This review was meant to come a long time ago. It was interrupted by the biggest game of the year being released (HalfLife), practicing for Australia’s biggest lan event (Impulse 98) and various other real life constraints. I’d like to thank the Everglide ppl for sending me the attack pad and for being (somewhat) patient while I try and write up an objective review for quake-au.
(this is like a high school report isn’t it! :P ) Up until now most gamers have been using the 3M Precision Mousing Surface (PMS). This is a high quality mouse pad aimed at providing maximum accuracy. It’s target market appears to be with professional graphic designers and such, not gaming, yet it has proven to be the standard mousepad for serious gamers. I’ve noticed two versions PMS. There is the ‘old’ one (I’ve had mine over 2 years) and the newer one which is a bit bigger and a bit thicker also… My new one seems to slip alot more than my two year old one… so maybe I got a dud, dunno. The question is: Is the everglide good enough to make serious gamers switch away from 3M? Before reading the rest of this review, I suggest reading Thresh’s review first… His comments are very good. (and they have a photo) Also I assume that if you consider which mouse pad you use important, then you already own a quality mouse and clean it regularly. If you’ve never done this then it doesn’t matter what mouse pad you have, your mouse is going to suck… It’s amazing how good a clean mouse on a good mouse pad will improve your game… I also assume you’re using one of the ps2rate utils to get maximum mouse performance. This review is aimed at the quake-au reader who is fairly picky with his equipment, lans quite regularly, invests large amounts of money in a gaming pc etc…if this is you then I think it’s likely that you’re interested in hearing about a mousepad thats meant to be the very best for gamers… If you just play single player quake, then you probably won’t care much for hearing about the fine details of a mousepad.
Everglide – The First Mouse Pad Made for Gamers
The thing that first attracted me to the everglide was that it was the first mouse pad I had seen that was targeted directly at gamers. This I thought had to be a good thing. There are so many of us who after playing for a long time (years even) begin to take it fairly seriously. In this context, have a decent mousepad is very important. To my disappointment, the packaging and advertising reveal that this manufacturer is really not in touch with gaming at this level: The packaging states that: Whatever your gaming preference – High Fantasy, Arthurian, Cyberpunk, Time Travel, Crime Detection, Science Fiction, or High Combat – your gaming experience will be heightened with the superior mousing and gliding experience of an EverGlide Attack Pad. Now it may just be me, but I tend to find naive sentences like fairly dumb… As someone who tries to take playing deathmatch fairly seriously, it doesn’t give you much hope that the everglide ppl are on the same wavelength if they make statements like this. A similar dumbass thing seems to be the second version of this pad. (there are two versions). The bigger version is actually intended for you to sit on your lap away from the desk… This too is a bit naive, as any of the games where you would require a high quality mousepad (ie: multiplayer 3D FPS’s) you would never play this way. Some ppl laughed when I showed them that the mouse pad was intended to be used on your lap… So, at first I thought that the everglide would have an added advantage as they might be able to utilize requirements needed by serious gamers that the 3M general market pads miss. Unfortunately, their own description betrays that they are not really on the same wavelength as your average quake-au reader. This doesn’t make it necessarily bad, it just means that you shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that the everglide is better than the 3M simply because everglide has ‘gaming’ written on it and the 3M doesn’t. But at the end of the day, all the matters is whether it performs better than the 3M….
So How Does It Play?
Well, I’ve used mine to death at home and I’ve lanned with it 4-5 times. At Impulse 98 I took it as well as my brand new 3M. I started with the everglide and I had decided if I had any probs I would switch back the 3M immediately… Well, the 3M never left it’s packaging… I had no problems… Other ppl who I have given the everglide to test it at lans have said found it to be similarly good… It’s hard to describe how the everglide works so well… It basically looks and feels like a white plastic chopping board. It is so hard that you can’t imagine your mouse gripping to the surface. But the plastic texture is just right so that after a while you can begin to ‘trust’ it, and soon you don’t even think about it… If you are used to using the very soft 3M’s, you will find the everglide very different, but it does work… Also, the surface texture of the pad is very consistent, which I think is very important. I can’t really tell whether the everglide works so well because it was designed to do so, or whether it’s simply due to basic properties of the plastic… I was at a supermarket the other day and saw some white plastic chopping boards, I was very tempted to buy one to try and use it as a mouse pad! I actually have one at home, but it’s got alot of knife cuts and stuff in it, so yeah, wouldn’t make a good mouse pad. :P
Is It Fast or Slow?
