Written by Rich Taylor

March 22, 2002 | 00:00

Tags: #mouse #mouse-pad #mouspad #ratpad #ratpadz

Ratpadz - they are claimed to be the best mousing surface available -- boasting that they can make your mouse perform much more accurately in games, and aid precision in such programs as CAD packages and graphics software.

But do they really make a difference?

I was getting very annoyed with my old mouse setup, consisting of my mouse (of course) and a piece of paper. The mouse I use is a MicrosoftIntellimouse-optical. The paper often got dirty and needed changing, and I was prone to writing numbers down and drawing stupid scribbles on the paper. Time for a change I think, even though the paper gave nice smooth feel to the mouse.

To be quite honest, I really wouldn't have thought that a big enough difference in feel and performance would warrant spending £15 (ish) on a mouse mat of any kind. When playing games, if you're not a very good player, then thats it - a mouse mat isn't going to make a huge difference. If you use CAD or graphics software a lot, then chances are you use a graphics tablet anyway.

Anyway, upon opening my parcel and picking a Ratpad up for the first time, I was actually impressed by its looks and also by its 'professional' look.

The first thing I noticed was the logo, at a first glance it looked faded or misprinted. However a closer look revealed that it was actually part of how it was designed. You can see the bottom of the letters almost looks like they have faded or been misprinted, but I can assure you that infact it isn't!

Personally I play games everyday - I'm a CounterStrike freak, and this mat is designed primarly for games by gamers. We'll look more about its gaming performance nearer the end of this review.

So what does it look like? Well as you can see, it's black and rather large! I used the A4 piece of paper for my mouse before for its size, and the Ratpad is even larger. In the pic below you can see a ruler, its a 30cm (12") ruler, so you can see, this pad is nice and big!

When I placed it on my desk, it rocked slightly from side to side, indicating to me that it was a little bent. "Not a problem", I thought -- I had read up on the official site for Ratpadz where it stated that due to the plastic polymer that the Ratpad is made from, that this bending is common and to sort it, one should simply bend it back!

"Ok" I think, so I picked it up in my hands and tried to bend it. No good! It's too sturdy!

These pads are so durable that I had to place the pad on my thigh and use both hands to apply enough pressure for it to flex. A couple of seconds was all it took to re-shape the pad.

Plonked back on the desk and it sits firm. "Great!", I thought...
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