Fnatic Gear Focus G1 XL Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look

Rolling the Fnatic Gear Focus G1 XL out of the tube, we have a pretty Plain Jane look. With a full black finish, it does not necessarily separate itself from other mousing surfaces, but considering the nature of the product, this is not a bad thing. In the bottom corner, we have the only marking on the pad, which is a Fnatic Gear logo. As for dimensions, this mousepad measures 400mm in width, 305mm in depth, and 3mm in height. Despite sharing the same XL name as the XTracGear Carbonic XL, the latter is bigger in all dimensions besides height. This being said, if you actually want a different size, the Focus G1 comes in a whole variety of sizes as aforementioned, so sizing itself should not be an issue. This size is a pretty good balance between desktop and on-the-go gaming, as it is large enough for everyday use, but small enough to quickly roll and go with it. The fabric on the top feels smooth, almost like the Carbonic finishes we have seen in the past. It is not as smooth, but we will see the effects of this in our performance tests later on. The bottom features a nice rubber finish to get a good grip on the table. Otherwise, the one thing I wish Fnatic Gear would change here are near the edges. The edges on the Focus G1 are sharp and presumably laser etched, but this means it is physically sharper. While the edges should not fray over time, they are quite sharp on the wrist or the arm, which causes some discomfort.

Before we continue on to the surface inspection, let me quickly go over the advantages and disadvantages of a cloth-based mousing surface. On the positive side, cloth-based surfaces provide better comfort and control, are easier on mice feet, generates little noise during use, can even out some imperfect surfaces, and is more portable. Even with a mousepad as large as this, it can be rolled up and ready to go. Unfortunately, it comes at reduced glide performance, and is inherently bound to attract and accumulate dust, dirt, and liquid. This can include human liquids too, such as sweat from your hands. Plastic, aluminum, glass, or any other solid surface can easily be run under the tap to restore it to original condition. You cannot do the same with cloth surfaces, and if you are thinking about the washing machine right now, please do not try this. Unfortunately, it does not do too much about the absorption issue, but we have yet to really see any cloth-based desk mat do as such. However, the Fnatic Gear Focus G1 XL has a smoother fabric surface to emulate the glide performance of a hard surface mousepad. We will only know if it actually pays dividends when we get into our tests. Now, we will take a closer look at the front surface.

Unlike most of the photos we take, a surface inspection requires a clearer and closer image. Thus, I put the Focus G1 XL onto a scanner, and ran it through at 600dpi. This way, we could get a more detailed image. Taking a closer look at the top surface of the Focus G1, and we can see we have a pretty consistent look. A diamond like pattern can be observed throughout the entire surface, and this is consistent, including over the Fnatic Gear logo. As I looked at the scanned image of the cloth, I was unable to find any inherent flaws, which is good to see. This points to an excellent quality control and well manufactured product. Similar to the Carbonic lineup, the Fnatic Gear Focus G1 XL also has a smoother, shinier surface, which makes for better glide when using it, but we will see how this affects us in everyday use on the next page.

In some ways, the picture above could have easily been taken from another mousepad, because the finish on the bottom of the Fnatic Gear Focus G1 XL is very similar to others we have seen in the past. The Focus G1 XL is comprised of two layers, with the cloth surface on top as we have already mentioned, and the bottom rubber backing we see here. Together, these two surfaces make up the 3mm thick surface. The bottom also adds majority of the weight to the Focus G1. The treading and the weight ensures the pad stays in place while your mouse is moving on top. Otherwise, you can see the backing has a ridged, zig-zag pattern, and this is consistent around the entire bottom. This means there should not be any weak spots, or lower-friction areas, resulting in a better hold. All of these observations are nice, but we will see what they all add up to when we go to our performance tests.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look
3. Subjective Performance Tests
4. Conclusion