Razer eXactMat Aluminum Mouse Surface Review

Admin - 2007-01-14 21:33:01 in Mouse Pad
Category: Mouse Pad
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: June 30, 2004
Razer
Razer
Price: $29.95 USD
Introduction
We don't usually review a lot of mouse surfaces unless it's truly unique. The mouse surface that we'll be looking at today definitely meets this prerequisite. We all know Razer for their old famous Boomslang mouse, their newer Boomer mice (Review), and their newest Viper optical mouse (Review) but not for mouse surfaces. They decided to leap in to the mouse pad market and from the looks of their new Razer eXactMat mouse pad, it looks like they have made a truly unique mouse surface. Let's dive in and see what this mouse surface is made of!


Features
Surfaces: 2 anodized (smooth side Speed/ rough side Control)
Base Material: Aluminum
Outer Dimensions: 10.4" x 13" x 0.1" (265 x 330 mm x 2.5 mm)
Base Color: Silver
Surface Color: Black w/ Razer eXactMat logo


Packaging
Razer always seems to offer special limited edition freebies when you're of the first customers to order one of their new products, the eXactMat is no exeption. If you order from Razerzone.com direct, you will receive a LIMITED EDITION zippered LAN-case and certificate of ownership - signed by the Razer Guy himself. Offer is only good while supplies last and is available beginning July 15.



This picture is an image of what the "Retail" packing will look like if you buy your eXactMat in stores, but if bought in stores you don't get the cool LAN-Case :)

In-Depth Look
When I first saw the eXactMat, I could not believe how enormous it was! This mouse surface should provide enough space for ANY hardcore gamer to play on. The size alone measures over a foot wide and nearly a foot in height (top to bottom). Above in the specifications you will notice that the base material is made from aluminum. On top of the aluminum is a special coating that Razer has baked on to both sides of the mouse surface. They purposely left some of the brushed aluminum showing around the edges of the eXactMat to give it a very hi-tech look.


Located on each of the four corners of the surface, there are rubber feet to keep the eXactMat from sliding around while fragging. The rubber feet did move around if you pushed them very hard and I could see them eventually coming off if you transport your mouse surface A LOT. It would be nice if they could include one or two more feet with the mouse surface in case this ever happens.



I really loved the Razer eXactMat logo that is baked in to the surface. It has the Razer green color and it gives off this illuminance which makes it look as if it was glowing in the dark! This just adds a lot to the mouse surface in general and is sure to draw some eyes at a LAN Party.



Did we mention the eXactMat is double sided? If you flip the mouse surface over, you'll find another side with a different type surface. The mouse surface is anodized to provide two very distinct performance surfaces. Side one which is very slick and smooth that they call "Speed", created to support fast-action action/adventure and FPS games. Side two, called "Control" is a great tactical mouse to support RPG, RTS and professional ID, 2D and 3D users. Anodizing protects the aluminum base by making the surface much harder than natural aluminum.

Aluminum oxide is grown out of the surface during anodizing and then becomes aluminum hydrate, that is extremely hard. The porous nature of the anodized layer allows the product to be dyed (in eXactMat black). The method used is Type II anodizing (room temperature) and gives an anodized layer of 0.1" (half which is grown into the surface and half out of the surface). The actual mousing surface area anodized becomes slightly larger or raised by about 2.5 mm. Not only will the owner benefit from the two-sided surface, but the wear of the mat itself should exceed the average 200 to 300 hours of other hard surface mats by four to five times. Testing
This has to be the best part of the review, where I get to play games to test out this new mouse surface! I loaded up some games that I'm currently playing such as UT2004, Battlefield Vietnam, and Star Wars Galaxies. I played a couple of hours on each game and noticed slightly better performance than my old Icemat (Review) that I have been using as my primary mouse surface for over two years. One major difference that I noticed between the two, is that the Icemat makes this dry and raspy like noise when moving the mouse across it and the eXactMat is much more quiet. The eXactMat does make some noise but much less than the Icemat surface. After playing on both sides of the eXactMat, I still prefer the smoother side. This really is a personal opinion but at least the Razer eXactMat gives you the option of both.

A lot of you may be asking how durable this "Aluminum" mouse surface really is. I too was wondering this and I had to try bending it to see if it would bend out of shape easily. I tried bending it fairly hard and there was no signs of it bending out of shape. I would feel safe enough to throw it in a LAN Party bag or put it through just about any other abuse a normal mouse surface would be under. I will feel much more safer taking this aluminum mouse surface to a LAN Party than my Icemat.

One thing that had me considered was the logo coming off after so much use and abuse. I tried scratching it off and it did not faze it all. It's almost like the logo is the same thickness of the black surface material, layered almost.


Conclusion
I have to say, that this is truly one of the best looking products that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. I love the hi-tech style, double sided surfaces, and the enormous footprint. Pair the eXactMat with a Razer Viper and you'll be blamed for cheating, because you'll be so deadly :) Okay, it may not improve your gaming skills by "that" much, but it will somewhat help your accuracy. The only thing that I'm worried about is the rubber feet, as I'm sure they'll eventually come off after abuse. Also if you have small desk space, this mouse surface may not be for you. Remember, the eXactMat measures over a foot wide and nearly a foot in height (from top to bottom). You should probably measure your desk to make sure you have room for such a enormous mouse surface. When you compare the price of the Razer eXactMat (at $30 bucks) to other popular mouse surfaces like the Icemat (at $40 bucks), the eXactMat is a pretty good deal. While it may not be down right cheap to some people, it will be invaluable to the hardcore gamers and professionals seeking eXact precision in their work or play. I can't help but highly recommend the eXactMat and to de-thrown the Icemat as my personal mouse surface of choice.

Update: Razer has told me that they will replace any feet if they ever come off your mouse pad. This must be covered under the 1-year warranty. They said after extensive testing they have found that they are very durable, so you shouldn't have any problems.

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