Written by Jamie Cuthill

June 23, 2003 | 01:00

Tags: #gaming-surface #mouse #mouse-pad #mousepad

Icemat - The dark side...

What is it?: Mouse mat
Product Name: Icemat Black
Manufacturer: Icemat
Sample Supplier: Icemat
Price: £19.98 from Scan
Availability: Now
Verdict: Super smooth mouse mat.

Ever since I bought my first Ratpad some years ago I have demanded a high performance surface for my mouse to glide over whilst playing games or just when in general use. A mouse mat with as little friction as possible coupled with a highly accurate surface makes using your mouse almost effortless.

For the past few months I have been using a RatpadzGS which I was very pleased with, but it did require regular cleaning to keep the surface feeling smooth. The texture on the Ratpadz makes cleaning them rather difficult since all the dirt collects in the pits on the surface. It is also made of plastic making it prone to wear over time.

The original Icemat was made of clear glass making it useless for optical mice. This new offering from Icemat is the same design as the previous clear version but coloured black allowing its use with optical mice.

The Icemat comes in a very sturdy cardboard box in which the mat is encased in polystyrene ensuring it reaches you scratch free.

As I have mentioned the mat is made from a rectangle of glass, measuring 248 x 208 mm and the top of the mat sits about 5mm off the surface of the desk.

The surface of the mat has a very fine frosting, the underside has been painted black with the logo in the bottom right. The corners have all been rounded off so there are no sharp edges.

As with the vast majority of high performance mouse surfaces we find that they have rubber feet to grip the table during use. This prevents the mat from sliding around with the most erratic of mouse movements.

I was disappointed that the Icemat was slightly smaller than the Ratpadz. However, I can still move my mouse pointer from the far side of my 1st monitor to the far side of the 2nd monitor without having to pick the mouse off the surface.

You will also find a sheet of Teflon tape in the box with the Icemat. This sheet is known as the "padsurfer" which can be cut into 4 or more pieces and applied to the feet of your mouse to improve the accuracy of the mouse. If you didn't know, Teflon is a very low friction material which is also used for non-stick pans.

Application of the tape is very simple, the instructions say to cut pieces larger than the feet of the mouse feet and to make sure than they are stuck down securely.

I found that the tape did make a slight difference to the performance of the mouse. I would think the difference will depend on the type of feet your mouse has.

I do feel that this mat is smoother and nicer to use than the Ratpadz. After a month or so of use the RatpadzGS has started to wear out, the surfacing losing its texture. I can't see that this glass mat will wear out at all since glass is more durable than plastic. The two downsides of this mat are that it is more fragile than the plastic mats and mouse makes more noise moving over the surface than on softer materials.

I would chose the Icemat over the RatpadzGS, even though it is more expensive, as I think it will last longer and has slightly better performance.
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