Razer is a well known company in terms of high end gamer peripherals such as mice, keyboards and headsets. Whenever you’d see any of their products, high or low end, they are always outstanding and never fail to impress.
Today I got my hands on the Razer Ironclad hard mouse mat that’s a part of their ‘Elite’ series and see if it’s worth all the greenies in your wallet.
Before I’d continue on with the review, do keep in mind that this is a gaming surface and not your average mouse mat for your office/design needs. This pad has been designed mainly for pro gamers and enthusiasts.
Anyways I would only be analyzing the gaming aspects of the pads here so keep that in mind before you question its value.
The Ironclad comes in a large rectangular box that has a glossy imprint of the Ironclad iteself in a very ‘razer-ily’ looking package theme design.
The main features are listed in the right bottom corner with a few well known team logos on the top left corner, certifying that the product has been tested and used by them as well.
Upon opening the box, we are exposed to another box that’s covered by a rather mesh style cloth, with a “Welcome To The Cult Of Razer” flap to lift it out.
On further lifting out the box and taking it out of the cloth, we are exposed to a hard carry case; a very good thing Razer gave out along for a 55$ mouse mat. (Who’d want to get dings and scratches on it after spending so much on it; honestly?)
On the other hand, it opens with the mat facing downwards, probably again to keep it clean and away from getting any dings or scratches that may uneven it’s surface.
The case, besides housing the Elite series Ironclad, has a manual along that carries two Razer logo stickers and a product catalogue.
The mouse mat is fairly large compared to any other mouse pad. With an ultra-smooth sand blasted surface for the best possible glide and tracking control, the large surface, this is the IDEAL choice for those who do wide sweeping movements.
On the other hand, the mat has a grainy surface that ensures pin point precision when used with a mouse up to 5600dpi.
On flipping the mat over, we see the bottom bombarded with small circular rubber pads for giving the pad stability on even the most slippery surface there possibly could ever be.
As far as the edges are concerned, the sides along it have grooves cut out to give the mat an over all stealthy look.
The pad itself measures 350 x 250 x2.5 mm. As for testing, I used a combination of the Razer Spectre and the Razer Tron for testing.
As far as testing is concerned, I used a combination of Counter Strike: 1.6, Call Of Duty: Black Ops and Crysis for testing the mat in different scenarios.
While all three games in my test setup are FPS, they are drastically different from each other. I first tried Counter-Strike: 1.6. Counter-Strike’s gameplay is dominated by tactical impulse driven actions.
You need to react within a split second or be PWND by the opponent.
So you need a perfect balance between fast glide and precise control. From my playing experience, even though I am an amateur when it comes to FPS titles, I was maintaining between the 1st and 2nd position overall on the leader board.
Clearly, the large mat had helped me in sweeping movements and made me notice what unfair advantage you get with the Elite series.
When it came to COD:BO and Crysis; a smooth glide is a must if you don’t want to keep on getting nailed down by your opponents. My game play was much more improved and helped me from getting pwned too soon by my enemies.
The Razer Ironclad, as a part of the Elite series, maintains its stance as probably one of the best gaming surfaces on the market yet. One would set back when they see the 59.99$ price tag, but at least you won’t be at least below 2nd in all positions.
The large mat surface is a definite advantage for MMORPG players, as they require huge sweeping movements with extreme accuracy.
At the end, the decision should be based on your personal preference.
I’d choose functionality over aesthetics any day. But in this case, it’s the best of both worlds. If you’ve got the greens, then you’ve got yourself an awesome gaming surface for years to come.