Zowie G-TF Speed Review

BluePanda - 2011-07-22 18:57:30 in Mouse Pad
Category: Mouse Pad
Reviewed by: BluePanda   
Reviewed on: August 4, 2011
Price: $24.99

Introduction:

ZOWiE is a small company that was founded in late 2008 to develop some of the best gaming gear. With its headquarters based in Huntington Beach, California, business is made by selling mouse pads, mice, keyboards, headsets, and their popular branded Speedy Skatez. Today we take a look at their G-TF Speed Edition, an improvement of the original G-TF.

The ZOWiE G-TF mouse pad was designed by the popular Abdisamad “SpawN” Mohamed, a 12-time world champion of Counter Strike. The G-TF Speed is the new and improved version of the pad, designed to decrease friction, provide higher precision, and still have an easy-to-clean surface.

With a mouse pad being a key investment in any setup, it is important to find the right one. In a gaming setup it becomes an even more important selection so that your head is the last one to be shot. Today we’ll find out if the ZOWiE G-TF can deliver on its promises!

Closer Look:

The ZOWiE G-TF came in an interesting, non-mouse pad-shaped box. Not too uncommon, the box plays a slight trick on your mind. The pad comes rolled up in a box that is the height of the mouse pad but only about two inches in width. The box is rather plain, coming in grey, black, and white. It features a SpawN logo that appears almost car-like with a white stripe down the center of the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The upper portion of the box reminds you what company is in charge with a black ZOWiE logo. About a third of the way down the box is a small, circular peephole, which attempts to give you a glance of the magic inside. You really cannot see much more than the fact that it is black.

 

 

Out of the box the ZOWiE G-TF finally gives you a true idea of what it is. Unrolling the pad, it seems to want to roll back up, but this will go away with use — besides, it rolls towards your desk instead of your mouse; therefore it won’t even be a problem. The pad is all black except for a red SpawN logo in the lower left corner, screen-printed on, and a red ZOWiE-embroidered logo on the upper right edge of the pad.

 

 

 

The entire surface has a near-plastic feel but still has the flex of a fabric pad. The reverse is a glossy rubber back that smells slightly like fireworks from China — don’t ask why I know this (I’m sure you will understand if you get one). Seems like a nice backing material that will stick well to any surface.

Specifications:

Dimensions:
440 mm x 320 mm x 2 mm (17.3 inches x 12.6 inches x 0.08 inches)

 

Features:

 

All information courtesy of Zowie: http://www.zowiegear.com/products?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=25&category_id=2

Testing:

To properly test the ZOWiE G-TF Speed, I will be considering three explicit details: precision, speed, and control. To test the precision of the pad, I will use Photoshop to see how my accuracy changes in the number of corrections that are required, and I will play Borderlands and record the number of times that I get head shots. I will rate speed based on how fast the cursor is able to move across the screen. The last test will measure control in the ability to smoothly track my targets.

I will also be using the ZOWiE G-TF Speed in my everyday computing. It will endure basic internet browsing, “photoshopping”, and most importantly, the thrashing of gaming. After about a week’s use I will be able to say whether I want to keep using it or toss it aside for another pad.

 

Testing Setup:

Comparison Mouse Pads:

 

Results:

 

Precision:

To rate precision, I used a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst case and 10 being the best. A score of 5 was reserved as a standard Walmart mousepad for reference. A 10 would be performing at the top of my game with a drastic improvement over the reference pad. A 1 would be a major decrease in precision and nearly impossible to use.

Speed:

Speed was rated in a similar fashion with 1 being low and 10 being high. A score of 1 would mean the cursor tracked drastically slower than normal and a 10 would be so fast that it would almost require me to turn down my sensitivity.

Control:

I rated control with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest. A score of 1 meant major loss in fluid motion of the cursor — a rather jerky motion. A score of 10 meant that the control was perfectly smooth.

 

Having recently become a fan of slick pads, the G-TF was a nice, new pad to try out. Precision was about the same as any slick pad. I tend to find them to be a bit hard to adjust to when not using them every day, but over time I always find myself adapting to the improved precision. The mouse moves nicely across the pad and always gets me either to where I’m trying to be or exactly where I want to be.

The ZOWiE G-TF really gives the impression of faster movement over your typical cloth pad. The pad is so thin it is like not even having a mouse pad at all, but rather, a magical desk top that just does what you want. I almost had to turn down the sensitivity of my mouse using the pad because it seemed to move so much faster. I was impressed with how much more the mouse seemed to move without changing any of my mouse settings.

The fact that it is so slick makes control an interesting issue. It is still easy to control the mouse on the pad but the fact that it does move so fast means that you either need to adjust some settings on your mouse or make some adjustments with your style. It really gives you the feel that you can really control your computer for a change — it puts you in command!

Conclusion:

In the end the ZOWiE G-TF is a great slick pad. After about a week's worth of use the pad really grew on me; it even made me decide to use it as my main mouse pad. The surface is large for those of us who have troubles staying on a standard sized pad. The surface is smooth as if there was nothing preventing you from using your mouse AND it lets you game in a way you have never gamed before.

It only comes in black with the SpawN logo, as he did create it – give him props – but it’s a solid color so this is no downside to attempting to match your rig. It again reacts as any slick pad does with crumbs or particles on your pad; if you are a pretzel-eating fool, the salt granules are going to annoy you, but a quick pick up and shake of the pad equals an instant fix.

The somewhat funky-smelling rubbery back side provides a glue-like substance to really stick to your desk. Even when picking up the edge or corner of the pad you cannot slide this thing across your desk like any other pad. You can’t even forcibly move the pad without picking up at least half the pad which means it isn’t going anywhere once you have it where you want it. I found this a very great property in fast moving games that require a lot of mouse movement.

I thought the stitched edging around the entire edges of the pad would annoy me at first, but in reality, I didn’t even notice that they were there. It has become a nice reminder that the edge of the pad is near and I correct to the center of the pad to avoid my usual falling off the pad. It should keep the pad together longer than the usual slick surfaces that tend to peel away from their lower layers over time.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: