ROCCAT Sense Chrome Blue Gaming Mouse Pad Review

Author: Aaron Chen
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Monday, March 11th, 2013
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/roccat_sense_chrome_blue/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

As underappreciated as it is, a good mouse pad can make a big difference to your computing experience. Having a consistent, smooth surface ensures you make the most of your high quality mouse sensor as well as helping avoid the grime and dirt that may otherwise scratch your thin mouse feet.

As we previously mentioned in our review of the ROCCAT Kone XTD and Kone Pure gaming mice, ROCCAT is a German company that offers a wide range of products dedicated to gamers and computer enthusiasts. Slick blues and blacks are the theme of the company branding, bringing stylish looks atop robust features.

Today we will be looking the Chrome Blue version of ROCCAT's Sense series of mouse pads. Soft cloth-based construction is the name of the game here, alongside unique features such as a friction-reducing microcrystalline coating, a slim yet large profile, and attractive surface design.

Without further ado, let's see how exciting a mouse pad review can really be as we take a look at the ROCCAT Sense Chrome Blue Gaming Mouse Pad.

Specifications:

Product Codes
ROC-13-101 (Glacier Blue)
ROC-13-102 (Adrenalin Blue)
ROC-13-103 (Chrome Blue)
Size
400mm x 280mm
Height
2mm
Tested With
ROCCAT Kone/Kova/Pyra/Savu/Lua series
Razer Naga/Imperator/DeathAdder/Taipan series
SteelSeries Xai/Sensei/Kinzu/Kana
Logitech MX series
Microsoft Sidewinder series
 
…and many more

All information courtesy of ROCCAT @ http://www.roccat.org/Products/Gaming-Mousepads/ROCCAT-Sense-Series/

I was fairly surprised at the amount of effort that went into the packaging, considering we're talking about a mouse pad. In vein of ROCCAT's branding, the Sense's box features a nice black and blue styling. Wrapping around the front and right is a fairly large window that displays a bit of the blue mouse pad design. Bordering the window are some tabs that highlight features such as the soft cloth material, 2mm thickness with rubberized backing, and physical dimensions of 400 x 280 mm. Above this, we find several icons providing further information: its ability to increase mouse speed (versus using no mouse pad, I guess), internal testing on up to 40 mice, and a rubberized backing. Toward the bottom of the box lies the large ROCCAT Sense branding and aggressive ROCCAT logo. The 2mm thickness and version color are also labelled here.

A small photo of the mouse pad design featuring the ROCCAT logo can be found around the side of the box. Interestingly enough, this logo cannot be seen from the small window. There are also two small openings with samples of material identical to the cloth front and rubberized backing on the mouse pad, a detail that nicely previews the material texture before even opening the box. In the corner, we also see a link to ROCCAT's website for further information.

The back contains a descriptive list of features including the microcrystalline coating atop the soft cloth base, optimum gliding area (slightly redundant), rubberized backing, 400 x 280 x 2 mm dimensions, and development in conjunction with professionals. This list is then translated into nine other languages. In the far corner, we find a quote by 'ROCCAT Scientist', Dr. Erik Dale – probably someone from Research and Development.

Rotating the box again, we find a small photo describing the three layers of material that form the ROCCAT Sense: the rubber backing, 400 x 280 mm cloth gliding area, and microcrystalline surface coating. There is also more information about its gamer-centric design and testing methodology on a wide variety of mice up to 10 000 DPI: tested brands range across several Razer, SteelSeries, and ROCCAT mice, among others. Further down, professional gamer Patrick Jakobi provides his personal endorsement of the Sense. He's reportedly really good at Counter Strike: Source, so I'll take his word for it. In the corner, we find ROCCAT's Facebook handle.

The top of the box features another photo of the mouse pad alongside the ROCCAT Sense branding. The product barcode, model number, and text highlighting its German design at ROCCAT Studios is opposite that on the bottom panel.

Unsurprisingly there are no additional accessories included with the ROCCAT Sense inside the package, so let's take a closer look at the mouse pad itself.

Like its packaging, the ROCCAT Sense Chrome Blue features a very vibrant design that sees the ROCCAT logo taking up majority of the gliding area. By the logo is a quick slogan, "Set the Rules". On the bottom left corner we spot further confirmation of the Sense's 2mm thickness and color. Overall the design is fairly stylish; it's neither as subtle as a standard black mat nor as aggressive as some of the other gamer-oriented mouse pads I've seen. It's really somewhere in between.

