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The mat that will never let you down

Product : Everglide Giganta
#Price : 15.99 (price includes VAT)
Available from : Everglide UK

Oh right *another* Everglide review. Well it is and it isn't. Now that Everglide's UK branch has opened up it is much easier for us Brits to get our grubby little hands on one of these mouse surfaces. Before we had to go through the ordeal order via their American site and wait up to 3 weeks for delivery, and this is what I did the first time I bought an Everglide, over 16 months ago. For this review, I thought that instead of just telling you how this mat is indestructible (which it is), I'd do a long term comparison between my old Everglide surface (which was the 'Large Attack Pad') and this version, their latest incarnation, the Everglide Giganta.

16 months ago, we started hearing that people don't care enough about what mouse mat they use for gaming and stories about how player's skills were transformed after getting either a 3M or an Everglide. By now I think most of us are sick of hearing this mantra being said. Most people have got through many 3M surfaces, while I still have my original Everglide, which I purchased (from their US branch) over 16 months back.

The Everglide mousing surface is like no other on the market. It is moulded out of resin (although it looks and feels like plastic), and this material makes the Everglide virtually everlasting. When the first batch of Everglide mats came out, they had the original square one, a small attack pad and a large attack pad, all in white, with the Everglide logo in the middle. They quickly found out that from wear and tear their logo got rubbed off, so many people had just plain mats when they took them to LANs, which is not very good for advertising :) The Everglide logo was moved down to a place where there wasn't so much usage. However, I have been using this Giganta for 2 weeks now and the E in the Everglide logo and the A on the 'GIGANTA' are already starting to rub off. You can see a picture of my old Everglide mat where there has been quite a bit of use on the middle/right section of it and the logo is nearly totally wiped off. Most of us of course don't really care what happens to the logo as long as the surface remains fine.

The original Everglide surfaces were attacked (no pun intended) for being too small, so they made the Giganta large. It's one of the largest mousing surfaces I have seen, measuring at around 24cm by 29cm. My old 3M surface is about 23cm by 18cm. I found that because I was used to the older 'large attack pad' about a quarter of the 29cm was left unused. The semi-circle that has been cut out of the bottom is for the obvious reason of letting you rest your palm on the table rather than on the mat itself. In terms of width across the Giganta isn't much bigger than the large attack pad, however it's noticeably longer.

During the trail period (for the Giganta) I used my Logitech Mouseman Wheel (the first version out which meant it doesn't have USB connectivity) and the rare (in the UK) Logitech Wingman Gaming Mouse. Both worked very well, and I was impressed by the decrease in friction from the mat. For new users, I think this is something they will have to get used to, especially if they are coming from using a foam mat. When I first got my hands on the Everglide I decreased the sensitivity setting I used in QuakeWorld, from 4.5 to 3, which after a few weeks improved my shaft aim a little, which was quite a result. Before I bought the Everglide I used the 3M surface, and found it to be very good, but very easily worn down. The Everglide however was different, I was impressed by it's performance and the fact that it didn't wear down quite so easily.

The Everglide mousemat is well designed, however many might find the Giganta version of the mat a bit large, then they can opt for the Attack Pad. The fact that you can put it in the washing machine (which I have done on quite a few occasions) is quite a plus factor when you want it to look neat (once in a while we do have to clear up our workspace). I still use my Large Attack Pad quite a lot on the other computers I have here, but the Giganta's main advantage is it's size. As the name says it is a giant. I could use two mice on the Giganta easily without any real space problems on the mat, and it's quite possible to fit 3, but that would be a bit of a tight squeeze. Personally I prefer the smaller Attack Pad, but recommending the actually Everglide surface is quite an easy thing when I look back at the faultless performance it's given me over the last 16 months. Although maybe this Limited Edition is Blue is an unusual colour and will not be to everyone's liking, although I hear they have the same size in black. While people might take a second look before they spend 16 quid on a mousemat, the fact that it really does last forever outbalances the initial cost.

From my experiences I have no hesitation to recommend this mousemat, obviously not everyone will like it, but the Everglide Mousing surface has to be one of the best surfaces on the market.