ROCCAT Hiro Mousepad Reviewhornybluecow - May 19, 2013
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ROCCAT Hiro Testing:
To give you an idea of how the ROCCAT Hiro compares to other mousepads I will be using a qualitative approach for the Precision, Speed, and Control. Each description of my findings will be based off observation while playing Unreal Tournament 3. The game type is Deathmatch on DM-ShangriLa using Instagib mutator. My choice to use a semi-dated game and not another game or office software was because Unreal Tournament is known for its twitch gameplay. The graphics may be showing its age, but the core gameplay has not changed since its first debut in 1999. The ROCCAT Hiro is marketed toward gamers so it seemed most appropriate. Let me give a quick rundown of what my observations are based on. For Precision, I will keep track of how often I miss due to inaccuracy of the mousepad. Speed was based on how fast I could move the mouse across the screen with the DPI at 3500. Control is directly related to how smooth the cursor traveled across the screen and the ability to track targets. The hard data, or quantitative chart, was based on playing five matches with a score limit of 20 using each mousepad. The end results gave me the a Kill/Death ratio that I used as a comparison.
- Processor: AMD FX 8350 @ 4.0GHz
- CPU Cooling: Stock Cooler
- Motherboard: ASUS M5A99X Evo 2.0
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 16GB (2x8GB)
- Video Card: ASUS DCII GTX 570
- PSU: OCZ 850W Z Series Gold
- Hard Drive: Seagate 2TB 7200.13
- Optical Drive: DVD-Rom
- OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit SP1
- Mouse: Razer DeathAdder 3500 DPI
- Desk Surface
- Generic Black
- Generic Blue
When comparing each mousepad, the Hiro takes the lead and really gave me a feeling of accuracy. In the Instagib game mode you only have one chance to fire, otherwise you are toast. So being on target the first time is absolutely necessary. I also switched around the pads randomly because I didn't want to unknowingly be biased. In do so, the generic black was clearly the worst and I often missed my shots as a result. It was very frustrating to be nearly on target, but just enough to pass right by. A little of that has to do with control, but I'll cover that soon enough. The desk surface for me was almost as good as a cheap mousepad. This may be different than most people might think and that is because I swore off mousepads for a while and became accustomed to the desk. For most people, it is uncomfortable and hard to use in which the only pad to really not hurt my wrist was the Hiro. Granted it does not have a wrist gel found often on work mousepads, but it gave enough clearance to feel comfortable enough.
For the Speed comparison, I turned the DeathAdder to 3500 DPI with the goal to see if the mousepad was still readable. The good news is the Razer DeathAdder picked up the Hiro and I could barely keep track of where the mouse went. The worst surface was the desk - I almost had to pick up the mouse before it moved off the desk. There is not much to this observation, but just remember fast is good because you can always turn down the sensitivity. On the other hand, if your mouse does not pick it up the pad in the first place, then that becomes a problem. I find myself leaving the DeathAdder at 1800 DPI and making slight adjustments in game. If you are playing a real-time strategy (RTS) game, a low DPI might suit you better, but I've also known a few people who max out the DPI so they don't have to move their hand basically at all.
Control is a little hard to explain if you are not a first-person shooter (FPS) gamer. The problem I had across all the mousepads except for the Hiro (surprise), was moving the mouse in a diagonal direction. If you play FPS games you know that being able to look up, down, and left to right is essential. Interesting enough, if you pay close attention, you are often traveling at an angle. If you have played Unreal Tournament, this is something that is constantly happening and everything is based on twitch reflex. The second you stand still to readjust, you become a target. I could feel and see a noticeable difference between the Hiro and the rest. The Hiro was smooth and nearly always on target (human flaws aside).
The Gaming chart below is based on a tally of kills and death. I played five matches with each mousepad and recorded the score and then averaged them together. The game was set up playing Deathmatch on DM-ShangriLa using Instagib mutator. The bots skill level was set to Master and bot count was 20 with the score limit 20 also. The bot skill was based on playing games using the generic blue mouse pad and finding an average of 1:1 kill ratio.
The gaming chart goes hand in hand with control and in fact they all the relate to each other. The better the control was, the better I was able to move around and be nearly on target. There is nothing worse than running by your enemy, only to be killed from behind because you could not turn fast enough. Looking at the gaming chart, it helps to sum up the rest. I was able to get more kills than deaths and win every match using the Hiro. All that contributed to taking long distance pot shots, hitting the target, and being able to jump and dodge incoming fire while keeping my aim steady on the opposing enemies. You might think two or three fewer deaths is meaningless, but it can be a big deal between first and third place. I did not get first place with two of the mousepads, and you can see that with the average being less than 20. In reality, a chart can't properly show a kill/death ratio; I think a plot graph might have helped more. Getting five kills in a row then dying three times within five seconds is something worth mentioning. I was rocking with the Hiro, only to be at match point and die three times. The rest of the pads either were 1:1 ratios or pure luck I finished the match in first place.