PerformanceThe Epic Gear Hybrid Pad proved to be a very well performing mat coupled with many different types of mice. First test mouse on the mat was the recently reviewed SteelSeries Sensei which features the well performing Avago ADNS-9500 laser sensor. The Sensei's over-sized quality Teflon feet make it very well suited for this type of mat. Tracking was consistent as you would expect, although lift-off distance settings had to be altered in order to get perfect tracking. Compared to a normal gaming cloth mat the Hybrid Pad delivers a much more consistent feedback since the resistance to movement is pretty constant. The only hybrid mats better in that sense is the QPAD and NoID pads. These do, however, have a much harder surface which is more prone to cracking when rolled up or during daily abuse.
The Hybrid Pad has a hybrid surface that feels very smooth and has a comparable hardness to a soft mat which is great if you prefer that kind of mat. The mat dampens the impact effectively when resetting the mouse to the center of the pad. This makes it very well suited for low sensitivity gamers looking for better glide and more control compared to the more conventional soft mats out there.
Compared to the QPAD surface the Hybrid Pad from Epic Gear delivers less feedback and still retains a very consistent glide, albeit not quite as good as that of the QPAD. Hybrid designs are still no match to hard plastic mats in terms of glide consistency and control, the SteelSeries 9HD is better in all areas. With mouse mats it is always a tradeoff between getting a good glide and tracking performance.
The Hybrid Pad delivers a very good glide experience as long as the mouse feet are well made, the old rubber type feet on the ancient IntelliMouse Explorers used for testing purposes did not fare well. Fortunately any set of aftermarket feet will cure this issue, unfortunately you have to buy these separately as there are no glides bundled with the mat.
During intense gaming sessions the mat slides around somewhat on my hardwood desk. The amount of movement is similar to that of the 5 mm soft mats with natural rubber base.