XTracPads are known for their extremely good quality mouse surfaces such as the Ripper and FatPad. Today we have another pad to join the family in the form of the XTracPads Micro – a mat designed for notebook users. Does this pad live up to the standards of other mats from XTracPads? Read on to find out…
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.
- Super slick plastic surface
- Hexagon pattern for enhanced tracking
- Sure Grip III rubber backing
- Easy to clean
- Small size
- 7″ x 8.75″ x Credit card thin (178mm x 222.25mm)
- Sure Grip II rubber backing
- Plastic mousing surface
- Designed in the USA
- Made in USA
- Tested and 100% compatible with the following mice:Logitech:
Intellimouse Explorer 3.0/4.0 Laser Mouse 6000
The XTracPads Micro arrived in a polythene wrap which was backed with a piece of cardboard. This helps to protect the pad from being bent or damaged by ruthless delivery men during the shipping process.
The back of the package simply has an XTracPads logo, barcode and the pad dimensions listed. You’d think we’d criticize this boring packaging more, however as this pad isn’t sold on shop shelves, the packaging doesn’t need to stand out from the rest.
The XtracPads Micro
As we’ve reviewed a number of mats from XtracPads already, our expectations are somewhat high as all the pads we’ve reviewed for them have all been good.
Just from glancing at the Micro, it looks very similar to the Pro HS with its unique ‘untuned television’ appearance. Low and behold, this look is either a love or hate relationship. Luckily enough, I’m quite a fan of it.
The back of the Micro is pure white and has a rubbery texture to it. This is the “Sure Grip II rubber backing”.
When XtracPads call a mouse mat ‘Micro’, they really mean it. This pad is wafer thin (thin as a credit card) and measures a mere 7”x 8.75”. Therefore, it’s certain this product is designed for notebook users specifically.
The Micro is a hard surface pad so it’s not intended for comfort in mind, purely performance. With it being a very smooth flat surface, my mouse should glide across it with ease. A glidey mat is a great advantage in games.
One of the main areas where many hard surface mouse pads fail is in the flexibility test – for obvious reasons. However, we have had hard mats in the past which have performed well in this test. This pad – the XtracPads Micro – seemed to fold quite well, however it was clearly noticeable that this product isn’t designed to be folded as it took a while to reform back into shape.
We tested the Micro with a Targus Laptop mouse – this is a notebook mat after all.
The Targus mouse proved to be a success with the Micro as it glided across the pad with ease in general usage. In game play where quick short movements are needed, the mat also performed well without much friction being produced between the pad and mouse. Even though I’m not the best gamer in the world, when testing the XTracPad in Battlefield 2, my points seemed to be a bit higher at the end of each round when switching between no mouse surface and then to the Micro.
One small problem I noticed when using the Micro is that its ‘Sure Grip III rubber backing’ doesn’t actually keep the pad in place very well and I found myself re-positioning the mat every 10 minutes or so. This is okay when you’re using the XTracPad for short periods of time, but when you’re on the computer for more than 3 hours or so, it gets really annoying.
The main aspect of this product that I liked was the fact that it’s fairly small but still manages to perform reasonably well. One feature which plays a role in this is the super slick plastic surface which happily allowed my Targus to glide freely. As with the styling, like I’ve said you’ll either love it or hate it. Fortunately I quite like it.
There are only two real problems with the Micro, which is – like I’ve said already – the sure grip backing. This backing really is quite bad with it causing the pad to move every 10 minutes or so. The other problem is that it’s quite uncomfortable to use, but for notebook usage – where you wouldn’t normally use a mat – the Micro is better than nothing.
For only £5, I would say that it is very good value for money and would recommend it to anyone who’s on a budget and looking for a great performing notebook mouse pad.
- Performs well
- Notebook style size
- Doesn’t adhere to work surface very well