IntroductionQPAD is known to produce some of the best cloth based hybrid mats on the market. I remember when I first got my QPAD LowSense mouse mat, I was amazed with the precision and control of mat. That mat has been the benchmark of cloth mats ever since and became a huge success. Today I will be reviewing the latest evolution of QPAD's cloth based hybrid mats, the QPAD|CT. It is a hybrid mat which basically means that it is a cloth mat with polymer coating. The QPAD|CT is available in two sizes (Large, Medium) and two thicknesses (4mm, 1.5mm). The mat I got for review is the 1.5mm version.
First look & Closer examination
The QPAD|CT is a new version of the rather old QPAD LowSense mat. One of the changes you notice straight out of the box is that the pad is much thinner. Where the old one was 4mm in thickness the new one is only 1.5mm, which is very thin.
One of the things that set a hybrid mat apart from the 100% cloth mats is the surface. The surface is much harder and made of polymer, making the gliding experience more like a hard platstic mat than a cloth surfaced mat. Another positive thing about the polymer coating is that it actually enables the manufacturer to make the surface more fine in its grain and reduce friction between mat and mouse.
Just like the QPAD XT-R the CT comes with some precut Glidz teflon. This has some benefits to it if your mouse's feet are the same size as the precut teflon - if your mouse has bigger feet than the precut teflon it will pick up a lot of dirt if you apply them. The dirt will really limit the gliding performance in that case.
Even the Large edition is way smaller than the Razer Mantis and QcK heavy. I think that the mat is too small for hardcore low-sensitivity gamers. I play az medium sensitivity and I think that the mat's size is adequate.
Dimensions: 405m x 285mm, 15.95" x 11.23", thickness 1.5mm.
SurfaceThe QPAD|CT's surface is really smooth and quite hard compared to other hybrid mats. The mat doesn't stretch at all not even near the edges because of the hybrid concept. This mat has probably the finest grain on the market and therefore the gliding experience is really smooth and the friction across the mat is consistent, which gives you more control in-game. It also makes the mouse feel more precise because you are able to manipulate the mouse more precisely. It doesn't take long before you feel at home with this mat, because of the excellent surface.
I was so fortunate to win a QPAD|CT Black at a Danish LAN called the-eXperience. Unfortunately I noticed that my Razer Copperhead has serious problems with the mat. The Razer mouse stalls quite easily and therefore I cannot recommend getting a QPAD|CT black if you have a Razer Copperhead. I've discussed this issue with a representative of QPAD and he confirmed that Razer laser mice have problems with the QPAD|CT Black. On the other hand Logitech laser mice (G3, G5, G7) work perfectly with the QPAD|CT Black even though they use the same optical engine as the Razer Copperhead, so it's probably a problem with Razers drivers.
The graphic on this mat is really cool and elegant. I like the simple design and think that QPAD has done the right thing by keeping it simple. It looks really crisp and all of the edges in the graphics are totally smooth, this is probably because of the way the mat is constructed. I doubt that you could print such a crisp graphic on a 100% cloth mat.
The bottom is identical to the one on the original QPAD LowSense mat. It doesn't grip the desk surface enough because the mat sometimes slips around while gaming. This is of course not a good thing. I think that the slipping around is due to the lower weight, because the mat is only 1.5mm compared to the 4mm of the previous version.