Choosing between various different mice brings the astute gamer to a difficult fork in the road of life. If we assume there is no perfect mouse (because really, nothing is perfect) we then have to assume that at least one bullet point in your list of things your ideal mouse has will have to be dropped to the wayside. Is it comfort, the number of buttons, software, etc.? One thing most don’t consider when purchasing a mouse, however, is the surface it is on. For general desktop users, the desktop itself is good enough as is a piece of paper, old book…the list goes on. But you’re a gamer. And real gamers use highly tuned, engineered mouse pads.
Despite not being the first (or even 4th thing) most gamers think about, the choices in the mousepad world aren’t really all that tiny either. There are various brands with different sizes and finishes to choose from. Func, a gaming hardware company I’ve dealt a lot with recently, happens to have their own gaming mouse pad, the Surface 1030XL. And as the name suggests, it’s trying to win you over with its sheer size. But is size along worthy enough of your bitcoins?
I’m a fan of large, expansive mouse pads. The bigger the better. Nothing sucks more than having to re-center your arm to keep navigating the digital world in front of your face. Sure. You could adjust the DPI on your mouse so it tracks faster. But dammit, it’s 2014. That shouldn’t be the only answer. And lucky for me (and you), that’s not the only solution.
Func’s 1030XL measures in at 14 inches by 11 inches (360mm x 280mm). By normal mouse pad standards it’s quite large. And unless you have your DPI set unusually low, you shouldn’t have much arm movement to speak of. That said, for an “XL” moniker, I’d say that 1030XL could be bigger. I mean, my go-to mouse pad is a CoolerMaster Speed RX. Speedy it may or may not be. Gigantic it is. Clocking in at 450 x 350mm it’s easily the largest mouse pad I’ve used. Perhaps absurdly large, it is pretty much awesome. In that context, you can see why I’m a bit unimpressed with the “extra large” size of the Func.
Personal bias and previous uses aside, though, the 1030XL’s size should be a good improvement to most gamers stuck with some cheap and/or small generic mouse pad (including those junky “gaming” mouse pads at your local electronics store).
Besides size, Func has designed the 1030XL with two different surface finishes. The basic gist is that one side is “faster” and another side more precise. I think the adjectives can be thrown around a bit to fit what you’re looking for. But in the end, two choices is better than one, right? Really, it’s like two mouse pads in one. I don’t know about you but I’m all for twofers.
An above average mouse pad for the gamer looking for more…
After you’ve gotten some of the bigger pieces of your rig figured out, it’s time to really fine tune the smaller pieces. One such piece you’ll find most people overlook is the lonely mouse pad, often ignored and relegated to an afterthought. Giving yourself a larger and more spacious mouse surface has multiple benefits with the most apparent being less hassle and more comfort.
In the world of mouse pads, the 1030XL (Revision 2) is one of the better options. Yeah it’s a tad steep (for a mouse pad that is) at $34.99. But much like the most expensive item isn’t always the best in its class, don’t write off something just because it’s pricier than the norm. In this case you’d be doing yourself a disservice.
Fine-tuning your rig is an endeavor that many will never truly finish. That said, the 1030XL by Func is one thing you should add to you list of potential buys.