XTracGear Ripper Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Subjective Performance Tests

Seeing how my own optical mouse was underpowered, Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Kwan was generous enough to lend me his SteelSeries Rival for better performance testing. Due to the subjectivity of testing a mousepad, and the impossibility of a single best surface, the tests that I will be running will be based on everyday use with working and web browsing scenarios. Overall, we will be basing the tests on four categories below:

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?

Once I had the SteelSeries Rival on the XTracGear Ripper, the glide of the mouse was not only quick, but it was where I wanted it to be. After sliding it side to side, I realized it was slightly smoother than sliding the mouse up and down. For example, when editing a document in Microsoft Word, moving my cursor across the toolbar is more effortless than dragging the scroll bar to the bottom of the document. I suspect the microfibers in the cloth naturally allows more movement side to side; movement top to bottom goes “against the grain”, requiring a pinch more effort comparatively. I feel this is fitting, because lateral movement is more used, due to a normal computer screen is built to be rectangular in shape. Regarding the top to bottom movement, the difference is almost unnoticeable, unless users are to compare lateral movements to top to bottom movement directly. XTracGear has certainly created a product with a quick mousing surface that requires little effort for users.

The XTracGear Ripper with its cloth surface and 3mm thick padding allows for easier control due, with higher comfort level as a bonus. Control of the mousepad would be solely dependent on a preference of harder surfaces versus softer surfaces; each with its benefits. On a harder surface, the mouse seems to glide faster, and on a softer surface, the mouse’s movement is slowed down by the cloth material. I ran the Ripper through a quick test on the Exact Aiming Pro game found online. The smooth cloth surface of the Ripper allowed for precise control over the mouse at all times.

With regards to grip, the mousepad, as expected with the Sure Grip rubber base, held on very well. Attempts of movement from the original position on my desk were not particularly successful. However, what I noticed was since the consistency of the Sure Grip backing is very high, when attempts of movement are concentrated in a corner of the mousepad, the grip weakens. As mentioned before, the Sure Grip pattern is like the sole of many high end basketball shoes. With the grip of a basketball shoe, when the force is too great for a certain area of the sole, traction is lost, and sliding may occur. This is the same case for the Ripper. Despite this, with everyday use, XTracGear has created a mouse that will grip for its life on your desk.

As for noise factor, I was most impressed in this department. Running my hands on the surface creates a certain amount of noise. But when a mouse is put in use, the mousepad uses its soft padding to dampen out any sound. The polished textile surface not only provides speed and control, but it also provides a noise-free mousing surface. This is very welcomed due to a more quiet working and gaming environment for users across the board. Overall, in these four categories tested, the XTracGear Ripper has not disappointed me at all.

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