HistoryQPAD 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. The mat became a huge success. Now QPAD has ventured into the amazing world of hard mouse pads with their new mat the "QPAD XT-R". Besides the XT-R series they have also reworked their old cloth based mat, and it has evolved into the CT series QPAD.
The PackageThis new mat from QPAD comes in a neat looking metal case. The inside of the case is made from foam so that the mat isn't damaged when transported. QPAD has continued their tradition of supplying teflon with mats. You also get two case badges with the XT-R, one round and one square. All of the accessories are high quality.
Accessories that comes with the mat.
As you can see they included precut teflon and two casebadges.
First Look & Closer ExaminationQPAD has moved away from their rectangular design and cloth base with the XT-R. The XT-R is an archetype mouse mat. This is nice because you get a larger useable surface, and better comfort while using the mat.
As you can see from the images the entire mat rests upon eight feet. These are made of rubber so that the mat stays in place. The bottom side also features a QPAD rubber logo, even though it isn't visible when the mat is in use.
So what is new about this mat? For starters the mat features a completely new surface called "Carbytek" which is a hard plastic coating. This new surface is very smooth, unlike any other on the market. Another innovation is the arched design, I will comment on the new design later on in my review.
DesignWith the XT-R, QPAD has decided to move away from their original rectangular design. This new design has some advantages, i.e. the useable surface is bigger because the curve follows the movement of your hand. I think that the design is quite cool, I like the discreet gray Q. This new graphic is stylish and different from any other graphic that I have seen on a mouse mat. Its surface looks almost metallic at first glance. But when you touch it you notice that it is made of plastic, so it looks cool and performs great. It is comfortable to use over an extended period of time unlike the old metallic surfaces. These would create some condensed water after intense use, due to the heat transportation of the metal.
The mat has rounded edges so that you don't hurt your wrist when gaming. This was actually a problem with the old SteelPad 4S, because is was made of metal and therefore could harm your skin.
The design of the bottom does the job just fine. The mat's rubber feet grip the desk surface just like they are supposed to.
I can only point out one major design error and that is the teflon that comes with this mat. It is precut to fit mice such as the Logitech MX-5xx series and Microsoft series mice. Therefore the teflon is completely useless with the following mice i.e. G5-7, Razer Copperhead, Razer Diamondback.
I had to remove them because they picked up dust from the surface and started making weird noises when I moved the mouse. The noises were probably due to the edges of the teflon coming undo and pried against the surface by the weight of my hand. This problem is very easy to overcome, if QPAD instead of precut teflon just bundled the mat with some of their Glidz teflon. I had some left from my last QPAD mat, and it worked great with the slippery surface of the XT-R.
The illustration on the left shows the area(red) that teflon should cover in order to perform its best without picking up dirt from the mousepad when moving. The right illustration shows the area(blue) that you can cover with the precut teflon, it is far from being the optimal solution.