XTracPads gaming mouse pads

XTracPads gaming mouse pads


The Xtracpads mouse pads are perhaps best known for their thick and comfortable Fat Mat, but the selection also includes other interesting choices.

Secrets of mouse pads, part II
Mouse pads, mouse mats, mousing surfaces or whatever else you want to call them, are the often-neglected best friends of gamers of all ages. Without them, we'd scrape off our mice's feet against hard tabletops, injure our wrists against a sharp edges of our computer tables and wallow in general misery and unidentified sense of loss. More importantly, we'd miss more of those quick headshots that make us so proud of our skills in FPSs and our command of our RTS units would be much more erratic.

XTracPads gaming mouse pads
The Xtracpads mouse pads are perhaps best known for their thick and comfortable Fat Mat, but the selection also includes other interesting choices, such as the Logic series, which are basically stickers that you can temporarily attach to your tabletop to give your mouse a nice spot to live on. In this article, we'll give a look at the Fat Mat and the Logic surfaces, but we'd sincerely advice you to take a look at the Pad-O-Matic service on the Xtracpads site to respond to a few questions and learn what kind of a mouse pad is the best one for you.

The Xtracpads come in several different sizes, depending on the model. The Fat Mat is a pretty large mat with dimensions of 305mm x 406mm x 6.35mm (or 12inch x 16inch x 1/4inch), while the sticker-like Logic surfaces come in 216mm x 280mm (8.5inch x 11inch).

Testing conditions
Once again, we tested the mouse pads with several different mice (e.g. Steelseries Ikari Laser, Logitech G5, Razer Lachesis) and on different kinds of tabletops. We focussed our attention on the noise that the mouse makes as it moves on the pad (result of friction and, naturally, mouse quality) and the grip of the mouse pad onto the tabletop (stability). These observations totalled in our most important score: usability. In addition, we rated the look and feel of the mouse pads from our subjective points of view, attempting to give a representative score also on this front. In order to try out the headshot-capabilities of the pads, we played our current favourite FPS games: Crysis and Crysis Warhead.

Fat Mat
XTracPads gaming mouse pads
The Fat Mat must be the chunkiest mouse pad that we've seen since the early days of computing. However, unlike the ancient low-quality, thick rubber pads with glued-on, fraying fabric coats, the Fat Mat professes Nanofiber textile surface on a very thick rubber backing. The surface of the pad is very smooth and slick, providing excellent glide to all the mice that we tried on it. The thick rubber construction is rugged enough to be used as a wrist protection against sharp table edges. Similarly, its thickness is excellent for negating possible unevenness of the surface that you rest it on (great for gaming in surprising locales).

Usability: We found the Fat Mat to be an excellent mouse pad and even Wolfie, who usually prefers thinner and a little bit harder mouse pads, found the Fat Mat to be an excellent companion to his gaming gear. The pad makes very little noise when you move a mouse on the surface and most of the noise is the mouse's fault in any case. The Fat Mat lies very solidly on the table surface and didn't slip even once during our gaming sessions. The size of the Fat Mat in gives you a lot of room, and as such it could be more difficult to fit on smallish gaming tables. However, the grip and weight of the rubber bottom allows you to set it on a table so that part of the mat hangs over the edge and it still remains sturdy while gaming and also protects your wrist from the edge of the table. Our laser mice found nothing to complain about in the accuracy or feel that the Fat Mat provided.