Before I start this review, I would like to thank Christopher of XTracPads
for making this review possible. I encourage all readers to check out XTracPads
for a wide range of mouse-pad solutions.
Performance mouse-pads have hit a plateau. The differences between the previous mouse-pads I've reviewed have been minimal. All pads have slowly deteriorated in performance with use and very few have brought something new to the table. There has been a sudden influx of performance mouse-pads to hit the market and to be honest, none of them have truly impressed me. Enter the XTrac Hammer and the XTrac Mad Dotz. A final performance pad solution? We'll soon find out.
I received the 20" by 12" white USPS box in the mail and the first thing that popped into my head was, "How much packaging material do they need?" Little did I know that the XTrac Hammer mouse-pad measured a massive 17" by 11" in size. For comparison, the RatPadz GS measures 11.75" by 9.25." Talk about over-kill, it only takes me 1.5" to get my mouse from the absolute left of the screen to the absolute right of the screen. While being a massive in terms of surface-area, the Hammer is only credit card thin; which makes it really easy on the wrists.
Height from Middle||
Credit Card Thin||
USPS Box|| ||
The XTrac Hammer|
Compared to RatPadz GS|
The Hammer's surface is a black and blue hexagon honeycomb pattern providing enough randomness to make the mouse's optical laser more responsive in most programs. The back of the pad features the Sure Grip II rubber backing and feels like the back of a plastic placemat. XTracPads.com sheds some light on the backing.Underneath the hexes and hard plastic surface we knew we needed a great material to grab onto and hold your desktop surface. We decided on the Sure Grip II rubber backing also found on the XTrac Zoom™ optical mouse pads. The Sure Grip II [also] enables the XTrac HAMMER™ to be super thin!
Oh the Whiteness|
Credit-Card Thin|| ||
Credit-Card Thin 2|
Like every other performance pad out there, the XTrac Hammer's surface is slick. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, most of the time the slickness progressively goes away. Going from my GamersStuff fuZe
pad to the Hammer, I noticed no difference. After a week of use with the XTrac Hammer pad, the slickness was still there.
XTrac Hammer's Surface|
No other pad had accomplished this feat of retaining its slickness after a week of usage. I decided to test the fuZe again, remembering that when I first received the Hammer, both the fuZe's and the Hammer's performance were the same. Placing my trusty Logitech MouseMan
on the fuZe's surface, I encountered a lot of friction and resistance from the pad. Placing the mouse on the Hammer's surface, no friction, no resistance; I was appalled. For great justice, I took out all the previous pads I've used and tested them against the Hammer. Not one of them could hold a candle to the Hammer. This was by far the best mouse-pad I've ever used.
There are two drawbacks to using the XTrac Hammer, both having to do with its size. Due to the thickness, or lack there-of, you need a completely flat surface so that you do not come across any bumps or cracks in your desk. This was a noticeable problem for me because my corner-desk is composed of three pieces so there is a "bump" that I have never previously had to deal with. The XTrac Hammer is a monstrosity at 17" by 11" and may be a problem for regular home-users and casual gamers. XTrac has a solution for the lack of space on your desk stating:If the size is an issue you can simply lift your keyboard up and slide part of the XTrac HAMMER™ underneath, minimizing the physical size of the pad and not causing your keyboard to rock from side to side.
If desk-space is a problem, you probably shouldn't be considering the Hammer in the first place. The XTrac Hammer is aimed more towards the serious gamers rather than the average web-surfer. Check out XTracPads.com's product listing to find the pad that is right for you.
Also included with the XTrac Hammer were the XTrac Mad Dotz. Mad Dotz are pre-cut circles of Teflon tape that require no work to install on your mouse. Simply clean your mouse feet, peel off the Mad Dot and place over your mouse's feet. After applying the MadDotz to my mouse, I did not notice a difference. For $3.00 you get 8 Mad Dotz which in most cases will cover two mice. The main exception is the recent Logitech mice that have 5 mouse feet, in which you'll only be able to cover 1 and 3/5's mice.
Also, if you own a Logitech mouse, you may encounter a problem
with one of the mice feet. Click the link to see how the Mad Dotz would either block the 4th Button and/or the Optical Sensor.
Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the XTrac Hammer. While its $17.95 price-tag may be steep for the average user, XTracPad's smaller solutions such as the XTrac Pro HS (Hard-Surface) only cost $10.00 and deliver the same performance. I highly recommend the XTrac Hammer for any gamer currently using a RatPadz GS or EverGlide alternative. As for the MadDotz, I noticed no difference whilst using them. For $3.00, you can experiment with eight of them, as for myself, I see no use.
The Hammer Gets TWO Mints|
Discuss this Review in the Forums
- Size might be an issue for some
- No difference in performance with Mad Dotz