Hardware Review: Scythe Precision Gaming Surface
Scott Parrino sets down one of the largest mouse pads he's seen...and nearly loses his mouse. Is it a worthy desk accessory for wargamers?
Scythe Precision Gaming Surface
I never really thought much of a large mouse pad. Of course, this was nearly twenty years ago that I thought about this, when a computer mouse would have the roller ball in it. Those were days when you had to remove the cap and take out the ball, and with a Q-Tip and some rubbing alcohol, clean out the rollers that filled up with gunk, dust, and strands of hair. Mouse pads then were not really big because it was easy to span large, 15-inch monitor space (with the glorious 640x480 resolution screen) by giving the ball a rolling start.
Time wore on, technology advanced, and we reached the level of laser precision mice. No more rollers to clean and it was only the DPI level of these laser mice to hold us back. From that point on, you needed a smooth and opaque material to work with the laser. But trouble arose when you couldn’t just roll the mouse ball to get across large screens; you had to be more active in your mouse-wrangling. And so from then on, the mouse pad because a necessary feature to cater and “team up” with the laser mouse.
Then come the larger gaming mouse pads. These mouse pads have grown in size for players to utilize more space with that annoying problem of their mouse hitting the mouse pad edge and having the mouse pointer go awry. While not exactly dire for some strategy games (although accidentally clicking the “next turn” button due to lost mouse pad real estate is incredible annoying), real-time tactical games and some of the more faster-paced games require an active hand and precision. I myself have generally stuck with a standard mouse pad that is slightly larger than most, around 12” x 10”, but even that was starting to feel like a small island on my desk. Then I received the Scythe Precision Gaming Surface mouse pad.
This pad is massive: 14” x 17” that overshadows my previous mouse pad with ease (and even my iPad, as shown in pictures). In fact it is one of the largest accessories I have on my desk, second to my 23-inch monitors. Since I have a rather large desk to begin with, it doesn’t take up a lot of space that would get in the way of work: my note pads, speakers, and a cup of coffee and a plate can fit on the desk without getting in the way.
The mouse pad itself is of a polyester and spandex blend, which makes it very flexible; easy to roll up for travel and fits very well in my laptop bag. The polyester/spandex mix also makes it very durable. I usually run into the problem of wearing in paths on a mouse pad, ruining the material and fraying the edges from over-use. This leads to problems where the mouse pointer doesn’t go where it is supposed to in tiny annoying places. A beat-up, ugly-looking mouse pad isn’t always the best-looking accessory on a desk, turning into an eye-sore that no one really wants to see. The Precision Gaming Surface mouse pad has been holding up well to the abuse I’ve given it through untold hours of gameplay, as well as general use.
It isn’t all about looks either; the material is great for mouse usage, giving the mouse no struggle as it glides across it without any trouble. It almost feels like its floating on air sometimes.
The base of the mouse is neoprene foam, which is touted to resist moisture and keeps the mouse pad solidly in place. This is one of the important factors of a mouse pad to have; this prevents it from scooting around, bunching up, and flopping over a desk’s edge. The Precision Gaming Surface has stayed put where I lay it, and hasn’t budged at all. It feels like it superglues itself to the surface, without the mess.
Are there downsides? There are, but it’s more of a personal preference. The mouse pad size is leviathan, as mentioned before, and it takes up a bit of space that some desks don’t offer. In fact it can completely cover my 17 inch laptop with ease. On my desk, without my dual monitor stand, my monitor’s legs are on the pad itself, with the monitor as far back as possible. It’s not a game-ender, but if you’ve got a dinky-sized desk then you’ll find the Precision Gaming Surface getting in the way.
Overall, the Scythe Precision Gaming Surface is a wonderful mouse pad, even if a bit large. The added space for the mouse to play on, combined with the effortless glide it gives the mouse with the polyester/spandex material makes it a great buy for those that want more real estate and smoother control for their mouse-computer interactions.
You can buy one for $21.95 from the Scythe website: www.thescythepad.com
Review written by: Scott Parrino, Editor-in-Chief