Chris over at XTracPads has kindly sent us the ‘Hammer’ for review- a wafer thin mouse pad with a super slick plastic surface.
XTracPads is a company that was started by a group of hardcore gamers in 2002 and specializes in designing high-end mouse surfaces and accessories for mainly gamers.
This leads me on to introduce today’s review, the ‘XtracPads Hammer’.
The Hammer isn’t ordinary- like most of the mats from XTracPads. This product offers a comfortable size for gaming (11” x 17”) and is as thin as a credit card, if not thinner.
Features and Specifications
- Super slick plastic surface
- Hexagon pattern for enhanced tracking
- Sure Grip III rubber backing
- Easy to clean
- Large size
The Hammer arrives wrapped in a polythene bag with cardboard backing. The back of the packaging has an XTracPads sticker and barcode located in the bottom left hand corner.
The packaging is very basic, however the pad didn’t arrive damaged to me in any sort of way and minimizes the use of non eco friendly materials.
The Hammer is another huge mat from XTracPads. Its about the length of my keyboard and the height of two keyboards, however, it’s about as thin as a credit card! This is definitely the slimmest pad I’ve ever seen.
This product has an odd appearance, however, I like it. The top of the mouse surface is made of a thin layer of plastic which is styled like blue honey comb- its super smooth, great for gaming.
The rear of the ‘Hammer’ is pure white in colour and is made of a fairly grippy material, although I’m not sure what it is. Beware, dust particles and dirt from your desk stick to the bottom of the pad very easily and it’s quite difficult to remove them.
Comfort wise, this product isn’t anything special. As it’s not a soft surface pad but a hard surface one instead, your wrists aren’t going to have any comfortable support to rest on. However, If you’re buying this mat solely for gaming, the poor comfort isn’t going to be a let down for you, as the gaming performance from this pad is awesome.
We tested the Hammer using our favourite PC First Person Shooter, Battlefield 2. It performed much better than other XTracPads we have tested in the past and the whole mouse movement is smooth and effortless. If you apply Teflon tape to your mouse as well, like we did, your little furry rodent will glide across this product with great ease.
Like most gamers, we like to be able to take out favourite mouse mat to LAN Parties. Usually, this means rolling up the pad, tying an elastic band round it and popping it into our bag. Unfortunately though, when we tried this with the Hammer it didn’t seem to want to roll up as much as we’d of liked it to and it didn’t enjoy flattening itself out afterwards. For many gamers, this is a big fall back.
Even though the backing of the XTracPad is very grippy, it still managed to wander around my desk top. It often angled itself to face me, maybe because it’s attracted to me…then again it could just be because the bottom of the pad isn’t thick enough to generate enough friction to stop the pad from moving- I think it’s the latter.
So there we have it, the Hammer of XTracPads. Now it’s my turn to be a judge, smack my hammer down and give you a conclusion.
Firstly, this pad is great for a gamer because it offers awesome gaming performance and is a suitable size for a gamer- not too big, not too small. Also, its wafer thin so your wrists will be at the same level as your mouse while gaming, this is great in my opionion. However, this pad has some set backs for the gamer, firstly its not the most comfortable to use, so long gaming sessions are out of the question. Also, it doesn’t roll up easily, so isn’t ideal to transport- then again its wafer thin, so as long as it sits comfortably in your bag, no need to worry.
I don’t think this mat is ideal for the casual user, simply because, it’s not comfortable enough. However if you bought yourself a wrist wrest and shoved it in front of this product, you’ll get great performance and great comfort.
- Very Good Performer
- Thin as a Credit Card
- Great size for Gaming
- Costs around £10
- Not Very Comfortable
- Doesn’t Roll up Easily