A mousepad, or excuse me…gaming surface… is probably not something you’ve given much thought to. In order for someone to consider shelling out more than a few dollars at the local mass retail store on something with a picture of a cat on it, a mousepad better do some pretty interesting things. It has to look decent; maybe cats and killer whales are your thing, but most folks want something that is not going to cause staring. They want simple, sleek, elegant; something that does the job, and does not look like an advertisement for a convention at Las Vegas. It also has to do more than just sit there; I mean it is a mousepad, but most are small and really offer nothing else than serving as a field expedient coaster; they slide all over the place, get dirty easily (downright NASTY) and will fray in only a few months.
The XFX WarPad is one of those products that steps in to fill that niche, doing the job it is needed for and offering quality, durability and a few other bonuses that make it worthwhile. Best of all, no pictures of cats.
The WarPad is BIG, much larger than some of the pictures and media out there may lead you to believe. If you are used to the standard mousepad size, double it or go even higher. Made from a 6mm double padded mat, and featuring a desk clamp, the WarPad is comfortable and does not move around much at all. The clamp is really what it is all about, or so I thought at first. The “Edgeless Support System” is what turned out to be the star of the show for me.
The clamp allows you to attach WarPad on any surface up to 2 inches thick, such as your desk, so that it does not move. That’s nice, since my old mousepad was always sliding all over the place. But with the Edgeless Support, the padding covers the clamp, making sort of a pad for your forearm as well. If you’re like me, spend a lot of time on the computer, and have the bad habit of resting your arm fully on the desk, then this solution will help you out. It’s comfortable for both gaming and office work.
Open box, put pad on desk. You don’t need an instruction manual for this thing. All you have to do is position it where you want it, push the clamp open, and slide it on. I already mentioned the size, so if you are using a smaller desk, real estate is going to be an issue. You can turn the pad sideways, or even backwards if you use a slide out tray. Just be aware you only get the advantage of the support if the clamp is under your arm when using it.
I had some initial concerns with my desk. It’s large, but the tray only has a short straight edge, and a long angled edge. I had to place the pad and clamp it at the point where they meet, and I wondered if this would affect the stability. It turned out not to be a problem at all, the clamp holds tight, and there is minimal shifting. I did have about an inch and a half of overhang on the back of my keyboard tray, but turns out to be a bonus since it keeps the mouse cord from dragging over the sharp edge and fraying.
The WarPad is definitely thicker than your standard pad, comfortable, and it cleans easily with a light brush of the hand. The whole thing can be easily rolled up and stowed in a bag or backpack; which makes it easy for travel since you won’t have to remember the special carrying bag some others come with, or explain to the good security people at the metal detectors why your mouse pad is giving off an alarm. Wrap it around your keyboard if you have to, or use it as extra padding for your laptop. The clip is durable and will stand up to some punishment. Just don’t jump up and down on it.
The look is simple, and elegant; with the product logo in white on a black surface, the WarPad could easily stand double duty in the office as well as in the digital battlefield. This makes it one of the few gaming products you would not feel self-conscious about if a business client caught a look at it during a meeting or video conference call.
If I had not used a standard style mousepad before, I would be a little confused here. I mean, how do you judge performance on something whose sole purpose for existence is to sit there? It does a wonderful job of that… I didn’t do any before and after comparisons. Are you likely to time how long it takes your mouse to react in game? No, like me you are going to go by feeling, and it’s a noticeable improvement; the padding greatly reduced the friction and now everything is smoother, plus I have a larger area to work with.
I’ve used XFX products before, and never had a single complaint; I can see that they have carried the same attention and care to this as well. It’s one of those areas you would not expect a company that deals primarily in power supplies and graphics cards to reach into, but they seem to have the right idea. I don’t see how this product could be designed any better without ruining what is already good about it. I like the fact it is sturdy, but still easily portable.
Probably you’re number one concern is price. You can get the WarPad from various retailers starting at around $45.00 USD, which puts in in the upper tier of products in the same category. Sure, you can buy other pads for less money, just like you can choose to eat fast food or go to a steakhouse. You get what you pay for, and in the market of similar items, the WarPad gives you that and more. It’s durable, does the job, and doesn’t look like you picked it out of the reduced bin at the local office supply store.