and plastic combination of the pad, it manages to avoid the hard, cold feel of a regular plastic pad and even sweaty-palmed gamers should feel more comfortable with it than they do with plastic pads. It is also a lot easier to wipe clean than a fabric pad, effectively combining the best of two worlds in this regard. While the pad doesn't feel quite as huggable as the Breathe pads (One hopes these comments are made at least half-jokingly -Ed), it is almost there – certainly more so than any plastic pad could be.
Smoothness : 8.5
Noise : 9
Stability : 9
Look & Feel : 9
Total : 9
All in all, all the Ulti-mat mouse pads impressed us with their apparent durability (given the short time we had to try them out) and quality. The Breathe line of pads are very affordable and we can honestly recommend them to anyone looking for a high quality fabric mouse pad. The Solid line of pads are very good examples of plastic pads and if plastic is what you are looking for, the Ulti-mat Solid is a good choice. The price of the Solid pads is very affordable, given their quality. The latest addition to the Ulti-mat line-up, Seven F-X2, divided our opinions a little bit. Wolfwood found it equal to the Breathe X3 in comfort and gaming use, but Varg's heart was taken by the thinness, softness and comfort of the Breathe pad.