I have been sent two high end "professional" gamer mouse mats. My mission, is to investigate which of the pair was the better mouse mat for gaming and every day use. I have also included an average mat to hopefully show how much better a high-end mouse mat can be. There are certainly a lot of mouse mats around these days, lets have a look at if these can be set apart from the crowd.
The EVO-G Illuminated Mousepad
A little background infomation on this young company:
Evo-G seem to be interested in the evolution of the mouse. If you have a browse around their website you will come across some obsurce mouse mats and mouse aids. But today we are looking at the Illuminated mousepad that they have created. This is what they say about the ilIuminated Mousepad:
The illuminated mousepad specs have been taken straight from EVO-G's website.
QPAD XFX Collector's Edition
QPAD have had a good few mouse mats available and all have been highly regarded and won several awards, if you are not familiar with QUAD below is a snippet about them:
So we now know that QPAD are professionals when it comes to mouse mats. Hopefully the QPAD XFX CT will defend it's creators reputation. Below is what QPAD say about the CT:
Lets have a more detailed look at the QPAD.
QPAD's specs take directly from QPAD's website.
If you follow over the second page we shall have a more detailed look at the packaging...
Packaging - QPAD
The QPAD came in a neat plastic tube. A light plastic cylinder and a little bit of card with the company logo and information on it. You know that you are not paying for the packaging, which is a welcome change in the world we live in today. Although the packaging is minimal it is a cylinder, which is one of the strongest structures so I wouldn't worry about that clumsy courier.
Once you have the mouse mat out of the cylinder you won't find any additional plastic coverings. One bad thing about this mat is that it stinks! When you open your newly received package you are greeted with a horrid smell which nearly knocked me off my chair.
After further examination of the packaging, a little tab of stickers slipped out but these were not company stickers. To tell you the complete truth I didn't have a clue what they were at first. I thought maybe they stick on the bottom of the mat to allow it to stick to a surface, but they were too slippery to do that. So I had to use good old "Google" and found that they were actually called Glidz. They are used to stick on the bottom of your mouse to lessen traction.
Looking good so far, now turn over to have a look at the QPAD's rival.
Packaging - EVO-G
Now this is what I call packaging, a rectangular shaped box about half the size of a medium tower computer case. You can definitely not worry about this one getting damaged in transit. Some interesting designs on the front including a smaller sized picture of the mouse mat.
Once inside the box you will come across another white box and you open that to retrieve your mouse mat.
Let's carry on to the comparison over the page.
Straight from the word go, the EVO-G has the "wow" factor with it's LEDs and unique design. I remember pulling it out of the box and thinking to myself, "Well, I know the winner" - but that would have been jumping the gun.
Let's have a look at the surface of the mats. The EVO-G has a thin padded cotton layer whereas the QPAD has some kind of smooth rubber.
As keen gamers know, the thickness of the mat usually determines the comfort of the mat. This is where I believe the EVO-G fails because of its carbon fibre edging. But on the other hand, the QPAD has 4mm of comfy clearance.
The EVO-G's show piece is its light presentation. It does what it says on the tin - the EVO-G Illuminated Mousepad illuminates. You can get 5 different light options on the EVO-G.
For the testing part of this review I used my current rig - Tox's Rig
My rig is currently running Windows Server 2003 x64 and had all available updates for drivers and OS at the time of the review. Components consist of:
The QPAD XFX Collector's Edition
For me the QPAD was a huge improvement from my old fish mouse mat. Being 4mm thick it really was a dream to use. I hate resting my wrist on the side of a table or even the side of my old mouse mat but the QPAD, being 4mm thick, allows you to comfortably rest your wrist on the mat. Unfortunately this is where the EVO-G stumbles - it has no place to rest your wrist except on the hard cold carbon fibre. Anyway on to the games...
The most noticable change when using the QPAD was the surface. The surface of the mat is a mixture of cloth and smooth rubber. This combination worked perfectly together to produce a smooth and low friction surface. Combine the rubber surface with the Glidz and wow you have a brilliant mouse mat.
Playing Call of Duty 4 multiplayer you can noticeably feel the difference between the QPAD and my old mat. The low friction surface allows you to experience the ease of movement. I found it to be a great addition to support my aim while sniping as well. Being able to take smoother movements allowed me to get some pretty nice shots. In addition to CoD4, all the other games played wonderfully under the QPAD. I believe it is a brilliant mouse mat to use for long periods because the comfort it brings.
Without even touching the sensitivity of my mouse you can feel how much more responsive and speedy the mouse pointer is. The surface of the mat not only allows for lesser traction but it can help improve the response of the optical sensor of the mouse. While on the desktop and browsing I thought it would be a good idea to test the mat while in Photoshop. Photoshop is a brilliant program but can sometimes be very frustrating when you zooming in on your work. The QPAD, as expected was amazing. It really allowed for the smallest of corrections.
Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with how well the QPAD performed and improves mouse control.
EVO-G Illminated Mousepad
I was not as impressed with the EVO-G. Admittedly it provided a slight improvement over my old mat but not significant enough to spend money on it. Once you get used to the cold, odd shaped wrist rest it can be quite pleasant. The cotton surface has a nice texture to it and subsequently the mouse responded well. It was also nice to move your hand across while gaming. This mat is designed to have a "wow" factor and it sure does "wow" but when it comes to actually using it, I am afraid it is rather average.
As before, I browsed using the new mat and as I have said in the Gaming Experience section it is much the same as my old mouse mat. After experimenting I have found that if you sit high enough so that your arm is not laying flat on the desk and is more at a diagonal, you can get quite comfortable. This is not my favoured sitting posture but helped when having to rest my wrist.
Let's head over to the next page for the conclusion.
So which mouse mat has impressed us the most?
To tell the truth they are both pretty good mouse mats. But the EVO-G has a few flaws that ruins it for me. The main issue with the EVO-G is the wrist rest. I found it hard to adjust to and it's not exactly the most comfortable rest. Whereas the QPAD, and it's 4mm height, is rather comfy and nice to use for extended perods of time.
The EVO-G for me has the looks, a little on the tacky side but it certainly can impress. But because of its good looks it has failed to provide the comfort that is needed for long periods of time spent in front of a screen.
The EVO-G may have the looks but the QPAD can see them off. The QPAD is also portable - great for that LAN party!
Finally both mats suffer from size problems. If you have a small desk please look at the measurements before you buy as they are rather large. On the plus side they allow for more movement while in games.
EVO-G Illuminated Mousepad results:
The Good -