Func Surface 1030 XL Review

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅14-11-12

As with every mouse mat where sensor response may be highly variable, we want to test with two different mouse sensor types: laser and optical. Accordingly we unpacked the NAOS 3200 by MIONIX and Tt eSports Level 10M mice used in our previous review; the former utilises a 3200DPI optical sensor, whereas the latter is based around more high-end 8200DPI laser sensor.

It's important to get an impression of both sides of the mousing surface over extended periods, and accordingly we used the Surface 1030XL over the course of a week in a variety of tasks, from basic office tasks where it would be used relatively infrequently to extended gameplay sessions.

Games Tested:

FPS:- Borderlands 2
Real Time Strategy:- Starcraft 2
RPG:- Torchlight


We swiftly took note of the good size of the Surface XL. Its 345mm x 255mm isn't the largest we've seen, but proved ample for business/word-processing tasks and most games. Gamers with a more expansive style of gameplay within FPS's may be a little cramped compared to the largest mouse mats we've seen recently, but the flip-side is that the Surface 1030 XL does not pose a significant space problem on a typical computer desk. Even so, size was never an issue in our Borderlands 2 tests. For most the pad will be ample.

Tracking on both the smooth and textured sides was excellent, with no skipping for both optical and laser mice. The smooth side is genuinely smooth, allowing the mouse to skate over the surface with minimal resistance. The same cannot the said of the textured finish, which strikes us as much more suited to ceramics; movement over this surface was understandably more drag-prone too, making it a relatively unpleasant experience by comparison.

One potential flaw we did note during extended gaming sessions (90+mins) using the smooth side was a pronounced warping of the Surface 1030XL upwards and out of its frame. It typically doesn't become a problem which impedes use, but does detract significantly from the overall look and feel of the product.

The unyielding nature of the mat won't be for everyone: the hard surface and shallow rubber feet on the frame back side do not cushion the palm or wrist significantly. Those more accustomed to a spongy cloth mat with thick rubber backing may find it uncomfortable, though moving from an rigid-base of an aluminium or glass mat to the Surface 1030XL will be much less of an issue. Personal preference will play a pretty significant role; those who do choose the Surface 1030XL will be pleased with how grippy its feet are - at no point did the frame slip over the desk.

Finally, our Surface 1030XL sample did not fit particularly snugly in the frame. Vertical movement of the Surface within the frame was minimal, but we did experience a very noticeable amount of horizontal slipping over the course of the testing period. Hopefully this is a QA slip-up rather than design flaw, but those who use a mouse with their palm resting on the mat need to be aware, especially precision gamers who move their hand swiftly.

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