By: Jonathan Kwan
June 1, 2006
During times when the hot summer heat just boils your body, and your hands release immense amounts of perspiration, you can just sense the feeling it's not the ideal time to handle pointing devices for first person shooter titles. When major mouse manufacturers such as Logitech and gaming accessories manufacturers like Razer released their latest models last year, it's apparent that they implemented a certain amount of rubber or rubber-like material to enhance user grip with their mouse. Why? During intense gaming situations, human perspiration released from hands becomes an issue. Aiming for just that headshot five meters away? Sorry, hand slipped, missed the button, owned by opponent.
In attempt eliminate this issue, PCXMods, the company that owns enthusiast gaming accessories manufacturer XTracPads, came out with their latest creation -- MouseGrips 2.0. As the name is more or less self-explanatory, MouseGrips 2.0 is a set of adhesive grips that's pre-cut and designed to be applied onto your gaming equipment (Whether it's a joystick or gamepad, but primarily your mouse) to enhance grip, in turn increasing control with your hand. How good is this product, and most important of all, how practical is it? We aren't too far away from revealing more information regarding usefulness and potential of MouseGrips 2.0.
Our review unit came in a large box using United States Parcel Service, which tagged along with our XTracPads Ripper XXL that we've taken a look at in the previous week.
To tell the truth, I didn't think that this was a very practical product at first -- is my hand really slipping of my pointing device all the time? Not necessarily. Judging from stock photos as well as images floating around the web, something makes me believe it will make my Logitech G5 look less attractive than how it originally did. Being as open-minded as possible, there's only one way to find out -- and that's giving it a try hands on. Let's see if our results really changed our initial opinions on this product.
After digging through a large amount of packing peanuts, we discovered the set of MouseGrips 2.0 in retail envelope packaging. Included within the envelope was a sheet of pre-cut adhesive grips of various shapes and sizes as well as a small pack of alcohol preparation to clean adhesive surface of where your MouseGrips 2.0 will be applied (Whether it's a joystick, gamepad or mouse) to ensure a good stick on an appropriately cleaned surface.
According to our tests, it appears to us that it is very important to clean the application surface before putting the MouseGrips 2.0 on, otherwise it won't stick properly. Using the sheet of included alcohol prep to clean the surface of our Logitech G5, we applied several pieces from our MouseGrips 2.0 onto where we believe enhanced grip is essential.
After applying MouseGrips 2.0 to the surface of our mouse and gave it a few minutes to settle into place, I gave my Logitech G5 with MouseGrips 2.0 a test run for the first time. Upon our initial tests, I did notice enhanced control due to improved grip. However, due to thickness of this product, a minor sensation of discomfort can be felt underneath the palms of my right hand.
I did not apply the large MouseGrips 2.0 because from what I can see, it is possible to accumulated unwanted matter around its many edges as well as increasing discomfort, although the discomfort factor is relatively minor. In addition to that, it will degrade visual appeal of my mouse from my aesthetics point of view. As for appreciating art, it is very subjective and judged very personally.
During gaming, I did notice improved grip, as I mentioned earlier. Control is also increased, and crosshair manipulation is a little easier. However, my Logitech G5 which I used for testing did not necessarily gain too much from this product as far as I can tell, partially due to the fact that our G5 already offers reasonably good grip without modifications. In other words, performance gain in gaming is relatively minor, at least with our Logitech G5. On the other hand, if you own a mouse that has less grip than the Logitech G5 such as the G7, its wireless counterpart, you may appreciate and benefit from performance gain that MouseGrips 2.0 has in store.
As far as MouseGrips 2.0 goes, I definitely like the idea of this product. However, its relatively minor performance gain (At least with our Logitech G5, which apparently has excellent grip at stock) did not justify for its tradeoffs; which include minor discomforts due to its thickness, with a natural decline of aesthetics of your mouse. If you have a few extra bucks and a strong desire to tweak every aspect of your gaming equipment to the hilt, MouseGrips 2.0 is a good investment. Otherwise, prioritize your purchase of a new performance mouse and precise mousing surface before giving this a go.
Special thanks to Christopher over at MouseGrips 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?
Minor increase in gaming performance does not justify for its price, looks, and minor discomfort.