ROCCAT Sense Core, CTRL, Pro Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Subjective Performance Tests

Testing of a mousepad is subjective in nature, since there are no true objective benchmarks to spit out quantitative numbers for us to compare results when done. In order to make this subjective analysis a little more objective, I will be using the previously reviewed ROCCAT Burst Pro mouse. The tests will be completed in both graphics and gaming scenarios. These are two crucial areas where a good mouse in conjunction with a good mousepad really makes a difference. My intrinsic familiarity with the performance characteristics of the mouse will make it easy to determine differences between mousing surfaces, while also highlighting the benefits of using a mousepad. We will then break it down to the details and rate each mousepad based on the following categories:

Glide - For quick and effortless mouse movements across the mousing surface.
Control - For precise and accurate cursor/crosshair handling.
Grip - The mousepad's ability to stay in the same position on the desk without undesirably relocating itself.
Noise - Will this mousepad generate noise when the mouse is being used?

While our first picture was taken with all three surfaces in shot, I should note that I tested all of the surfaces individually. Starting with the smallest ROCCAT Sense Core Mini, I was generally happy with the characteristics here. In terms of glide and control, ROCCAT aimed to make a surface that balanced the two seemingly opposing factors. The Sense Core felt generally smooth, especially under the Teflon feet of the mouse. It is a bit difficult to really explain this because I think it provided sufficient friction for control, while also a smoother and quicker glide for effortless movement. Both horizontal and vertical movements felt similar and predictable. In Photoshop tests, I found the surface to respond well to quick movements while not being out of control. In the gaming tests, this was a similar feel, with the surface allowing for sufficient glide while also keeping movements predictable.

As for grip, the ROCCAT Sense Core was surprisingly good at staying place even if you forget that this is a Mini sized version. The Square and XXL versions of this pad will end up offering even better grip, since it covers a larger surface area and thus has more areas of contact. However, the Core Mini never slipped or moved out of place accidentally and the rubber base was effective in keeping it in place. As for noise performance, the cloth-based pad did well at suppressing sounds, even as a lower profile pad. It is also a notable improvement over using the mouse directly on a hard surface like a table, especially in the noise department.

Moving to the ROCCAT Sense CTRL XXL, the control-oriented nature of this pad was immediately apparent. As you can tell by the name, this leaned more towards the control side of the scale with a rougher vulcanized surface. Even so, under Teflon feet, my mouse glided easily across this surface. Despite its relatively coarser surface compared to the Core and Pro, the ROCCAT Sense CTRL was very consistent across the whole surface, so I was able to slide my pointing device across the pad without any tracking issues. In gaming situations, I was able to keep track of targets in shooting games. I never felt like I would lose track of my mouse, which is a good sign here too. Even in other games that use my mouse, like PGA 2K21, I felt like the CTRL pad still was slick enough to get fast follow-throughs in my golf swings.

As for grip, with the largest dimensions on the Sense CTRL XXL, it should be no surprise that this mousing pad stayed firmly in place. Due to its size, I ended up putting my keyboard on top of this pad too, which also helped in anchoring it down. As I have already said with the other two pads, the rubber grip on the bottom was excellent at keeping all of the pads in place, and so grip was not a concern. As for noise, the CTRL's slightly thicker 3mm surface performed well in absorbing noise even with the greater surface friction. There was very little noise created between my mouse and the surface. As a further benefit, the keyboard's metallic ping when pressed was reduced when it sat on the Sense CTRL. This is more due to the size of the mouse surface, but it is a reason why I like full desk pads.

Finally, with the ROCCAT Sense Pro Square, this mousing surface swings to the other end of the range between control and glide characteristics. The speed-oriented nature of this pad was quite apparent, especially with its greater focus on a smoother glide. With the faster feel and more plastic-like surface, the Sense Pro felt closer to a hard pad rather than a soft one. It truly had a faster glide with less friction felt between the mouse and the surface. It still provided a smooth and consistent feel while moving, although the control aspects of it took a bit more time to get used to. I do not think it is anything wrong with the pad itself, but rather the contrast in feel between the Sense CTRL and Pro made it a bit trickier to adjust to this pad. In games, I definitely felt the difference as I was able to swing my mouse more quickly to where I needed to shoot or move towards. In the Photoshop tests, I did have a bit of trouble controlling my lasso to track around items. This again is not a negative to the ROCCAT Sense Pro, but something users should be aware of. Once adjusted, I was able to get a bit better control of my mouse movement.

As for grip, with its size sitting in between the Sense CTRL XXL and the Sense Core Mini, the Square version of this pad never moved about while using it unless I purposely picked it up. As for noise performance, the more plastic-like surface and slippery feel did mean the cloth-based positives like sound absorption was not as present here. This was still better than using it directly on the table, but users will probably hear their mouse move on top of the 2mm thick surface. It is a bit of a tradeoff to get a better glide performance and it is acceptable in my opinion.

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