Gaming has been getting more popular over the past few years and should continue to do so into the future. With games looking better and needing more computing power to run high end hardware is normally needed. To accompany all of this expensive hardware peripheral companies have been putting a lot of time and effort into R&D to design better keyboards, mice, and other input devices.
With these precision mice that use advanced optical engines comes the need for better mousepads. X-Ray Technology was founded in 2003 and specializes in developing and manufacturing mouse pads and accessories for the professional computer user. They currently offer three mousepads and mouseskates, all of which will be looked at in this review.
The Thunder8 comes in a nice tin case and inside that case you will find the mousepad protected by foam. Also inside of the case is a user’s reference which explains all of the features and options the mousepad has. There is also a mouse cord clip underneath the mousepad which will be looked at later in the review.
The Thunder8 looks like it is the perfect size measuring 11.44″ x 9.3″ x 1/6″ (290.6mm x 236.2mm x 4.2mm). This mousepad features a double-sided surface, one is smooth and the other is rough. In the bottom left of the mousepad there is a easy lift corner which allows you to quickly switch between the two. The underside of the mousepad has ten silicone feet which are used to keep the mousepad in place.
The Thunder8 has two sides that you can use, one which is smoother than the other. To switch between the two you basically pull the middle out and flip it over. Both sides are very smooth but one side is a little rougher which is better for traditional mice and of course you can use either side. There is also a mouse cord clip that you can put in a few places on the mousepad to hold your cord in place. You simply snap it into the slot on the back of the mousepad that you want to use and put the cord in it.
Since I got an engineering sample of this mousepad I don’t have pictures of the retail packaging but I’m sure it will be nice. This mousepad is larger than the Thunder8 measuring 350mm x 280mm x 4mm. The top of the Thunder9 looks pretty similar to that of the Thunder8 with a few minor changes.
The biggest changes that stuck out right away was the fact that it was much bigger and only had one type of surface which was smooth. The edges are now curved so if you leave your hand on any edge it will be comfortable. The bottom of the mousepad has eleven silicone feet which should keep it in place nicely.
If you don’t need a “gamers” mousepads X-Ray Technology has a more traditional one called the Aqua3. This mousepad has a fine-woven fabric surface and is washable so you can keep it looking nice. The aqua3 comes in four different sizes which are outlined below:
Zero Friction Mouseskates
I also got some Zero Friction Mouseskates to use on my Logitech MX510. The samples provided are model number TP5A and TP5B. The TP5A skates are for use on Microsoft & Logitech MX mice while the TP5B are designed for Logitech mice. These skates will work with other mice as well you will just need to look at the kind of feet your mice have and choose the oval or circular ones.
Installation of the mouseskates is very simple and takes only a few seconds. It is best to clean the feet of your mouse before you stick the skates on. I used regular rubbing alcohol to make sure everything was removed. Once the alcohol was dry I simply placed a skate each of the feet and applied some pressure to make sure they were properly attached. The results of how these mouse skates work can be seen on the next page.