The ROCCAT Sense measures a large 400 x 280 mm. The material itself is cloth and grounded by patterned rubber underneath. The cloth material should minimize friction and noise, while the bumpy texture on the bottom should give the mouse pad some extra grip to your desk or tabletop. It may be difficult to see from the photos, but the surface of the ROCCAT Sense is coated with a layer of micro-crystal material that looks to provide some protection and reduce friction. Aesthetically, I find it gives the surface a subtle little sparkle under the light and more rigidity overall. We will be taking a look at the performance effects in a bit.

Before we test the ROCCAT Sense, take a look at how the recently-reviewed ROCCAT Kone XTD looks on this mouse pad. This is under one of ROCCAT's list of 'tested' mice, so we will be using it (and others) in our own tests.

In testing the ROCCAT Sense, I have been using it in a variety of tasks such as web browsing, gaming, and day-to-day tasks. Testing a mouse pad is pretty straightforward, so I will categorize my results into two defining characteristics: Tracking and General Use/Gaming Experience.

Although I am testing with a variety of mice and sensor types, I cannot say that the results found here will be indicative of every mouse. The specific sensor used or quality of mouse feet can contribute to a significantly different experience. Be sure to keep this in mind as you read through the next page.

Testing Setup:

Tested Mice:

Comparison Mouse Pads:

 

Tracking:

 
ROCCAT Sense Chrome Blue
SteelSeries QcK Medium
Generic Plastic Mousepad
ROCCAT Kone XTD
Pass
Pass
Pass
ROCCAT Kone Pure
Pass
Pass
Pass
Logitech G5
Pass
Pass
Pass
AZiO Levetron GM2000
Pass
Pass
Pass

Due to the sometimes elaborate graphical designs found on certain mouse pads, some mouse sensors (especially cheaper ones) occasionally have trouble tracking accurately, especially when moving between colors. Thankfully, this was not the case with the ROCCAT Sense. The ROCCAT Sense provided an ideal surface for all our tested mice - no jittery motions or pauses at all. The microcrystalline surface did not negatively affect the tracking performance, but I can't say it had a significantly positive effect either.

General Use/Gaming Experience:

The one feature that really sets the ROCCAT Sense apart is the crystalline coating on the surface. If you've used other cloth-based pads, you'd know the common grievance of the pad edges splitting apart and curling over time, even on high quality products such as the SteelSeries QcK. The ROCCAT Sense's extra coating creates more rigid edges; I could actually feel the stiff edge of the additional layer that runs along the otherwise soft cloth edge. I can't say it makes the mouse pad significantly more rigid as a whole, but the coating should definitely allow for more long-term durability. As a plus, it makes the surface smoother to the touch despite not making much of a difference when using the tested mice. If anything, the finish had the mouse feet produce a bit more noise when sliding around, compared to the all-cloth SteelSeries QcK. However, this was not terribly aggravating and nowhere near as loud as on the generic plastic mouse pad.

Due to the textured rubber base, the ROCCAT Sense remained stable during heavy/rigorous use. Although it retains a similar texture as the SteelSeries QcK, the greater surface area definitely contributes to stability quite a bit.

It's usually pretty difficult to differentiate your product from others when it comes to the market of mouse pads. Sure, weeding out the bad ones is usually easy but truly setting apart a simple yet high-quality sheet of cloth or plastic apart from others requires a bit more effort! The ROCCAT Sense aims to set itself apart through its microcrystalline coating and cloth material which both do a great job at ensuring a long-lasting and smooth surface for your mouse. The issue is that the ROCCAT Sense never really took my breath away.

Some companies implement fantastic artwork, while others embed LED lighting. Here, we get a simple (albeit vibrant) ROCCAT logo amidst a black and blue backdrop. There are other flavors of the ROCCAT Sense (Glacier Blue and Adrenaline Blue), but all of them follow the same design cues and color scheme. It left me wanting more.

Despite that, if you're in the market for a great mouse pad that should serve you for the foreseeable future, don't hesitate to pick up the ROCCAT Sense especially at its highly competitive price of $19.99.

»Neoseeker.com

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