If you're like me, you've probably never considered spending money on a mouse pad. In the ancient days of PC gaming, I used a cloth mouse pad that came for free with a game for my archaic ball-mouse. With the advent of optical mice, I stopped using a pad at all with my wooden desk, and when I switched desks, I started using a cheap Star Wars mouse pad that my wife bought for me.
Enter Razer with their eXactMat gaming surface. I scoffed when I looked up the price, I laughed when I thought about someone paying more than five dollars for a mouse pad, and I cried when I realized I wished I had owned one all along.
The Hardware - Do I look like chopped liver to you?
The Razer eXactMat with eXactRest is a large - we're talking Goliath - mousing surface made from anodized aluminum. (Which sounds much cooler if you happen to have a British accent.) It has two surfaces: a rough one for control, and a smooth one for speed. Both are anti-reflective, non-slip, and abrasion resistant. The eXactRest is a gel wrist-rest that spans most of the bottom of the pad, which means it's probably three times as long as a normal wrist-rest.
The Technology - Show me the money!
Uh, yeah. It's essentially a large mouse pad. Aside from the two different sides - did I mention they were made from anodized aluminum? - the pad has anti-reflective coating so that optical and laser mice track better, and you don't get blinded by your mouse pad. It's not exactly something designed to impress astrophysicists.
Appearance - Like a large...thing.
Have I mentioned the eXactMat is large? At a little over a foot long and about 10 ½ inches tall, this is not your average sized mousing surface. Even the wrist-rest is oversized, so you can comfortably use the whole surface without fear of the dreaded carpal-tunnel syndrome setting in.
In addition to being large (I did mention that, right?), it is also attractive. The mousing surface is black, with a silvery trim around the edges. The green Razer symbol is found on both sides, as well as on the wrist-rest, and both sides are clearly labeled - one control, the other speed - so you are not guessing which is which. Also, both sides feature four non-slip feet that keep the pad in place while you game, but that are not in the way. (If you do find that you need the small space those feet take up, I strongly suggest you look in to increasing your mouse sensitivity...)
Performance - Sure to please even the most finicky felines.
I tested the eXactMat using a Razer DeathAdder, a Razer Copperhead, a Logitech G5, and an Evoluent Vertical Mouse 3. I played tons of MMORPGs, and even some non-MMORPGs (shocking, I know). Regardless of which mouse or what game, the eXactMat was accurate and smooth. The Speed side is really fast, and the control side gives just enough resistance to make slight, accurate movements a breeze. There's plenty of space to make ridiculously large mouse movements, and for the first time ever, I didn't end up with my thumb pushed up against my keyboard eventually.
Conclusion - The joy of being wrong.
Remember how wrong you were when you were a little child and you thought people of the opposite sex were "icky"? Remember your first tentative kiss, when you expected it to be gross and then realized afterwards that it was the best thing you had ever experienced? I relived those feelings while testing the eXactMat. When I first set my mouse down on the surface, I was thinking that people must be insane to want to spend this kind of money on a mouse pad! After five minutes, I was thinking I am an idiot, I should have tried this a long time ago!
What I think of it:
Obviously, I love it. After years of cloth mouse pads and hard desk surfaces, I have finally discovered the joy of a quality mousing surface. I also enjoy the oversized wrist-rest, as I have always used one, but they were never large enough unless I cut down one meant for a keyboard.
Who I think can benefit the most:
Anyone still using a cloth mouse pad or their desk surface with an optical or laser mouse. Honestly people, you owe it to yourself to try one of these out. Those of you who already use an expensive mousing surface may not feel the need to upgrade, but you may still find this to be better than what you are using.
This is the ultimate mousing surface, bar none. With two sides to choose from, an attractive design, plenty of space, and a comfortable, ergonomic wrist-rest, this is the perfect complement to that expensive gaming mouse.
I give the eXactMat with eXactRest 10 venomous vipers out of 10.