Ozone TRACE Review
Reviewed by: BluePanda
Reviewed on: August 2, 2011
Ozone, with their memorable “it’s all about evolution” catch phrase, is a company known for producing a number of top gaming gear essentials. With accessories that include keyboards, mice, headphones, and even gaming backpacks, Ozone has got you covered. As a brand “created by and for gamers,” the European company makes sure your equipment is designed with real purpose. Today, we will take a look at one of their recent creations – the Ozone TRACE.
The Ozone TRACE is a gaming surface with extra-large dimensions. With a profile of 400 mm x 280 mm x 4 mm, it is much wider, taller, and thinner than your typical square pad. Engineered for the greatest comfort over long periods of use, the innovative pad has a four-layered design consisting of a rubber base, a high quality hard plastic piece, an air-filled polyurethane matrix, and a heat-treated micro-textured cloth. The layers combine to offer you stability, comfort, and smooth mouse movements.
The TRACE comes in a nice plastic clamshell, wrapped in a very red cardboard package that covers two-thirds of mouse pad. The cardboard package styles an identical graphic as the section of the mouse pad that it covers.
The reverse of the packaging details the dimensions of the pad, its four-layered design, and its features – the latter in 18 different languages. The information about the four layers is presented in red text. With the red background, however, it is quite difficult to read. From top to bottom, the layers are detailed as listed: 1) Thermally treated cloth surface, 2) Polymeric rubber layer for comfort, 3) Simi-rigid plastic structure, and 4) Rubber base for better grip.
Taking the TRACE out of its packaging, the image on the pad finally becomes visible without obstructive text. Displaying images that resemble a shooter, especially with the gun in your face, the pad almost asks, “Are you ready for this?”
The edge of the pad is exactly as described – four layers in a red, black, red, black pattern. The thin plastic layer gives a rigid feel while still providing the flex to make an entertaining sound when shaken. The rubber underside has a bump pattern that is designed to hold itself in place while on your desk.
Cloth, foam rubber, hard plastic, rubber
400 mm x 280 mm x 4 mm
All kinds of mice
- Heat treated cloth surface
- Polymeric rubber layer for comfort
- Semi-rigid plastic structure
- Rubber base for better grip
All information is courtesy of: http://www.ozonegaming.com/international/product.php?id=14
To properly test the Ozone TRACE, I will be considering three explicit details: precision, speed, and control. To test the precision of the pad, I will use a combination of the Photoshop photo editing software and Borderlands videogame to see changes in my accuracy – this will be calculated by the number of corrections required for the former and the number of head shots in the latter. I will rate speed based on how fast the cursor is able to move across the screen. To measure control, I will test the smoothness in the ability to track my targets.
After constantly using it for a week or so, I feel that I have a good idea as to whether this pad is around to stay, or whether you may want to continue using your old, beat-up desk surface instead.
- Monitor: ASUS 19” 5ms Widescreen LCD (1680 x 1050)
- Processor: AMD Phenom II X3 720 @ 3.6 GHz
- Motherboard: MSI 790XT-G45
- Memory: 8 GB DDR2 Wintec AmpX @ 800 MHz
- Video Card: Diamond 4870x2 2GB
- PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750
- Hard Drives: 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 RAID 1
- Optical Drive: N/A
- Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Black Edition
- OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit SP1
- Mouse: Razer DeathAdder 3500dpi
Comparison Mouse Pads:
- Desk surface
- An average $4.99 Wal-Mart black mouse pad
- XFX WarPad
Precision was rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 and 10 highlighting the worst and best performance, respectively. A score of 5 was given to the Walmart mouse pad to serve as a reference point. A 10 would represent me performing at the top of my game, with a drastic improvement over the reference pad. A 1 would indicate a major decrease in precision and a surface that is nearly unusable.
Speed was rated in a similar fashion, with 1 being lowest and 10 being highest. A score of 1 would mean the cursor tracked drastically slower than normal, while a 10 would mean that it moved very quickly and almost required me to turn down my sensitivity.
Control was also rated with 1 as the lowest and 10 as the highest – a score of 1 would indicate a major loss in fluid cursor movements and rather jerky motions, while a score of 10 would represent a perfectly smooth cursor.
Precision is defined as the consistency in hitting the same point, though not necessarily the point to which you are aiming. On the TRACE, this aspect was unsurprisingly found to be much improved over the standard mouse pad, but fell short of the WarPad. I felt that the smoother surface on the TRACE made it difficult to resist repeatedly sliding past the same spot again and again. After taking some time to adapt to this slickness, however, my precision gradually improved.
The Ozone TRACE definitely gave a sensation of faster movement. With such a smooth texture, my Razer DeathAdder slid almost too freely on the surface of the pad. Having commonly used standard cloth pads, it took a bit of adjustment to get used to the difference in surface texture, though it was a very nice change nonetheless – moving the mouse just seemed so effortless on the TRACE. The Skaggs in Borderlands didn’t see what was coming to them.
As I previously mentioned, moving the mouse on the slick surface took some time for adjustment. Once I was accustomed to it, however, control seemed almost as good as what I am used to – a cloth pad. At the very least, it gave an ease of movement when correct mistakes in Photoshop, after slipping off the line a few times.
As one of the first slick pads that I have used for more than a day, I really liked the Ozone TRACE overall. The surface is rather large – as someone who normally has issues staying on a normal-sized mouse pad, I find this to be great. The entire surface is uniform – you can get really close to the edge without having anything to stop your movements. Essential for gamers and general users alike, the Ozone TRACE also provides a rubber underside that allows it to easily stay in place. Although I could easily move the pad by pushing on its edges, it didn’t move at all during actual use. Otherwise, the only issues I really noticed were color options and the matter of crumbs.
To put it simply, there are no color options – what you see is what you get. While it is not a particularly large issue, this may pose a problem for enthusiasts who find it essential to match their gear. Likewise, I know some of you cringe at the thought of eating at your desk, while others cannot imagine playing games without having tasty food bites throughout the night. Personally, I enjoy eating pretzel sticks when I’m studying or playing games at my computer. As a result, the first thing I noticed was that EVERY little grain of salt that fell on the pad became easily visible under my mouse. However, all you have to do is shake the mouse pad and it will be perfectly clean again.
In the end, the Ozone TRACE sells for a reasonable price in comparison to competing pads of similar size. If you are looking for a large slick pad, this is the one for you.
- Large surface
- Smooth and fast feel
- Sewn-up edges – keeps the layers from pulling apart
- Thin – doesn’t take away the “natural” feel
- Smells funny, though only for the first week
- Lack of color options