One issue of seen quakers mixed on is whether it’s good to have a mouse pad that makes your mouse slide fast or slow… This depends on alot of things, like the undersurface of your mouse, and it’s weight, but the pad also counts for alot. My experience with the logitech firstmouse (98 version) and the mouseman 96, was that the everglide actually feels slower than the 3M… I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it’s because the hard textured surface is actually wearing away the bottom of the mouse. That is, slowly over time the friction from the surface is going to wear away the underneath of your mouse alot faster than the 3M would. This isn’t really a bad thing, but might change your personal preference. I think personally I prefer to have as fast as possible, but without any slippage… My current 3M seems to go faster, but slips alot more. This made me trust the everglide a bit more, as it was a bit slower, but hardly ever slipped. (I haven’t really tested this theory that well, as I’ve heard comments that ppl find the everglide too fast… so you might want to try it yourself.)
Will It Survive Heavy Usage?
I know many quake-au readers really put their computer gear through alot of trials.. Ppl who spend every weekend carting their PC from what place to another, bashing their pc (or someone elses!) when angry, taking their PC’s to the beach etc. These are the kind of ppl who need stuff that isn’t fragile. Well one thing that is very clear from the start is that the everglide is very durable. It’s a tough as anything… As long as you are careful not to scratch it, you will be fine. Not that it scratches easily, but scratching is a problem for any mousepad. It also cleans well, apparently you can even put them in the dishwasher! I’m still waiting for the dishwasher companies to send me some machines for a quake-au review. :P One problem Thresh mentioned was with the height of the pad, and with it’s rough edges hurting his (soft and tender hehe) wrists… I didn’t have this problem as I actually use a mouse pad with a soft gel wrist pad, and then put a ‘real’ mousepad on top of that… The end result is that you will have the 3M or everglide at the right height, and your wrist will be much more comfortable. I strongly recommend getting wrist pads for each hand. It helps soooo much if you spend alot of time in front of computers… See if you can get the ones with ‘gel’ in them, as they are very nice. I can’t really recommend a brand, as the one I have came from our cheap no-name stationary supplier at my work. So I actually think that Thresh’s comments about height and rough edges don’t really count. One durability problem I did have was the soft netting underneath the pad actually started to fall off within about a week. This generally means you get a nice sticky gluey mess underneath the mouse pad and on your desk… Not very good… Not a showstopping problem, but it would be a good thing to get right I think.
Conclusion — Should I Ditch my 3M?
This is a tough question! If I haven’t made it clear enough already, I experienced very little slippage with the everglide. I have no complaints about the the actual grip of the mousepad. If you were buying a mouse pad from scratch, and you could get a 3M or an everglide for the same price, then I would recommend getting the everglide. (as of yet I’m not sure if you can get them in Australia nor do I know what the price would be). But if you have been using the 3M long term then I would advise using caution in swapping over to the everglide. That is, if you have a 3M that has been serving you well a long time, then you won’t notice an amazing improvement to warrant changing over to the everglide. In fact, I think there will be many ppl who won’t like the everglide, because they are so used to the 3M. I say this because of my comments on how different the everglide is. If you use a high sensitivity mouse and are used to the ‘soft’ 3M grip, then you may never get comfortable with the ‘hard’ grip of the everglide. In your case, I would recommend having a test go on the everglide first, if it feels good, then do it! (not a great motto to live by though :) ) Thanks again to David Welsh from everglide for sending me the pad and for hassling me to put the review up….you can let Malby out of jail now :).