Nine years ago I was doing the zombie shuffle in Ikea, looking for a new desk to outfit my home office. I bought the “Galant” pine desk, plus extensions on both ends and it’s been my home for most of all of my freelancing career.
It’s also begun to get considerably worn down and over the past month I’ve gotten a few splinters from an area of the desk that I moused on so heavily that the veneer has been completely rubbed off; even fitting super-slippy teflon feet to the bottom of my mouse wasn’t enough to save my table’s skin from an early demise.
I absolutely hate mouse mats as they’re typically poorly sized and I have enough things on my desk and don’t want to add something else. So I went looking for desktop protectors – nasty thick PVC things that secure down to the desktop and have a rather nasty feel to them. I have a PVC carpet protector and it’s ugly. Not something I’d want to look at for 8 hours+ a day.
So I found myself shopping for a new desk before a moment of realisation dawned on me – what about the gaming community? I’m sure hard core gamers with their twitchy mousing habits have come across this problem before. It was then that I found the Razer Sphex mouse mat – a tough-as-nails and yet as thin as paper mousemat.
It looked perfect for my needs on Amazon for just £8 delivered and it arrived today.
First thoughts? It arrived in a box larger than a Macbook Pro’s cardboard box and yet the item itself is so thin it’s h*/as almost no thickness at all. It’s like paper. The rear of the mat is a tacky rubberised surface and despite using all my strength, I couldn’t shift it by pushing at it. It wouldn’t even lift at the edges.
(I wiped the desk down with alcohol and a baby wipe first to give it a little extra suction).
It’s held onto my desk tighter than a limpet.
The Razer Sphex’s surface feels hard with a slightly grainy texture.
I’m using a Logitech Performance MX wireless mouse. It’s got a Darkfield ™ sensor which tracks fairly well on every surface I’ve used it on, including polished glass. It took to the Sphex perfectly – whether you’re lining up controls in Visual Studio or lining up a headshot in Battlefield 3 the cursor accuracy was good at all times on the mat, much better than the naked desk under it. And now, I don’t get splinters.
Razer claim that this is a portable mouse mat and there is a tab that allows easy removal and repositioning. However, you’d have to roll it up to travel with it and then risk damaging it (I don’t think it will tolerate folding). Rolling the mat up could quite easily damage the adhesive surface. This is not a portable mat, then.
Impossibly thin, the Razer Sphex mouse mat.
In summary, if you’re looking for a mouse mat for any type of mouse whether you’re a gamer or a casual user, you’ll find the Razer Sphex to be unobtrusive, neat and well engineered. I would prefer no logo or branding but I’m happy that I haven’t had to resort to a desktop protector, cover or a new desk.
This gets an excellent 4 out of 5 mouse mats! (Losing a point only for the branding and in my opinion erroneous ‘portable’ marketing).
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