Both sides of this double sided mouse mat works great with both current and slightly older mice. The colors on the control side have the potential to mess up tracking on some older mice, but it was not the case with the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 1.1. Both the ROCCAT Kone[+] and SteelSeries Sensei felt right at home on the ROCCAT Alumic mouse mat. The dark side of the mat is slightly better for those using a low to medium sensitivity since it is slightly faster. The control side is perfect for high sensitivity gaming, it has enough texture to ease the glide and make it consistent yet it is fine enough to reduce the vibration feedback to a bare minimum.
The Alumic's graphics cause slight issues with some mice, the ROCCAT Kone[+] which is based around the Avago ADNS-9500 had slight tracking issues in a few cases with the lift-off-distance minimizing features activated. You can of course tweak it so that the issues disappear. There might be similar issues with mice based upon the Avago laser sensor.
After a few days of intense use the mat got dirty and just like all the other plastic mats on the market today it becomes slightly noisy. The surface is very easy to clean, just a few minutes under some lukewarm water and the surface was as good as new. The graphics layer of the mat is underneath the textured surface so even if you get a surface scratch the mat will look alright, deep scratches will of course damage both glide and paint job.
Even though the core is made of aluminum, the plastic surface on it provides enough insulation in order to avoid any condensation issues even in very cold environments.
Overall the mat is a very sturdy construction. The two plastic surfaces are just as durable as any other on the market, the only possible issue is delamination between the plastic tops and the aluminum base. Getting good adhesion to aluminum is easy, so if done right this will never become an issue. As far as I can tell the layers are well bonded together and even with a small flat head screw driver it was impossible to get the surface to let go of the base.