By: Jonathan Kwan
January 14, 2006
When I told my friends about the Func sUrface 1030 Archetype, they all went like, "Wow, how important is a MOUSEPAD!?" To tell the truth, it's not illogical for them to ask that question -- most of us haven't even used a mousepad since the ball mouse days. With the latest laser mice that works on "virtually any surface", who needs a mousepad?
To find out, we are going to be taking a look at the Func sUrface 1030 Archetype "competition mousing surface". (As Func calls it anyway) Since it's called a "competition mousing surface", don't we expect more than a typical mousepad?
Our review sample came in a big bubble envelope. UPS just dropped it at my door and left. What if someone took it, then they got themselves a real nice mousepad... err, mousing surface. *Shakes head at UPS service*
The good news is that no one took it, so I'll stop my ranting and continue with the review.
Our review sample came in some real nice retail packaging, which means that this is what you'll see in a store.
I have to compliment Func on the packaging. It didn't use those dead-binded plastic packaging, the kind that I hate and rant about in every review where you have to cut it all apart to open -- this one has little "buttons" on it that you just "unlock" them... no cutting required, and takes approximately 5 seconds to open.
Right out of the package you'll get the mousepad base, the two sided surface, a manual (More on this later) and a sticker that says "Func Archetype" on it. Besides the fact that it has those kind of "good" plastic packaging on the outside, a tin case is also included -- another thumbs up for the packaging. Example of use: You might travel somewhere with the mousepad, say, a lanparty, and you don't want to accidentally crack the mousepad, so you put it in the tin case for protection. Adding onto that, when a new revision of this pad comes out, you can put it in the tin case as a collectable item. Or heck, even if you don't want to use it, the packaging makes it a desirable collector's item. (Real high class packaging here if you know what I mean)
Why would a mousepad have a manual anyway, you ask? Obviously, this manual isn't telling you how to use the mousepad -- but it does tell you how to maintain it and some tips for the optimum performance. It also gives instructions on how to "loop" your mouse cord with the cord clip.
So anyway here's the mousepad itself.
In the corner is the nice Func sUrface 1030 Archetype logo, which I have enlarged in the photo. It's something that's worth showing off.
At 11.5" x 9.5", no doubt the Func sUrface 1030 Archetype is huge. They have increased the size over 20% from the original sUrface 1030. While I don't have the orignal sUrface 1030, I can still demonstrate the size of the Func sUrface 1030 Archetype.
It's about 3/5 the size of my MX3000 keyboard.
And totally huge compared to my old promo mousepad that I got from a computer store. (I've intentionally flipped it upside-down, since I don't want to give that company some free advertising :P )
Moving on, let's take a look at the bottom of this mousepad. The bottom of any mousepad is just as important as the surface -- anyone who gamed or even used a computer mouse knows -- it's very annoying when your mousepad moves with you as you move the mouse. If you are into gaming, you'll understand that feeling. Someone is standing behind shooting at you. You quickly move your mouse in attempt to make a 180 degree turn and get the guy back. Your mousepad moves with you, and you find yourself facing the wall. Boom headshot. You die.
Here's the bottom of the Func sUrface 1030 Archetype. There's six of those grip thingies in the bottom, with the Func logo in the middle.
A closer look at one of the grips.
To test how good the grip with my desk that this mousepad offers, I played some Counter-Strike: Source on the APH server, which has the Deathmatch mod installed. What this means is that once you die, you spawn randomly on the map instantly. In other words, theres a lot of action, you spin around a lot, kill a lot and die a lot, because you never know if someone will spawn right behind you or something. In this kind of intense gaming (Especially when there's lots of people in the server), I've done a lot of 180 degree turns and quick moves with my mouse -- the pad stayed glued to the desk.
The cord clip. When using a corded mice, you'll understand that your mouse cord gets tied up with some other wire, you end up pulling it back all the time to loosen the cord and allow better movement. With the cord clip in place and you've created the proper loop as instructed in the manual, you'll have some guaranteed un-restricted movement. For those with cordless mice like me, you won't have to worry about the cord clip.
One of the major selling point of the Func sUrface 1030 Archetype is it's double sided mousing surface. You simply remove the surface off the base, flip it around and put it back in, and the user can choose between a smoother and coarser surface according to his or her's likings.
Pretty nice, yeah?
Let's check out the two different surfaces offered by the Func sUrface 1030 Archetype. To do this, I scanned both sides of the mousing surface with my scanner.
This is the smoother side, which I personally prefer using.
This is the rougher side. Func says that the user should experiment with both sides for around 10-15 minutes each to see which one you like better. It's all about personal preference.
After choosing my favourite side, I've moved around a bit in Windows, Photoshopped a bit and played some CS:S. In Windows, it seems that I have increased the sensitivity of the mouse. I've turned the sensitivity on my MX600 down one setting in order to compensate.
Adding on, another major difference is noticed while using the Archetype. This is where the major difference sets between using this mousing surface against using your bare desk as your mousing surface. The mouse literally glides across the surface. In fact, it glides so smoothly across the surface, it's... hard to describe in words. My old cloth promo mousepad just gives way too much grip compared to the Archetype. Same thing goes with the mouse on my bare desk. You got to try it out and you'll see what I mean.
In Photoshop, everything seems a lot more precise when editing images. Highlighting and selecting with the lasso tool is much easier with the added precision. The mouse I am using with the Func sUrface 1030 Archetype is a Logitech MX600, which is a good and precise mouse itself, but with the Archetype it's even better.
Counter-Strike: Source goes as good as it would. I make headshots effortlessly and turns are sharp and quick. What else can you possibly expect?
This mousing surface is truly what I define as "1337". It sticks to the desk like it's been glued to it, while the mouse glides effortlessly across the top. Adding onto that, headshots in a first person shooter title aren't uncommon. If you are a graphics professional, you can't miss out this mousepad either. In other words, it's as good as a mousing surface can possibly get. At first, I thought, "How important is a mousepad?" or, "How can a mousepad possibly worth $25?" (It comes in two flavours, the plastic base or aluminum base, the Archetype with the aluminum base costs around $10 more) After reviewing the Func sUrface 1030 Archetype, it's not priced unreasonably either for the features and excellent mousing experience you receive.
Special thanks to Reuben over at Func for making this review possible.
Note: The number ratings below has been adjusted accordingly to comply with our new Number Rating System.
What do these ratings mean?
Excellent packaging. Very smooth, large and precise mousing surface. Worth the price!