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Just a slab of glass?
Product : IceMat
Available from : Icemat.com
#Price : ~ 17.00
Related articles : [Everglide Giganta]-[Fragmatic]
Discuss this review in our forums

Mouse mats have been, at least for the past few years something a gamer has taken seriously. Ever since 3M produced a precise mousing surface, and to a great extent when Razer produced a $100 mouse, gamers had to re-think their strategy about what mouse and which mouse mat to use. Suddenly it started to matter what mouse they used, specially with a big name and big bucks to be made.

There has been several mouse mats that have concentrated on the "hard core" gaming community, and the Icemat continues this trend. The material from which the Icemat is made from is unique, in the fact that it's glass. At first I thought this was more of a gimmick rather than a useful material to make a mouse mat out of, but after using the mat for around a month it does have some advantages over resin/plastic/foam.

Glass, being rigid and brittle will hold it's shape quite easily, however glass on it's own has very little friction, so the top side has been frosted over, to increase the friction between the mouse and the mat. The Icemat comes in a large rectangular shape measuring 25x21x0.62cm. It is slightly bigger than the Everglide Giganta, but the Fragmatic surface provides more side-to-side movement. Large surfaces is a must if you are like me and use low sensitivity in your games.

The Icemat sits high on 6 rubber "feet", which grip the table very well and it requires a lot of force to purposely push the mat, and when comparing this to the Everglide, 3M Precise Mouse Surface and the Fragmatic, the Icemat holds it's ground the best. There is a downside to the feet, it causes the Icemat to sit quite high on the table and with there not being a beveled edge, the palm of your hand can rub against the edge of the Icemat and it can get annoying at times. I ended up with the palm of my hand resting on the Icemat rather than on the table to combat this problem.

The frosting effect on the Icemat is mainly required because without it there simply wouldn't be enough friction on the surface. However this produces a scratching sound when the mouse's teflon pads move over it. You almost get the feeling of the Icemat eating your mouse up, however I couldn't find any real damage to the mouse after 1 month of use. Incidentally, I tried using the mouse on the reverse surface which is not frosted and found it to be a quite satisfactory surface to use. However there is a large decrease in friction and I would recommend sticking to the proper surface itself.

Cost wise the Icemat is more than the Everglide Giganta and the Fragmatic, however we can put that down to the fact that this is made out of glass where as the others are from resin. At the end of the day, when you buy these mousing surfaces they will last you for a few years without any trouble, and I know my original Everglide large attack pad is still going strong, and I've been using it heavily for the past 19 months. Everglide and Fragmatic are available through their UK distributors but at the moment we can't seem to find any UK distributor for the Icemat. Saying that, they managed to send us our mat in a very respectable time, and it came in very good packaging. This obviously is paramount with glass being so fragile.

The high-end mouse mat market is brisk with competition. Us gamers have a huge choice, and the Icemat is certainly a worthy competitor to the likes of Everglide and 3M. The choice of material of the Icemat won't suit everyone's playing style, and certainly the noise caused by the mouse gliding (I use that word in the loosest way) isn't the nicest thing in the world, however it does provide a consistent surface for you to roll your mouse over.