Icemat 2nd Edition
Review by: Steve
Edited by: Ji4m
Provided by: Icemat
Price: $45 Canadian
The Icemat 2nd Edition is the latest revision of the Icemat mouse surface. The second edition sports an even larger size surface, excellent for those who play fast paced games and run out of mouse surface quickly. Unlike tradition mouse pads, the Icemat is constructed of glass! How will a pad like this match up against cloth, plastic and hybrid surfaces like we've reviewed in the past? Read on to find out!
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In The Box:
(1) Icemat 2nd Edition
(1) Pack of pad surfers
Dimensions: 250 x 300 mm - 10 x 12 inch
As I mentioned earlier, the Icemat 2nd Edition is a glass mouse surface. Angry gamers beware: you probably don't want to throw this one across the room when you get sniped in your favourite war simulator. Being glass, this surface has some extra weight to it, as can be expected. Flipping the Icemat over reveals 6 rubber feet which are meant to keep the pad from moving around on your desk. However, I found it moved around on my desk way more than my liking and these feet did not do their job very well at all.
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The top surface is black, with the glass being slightly frosted over. It has the logo on the bottom right corner which isn't 100% crisp and clear to look at due to the frosted look. The Icemat 2nd Edition is available in a variety of colours, 8 in all.
Also included with the Icemat 2nd Edition is a pack of 5 Icemat Pad Surfers Version 2. These are essentially low-friction coverings that stick onto your mouse feet to improve speed and accuracy when using the Icemat mouse surface.
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I planned on testing the Icemat 2nd Edition with the mouse that's been on my computer ever since we first reviewed it - the Logitech G7 wireless laser mouse. All excited to use this surface, I swapped out my Steelpad S&S for it, set the mouse on top, moved it, and nothing. My cursor wouldn't move! I tried everything I could think of, but this pad simply was not compatible with my mouse, a mouse which happens to be very popular among gamers. Worried that maybe it was a mouse problem I tried it on a handful of other surfaces I have, as well as with a different battery pack. After trying all that out, it still would not work on this surface! This was a letdown right from the start. Now I had to dig up another mouse to test the pad with. I chose the Microsoft Optical Mouse Blue, as it happened to be on another computer that we use.
After consulting Icemat about that problem, it turns out that is an issue with the Logitech G5 and G7 series of mice. It can be fixed by doing a firmware update available on the Logitech site. I still wish Icemat would take the time to make mention of this on their site and/or with a slip in the box. Both mice are extremely popular in the gaming world and updating the firmware is definitely not something people would think of doing when it doesn't work on their new mouse surface.
I first ran the mouse on the pad without the Pad Surfers, the loud scratchy sound became very evident and annoying. It was obvious this pad was designed to be used in conjunction with the Pad Surfers for the best experience and performance. After I installed them on the mouse, all movements were very quiet, although still not perfectly silent unfortunately. As well, the mouse moved a lot easier on the glass which allowed for a lot more precision with movement, a huge plus for gaming. As much as the Pad Surfers helped, I still hate to see the pad only being able to be used when these are installed on you mouse. Like anything rubbing against a surface, the friction will eventually wear them down and they'll need replacing. In order to keep using the Icemat 2nd Edition with it's intended performance and acoustic levels, you'll then need to shell out your change to buy replacement pads, leaving you with a cost to use your mouse surface every year.
When it came down to overall performance, I liked the feel of using my mouse on the Icemat 2nd Edition. It was very comfortable and smooth moving, everything from general windows usage to fast-paced FPS games were accomplished with ease and comfort. It has just the right amount of friction so that the mouse doesn't move too fast, but not amazingly slow either, so I found it "just right".
The Icemat 2nd Edition has it's pros and cons, depending on how picky you are with a mouse surface as to what will appeal to you more. The incompatibility issue with my mouse unfortunately did not leave the pricey mouse surface with a good first impression. I was disappointed that I absolutely needed to use the Pad Surfers when I did find a mouse to test it with or else it would be noisy and have more friction between the mouse and surface. If you can suffice with buying new pad surfers when they wear out and have a mouse that will work on the Icemat, then it is by all means a good mouse pad.
Unique design, glass isn't a common mouse surface
Incompatible mice need to be mentioned and that a firmware update can fix that incompatibility
Rubber feet don't do a good job of holding it firmly on many surfaces
Must use pad surfers for optimal performance
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