XTracGear Ripper Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - A Closer Look

After taking it out of the box and unrolling it on my desk, that is when I realized the true size of the Ripper. It is the largest mousepad I have ever used (I am aware of the XTracPads Ripper XXL, but I do not own one), and finding a place for it to fit on my desk was no easy task. At 432mm by 280mm, it was a bit larger than my 15.6" HP Envy laptop, so I chose to place it nicely tucked under my cooling fan, and tight to the edge of my desk. The first thing I noticed after placing my mouse on the Ripper was the comfort it offered for my wrist. Another feature worth mentioning are the laser cut edges that prevent fraying, which, for me, offered a nice clean edge and look, as opposed to edges that provided nothing but discomfort. Bringing me back to one of the reasons I was not a fan of cheap mousepads in the past was because my first few mousepads would fray, making the corner of the surface separate, causing it to be no longer fully functional. The surface of the Ripper, at first glance, reminds of me of Mead’s Five Star binders I used to have during my Junior High days. Flipping the Ripper on its backside reveals a Sure Grip backing for better holding power. On the bottom right side of the surface is XTracGear’s trademark logo, product name, and company website. Just to note, XTracGear has changed their name from XTracPads to reflect more accurately on their latest product portfolio.

As mentioned previously on other mousepad reviews here at APH Networks, there are certain advantages and disadvantages in a cloth-based mousepad. A cloth mousepad provides good friction and tactile feedback for users, if he/she prefers it. Thicker cloth pads provide a very comfortable surface for the wrist, translating to increased gaming endurance. Although the size of the mousepad may vary, it is quite easy to fold up and go. This is as opposed to other mousing surfaces made out of plastic, aluminum, or glass. However, cloth pads are prone to dirt, liquid stains, and human perspiration that are troublesome to clean. For someone who uses a 15.6” laptop on a daily basis, my wrist is generally in the same area of the mousepad, which adds a significant amount of perspiration in the area over time. However, the washing machine is not an option, so please do not try this at home. Another disadvantage in cloth pads is the edges are prone to fraying. However, XTracGear has addressed this issue very well in the Ripper with their laser cut anti-fray edges.

Looking at the surface of the Ripper under the scanner at 600 dpi to get a more detailed image, it reveals small dimple-like dots. The dimple-like dots are highly consistent in terms of ratio spacing, giving users a completely smooth surface to touch and perform. After digging up my old Mead’s Five Star binder and feeling the front of it, it really does feel like the surface of the Ripper without the soft padding. Referring back to the original box the Ripper came in, each section of the dimple-like dots acts as the polished textile speed surface. Not only does the polished textile surface provide users with speed, but also control over the mouse. However, taking an even closing look at the pattern at 600 dpi, there are certain specks of imperfections; I suspect these are not manufacturer flaws, but rather dust particles, and the after effects of use on the dimple-like fibers.

Comparing the mousepad reviews done by Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Kwan and Technical Editor Aaron Lai on the XTracGear Ripper XXL (2014) and XTracGear Carbonic, respectively, the backing of the Ripper is identical. The Sure Grip rubber is new to the latest XTracGear products. The consistency in pattern of the rubber surface is very high, which should mean little to no slippage for users. The pattern of the XTracGear's design reminds me of the patterns of various highly sought after basketball shoes. These basketball shoes claim to have solid traction for quick movements and pure balance in grip throughout the sole of the product. I expect the same for the Ripper with the same rubber pattern throughout the mousepad. In the next part, we will talk about how well the backing can hold up on the desk.

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