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Thread: IceMat - Second Edition

  1. #1
    Almost in control. autopilot's Avatar
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    Thumbs up IceMat - Second Edition Review

    IceMat - Second Edition Review



    Well, Christmas has been and gone, and this year I have had less computer related stuff than I usually get. Which is no bad thing; I usually get completely useless novelty stuff that I never use. However, this year I am rather pleased to be the recipient of a shiny new IceMat 2. I mentioned a while back that I wanted one but could not find one at the time. And bless his cotton socks, my brother has come good and imported one for me. Anyway, I suppose I should let you know what I think of it then...

    Style & Design

    This is where the IceMat excels over all other mouse mats in my opinion. First off, the packaging really looked the part. It's smart and the glass mat is safely encased in stiff polystyrene. I don't think anyone should have too many worries about one traveling in the post. Also in the box is a strip of 'pad surfers', which I will explain shortly.

    Once out of the box I immediately thought it looked stunning. If, like me, you are a fan of modern and clean minimalist design, I think you will be just as impressed. It's made of high grade glass which is slightly 'frosted' so it's not completely smooth like the glass in a window, but it still feels very smooth and has a nice slightly opaque look to it. It has nice rounded edges and is very professionally well made with rubber feet to stop it sliding around too much. The glass is stuck to a very thin layer of steel which should make it stronger – and of course safer. The IceMat logo is printed on this layer and looks like it's encased in, well, ice of course. Very cool (sorry).

    Performance

    Firstly, I tried the IceMat with my MS Wireless Optical 2.0 mouse – Oh dear. To my horror the mouse hardly worked at all! The cursor jumped about and would hardly move most of the time. At first I thought the mouse signal was poor, then I tried fresh batteries; no joy and the mouse worked fine on other surfaces. I suspected i knew what was wrong, so I contacted IceMat to see what was going on with my new £25 mouse mat and they confirmed exactly what I thought – The guy from IceMat stated, “Wireless mice have a tendency to submit a weaker optical signal, which is why we do not recommend it for use on an IceMat”. Basically, the optical signal was too weak to shine through the glass, hit the bottom and bounce back up to the mouse's 'eye'. My guess is that wireless mice optical signals are made weaker in an attempt to conserve battery power. However, I must say I am very surprised the IceMat does not work with such a common mouse. I have done a bit of research around the net and it seems that this it not generally a massive issue, especially with Logitech wireless optical mouse, which I am told work great. I am keen to hear what experiences other people have had. But then I am probably going to upgrade my mouse because I don't think it's that great anyhow. Anyway, I then dug out and old wired optical mouse and this worked flawlessly...

    As I mentioned earlier, the IceMat comes with some 'Pad Surfers' which help reduce friction and, so they claim, accuracy too. Basically you cut out the required sized pieces from the strip and stick them to your mouse feet. Rather like Everglide's 'Mouse Skatez', but specifically for the IceMat's surface. With the Pad Surfers on, the IceMat is simply a joy to use and provides by far the nicest, smoothest and most consistent movement you could imagine - the mouse glides like a dream. Not only that, but because it's glass it stays nice and cool so I did not find sweat such a problem as I have with other pads.

    Next i wanted to test accuracy. I devised a cunning method (probably someone has already done this), whereby I put a ruler on the IceMat and moved the mouse along the ruler drawing lines on the screen. The line was prefect every time so it should be great for photo editing etc. OK, not exactly proper science, but hey, it proved a point. Next up was Half Life 2. The IceMat was fantastic – the mouse moved really nicely and was extremely accurate with no lag. No problem's there then and great for gaming.

    I have noticed one problem though; if you get any dirt between the IceMat and your mouse, it makes a terrible glassy 'scratching' sound thats enough to send your pets running a mile. So give it a good wipe regularly and maybe invest in some glass cleaner.

    Finally, I should also mention the size. At 30x25cm, it's a nice size. Not massive, but big enough that you should not run the mouse off the mat as you paddle about in a frantic game of Counter Strike too often.

    Price

    At around £25, it's not cheap for a mouse mat. But if you think about it, you pay more for a game and it should out live any game. Plus, it's not like it's going to need upgrading for a faster model in 12 months time. So if you have already spent loads on getting the coolest looking TFT and case, why not complete the package with a damn fine looking mouse pad.

    Conclusion

    I was much more impressed than I thought I would have been for such a simple device like a mouse pad. I have to admit I was shocked it did not work with my common mouse, but my disappointment soon evaporated once i tried a mouse it worked with. I have used many so-called performance surfaces, such as Everglide's Giganta, but this is by far the best i have tried yet.

    I highly recommend the IceMat to any style savvy gamers and application users alike. Just be sure your mouse will work on it.

    Pro's

    • Looks fantastic
    • Very accurate
    • Great movement with the pad surfers
    • Nice size
    • Excellent for both gaming and general use
    • Full range of colours available


    Con's

    • Does not work with all mice
    • Glass is not indestructible
    • Small amounts of dirt cause big problems
    • Price


    Score - 8.5 / 10


    Useful links

    Retailers:

    KustomPCs - I highly recommend this store (sell pad surfers too)

    Savastore

    Gameplay

    Official IceMat home:

    IceMat.com



    ---------------------------------------------------------------


    Update : I now have a Logitech MX1000 Laser Mouse. Apart from being the most incredible mouse I have ever used, it works perfectly with the Ice Mat 2. I am using Mouse Skatez, which I find better than the suplied Mouse Pads.
    Last edited by autopilot; 18-08-2005 at 02:58 PM. Reason: Update

  2. #2
    Resident abit mourner BUFF's Avatar
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    I got mine at Kustom (black, blue & white in stock)

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    Drop it like it's hot Howard's Avatar
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    I'm just adding that I hvae the first edition which is essentially identical to the second but about half the size, and it works flawlessly with my Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer Wireless 2.0.

    My mate also has the Second Edition IceMat and the Wireless Optical 2.0 (The exact one you do) and his works flawlessly too.... Odd.

    My old Logitech mouse was ****e with it, however.
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    Flak Monkey! Dorza's Avatar
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    I just purchased a black original Icemat with the MX1000, and i have to say its amazing. The mouse works flawlessly and the mouse just looks "right" some how sitting on a black icemat. By the way Overclock.co.uk (thats overclock and not overclockERS) still sell the original icemat for quite a bit less than the bigger version 2. To be honest even the original is quite a bit bigger than a standard mousemat. Im very happy with what i got. The logitech puts my MS wireless explorer v3 to shame basicly, particularly with photoshop work.

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    based on everyone's advise im going to get one now. im using a piece of paper as my mouse mat at the minute. yes im that much of a cheapsake.

  6. #6
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    it use's glass? . btw, why do we need mouse pads these days? i mean... i use just a crappy old thing ive had for years, but i could just as easily just use my desk

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